Hello, long-awaited foe
It finally came for us
Moses caught Covid from school this past week. Just when I was feeling hopeful about our restored childcare situation. Just when I was starting to think we’d escape this latest wave. Just when I was feeling cocky, in other words.
In a strange sense—and I’ve heard this sentiment from others—it brings an odd feeling of relief. As in, we knew it was coming for us one day. And now here it is.
In truth, we’ve been fortunate and have had a very easy go of it, health wise. Moses had one rough day and a half (see above), but he rebounded quickly.
Felix, Guion, and I have all remained healthy and asymptomatic, which is a blessing, but it makes the draconian 20-day quarantine for Felix especially frustrating. He had a negative PCR test on Friday and continues to be totally fine. We have a healthy baby (and a baby with antibodies to boot, given my vaccination and booster). Please, for the love of God, let us have some childcare, which we are shelling out so much cash for; just a little childcare in 2022, that’s all I want. I am developing strong personal vendettas against everyone at the Virginia Department of Health. That is where I am right now.
I am running low on emotional and mental resources. Our employers and coworkers have all been abundantly gracious and gentle with us, but at home, we are frayed from trying to do it all. The blondest among us is throwing semi-hourly tantrums. The walls of the apartment seem to be closing in. Only Felix remains sunny and sweet. (He’s the best baby.) I am exhausted and high-strung, which is quite the poisonous combination. Apologies in advance if I seem meaner than usual. I am.
We have a lot to be grateful for, I know. I am just tired.
Minor ways of coping
Getting up before anyone else and reading the really angsty Psalms from The Message (sue me! It’s fun!)
Copious amounts of tea
Red lipstick, even though I’m not going anywhere
Skimming fussy interior design books from the library
Lighting candles at night
Walking, always walking
Going by the house is always a nice distraction, too. We are still on schedule, for now, which is a gift. They removed even more asbestos this week. Framing should start soon. Our project manager is a hero.
Demolition has also given us new eyes to see just how shabby the house was in certain areas. We weren’t bothered by all of these things before, but seeing it in this state of disarray has made us realize how much we needed to do some of this work. Things were looking rough, in some places more than others. It’s humbling, in some senses, and I hope it motivates us to be a little more gregarious about the unexciting aspects of upkeep (paint your damn porch railing, for heaven’s sake) for the next eight years and beyond.
Going by the house has also revived our excitement about our garden. We won’t be living there much of this summer to fully enjoy the fruits of our labor, but I have designs for my front perennial garden, and Guion is planning an ambitious and magical mushroom garden for the back part of the garden, behind the shed.
Since our chickens died/were murdered, this spot has been a shady and problematic area, unsuited for much vegetable growing and prone to becoming a thicket. Every year, we gradually turn it into a snake pit of weeds and yard debris that we never know what to do with. But this year, Guion is going to make it like a little fairyland for all of his beloved fungi.
Puttering away in the garden this spring will be a nice way to fill our time as we wait to move back in. They say spring is coming! I am choosing to believe them. I’m feeling a little lighter even as I write these words.
The Overstory, Richard Powers
Harrow, Joy Williams
A Modern History of Japan, Andrew Gordon
Parish Hadley: Sixty Years of American Decorating
How They Decorated, P. Gaye Tapp
A Home for All Seasons, Danielle Rollins