On staying in
Another year, another quarantine
Winter is the longest season, punishing in its extremes. A veil of ice and snow coats the landscape, and the boys’ school has closed due to multiple Covid exposures.
We’re at home with the whole crew, trying to figure out how to keep them fed and busy while we both work in the week(s) ahead. I’ve cried a lot more this month than I have in the prior four months combined.
The loss of childcare feels like the loss of competency, both as an employee and as a mother. When the boys are home and we’re trying to work, I’m a terrible parent and a terrible colleague. It feels like there’s no winning in this scenario.
I try to recite gratitudes to keep me from falling over an emotional cliff: We’re all healthy (thus far). We didn’t lose power in the latest snowstorm. We have plenty of food. We have patient bosses and forgiving coworkers. We have eager little boys who are demanding and sweet. We don’t have to spend our time thinking about packing and moving anymore, because we’re here, for at least half of the year. We have books and tea and beeswax candles and chocolate ice cream (weirdly appealing to me in January). We can still easily walk downtown. We are now in possession of a life-altering Dyson cordless vacuum. These are all opportunities for thanksgiving.
Aside from the aforementioned Dyson, my other new favorite home gadget is the Magicpro Garment Steamer. For a mere $30, my clothes maintenance game has vastly improved. I’m a notoriously lazy ironer, and I can’t be bothered to learn how to iron properly. In most instances, my ironing makes clothes worse, not better. So the discovery of this garment steamer, which gets clothes to just-presentable status in a few seconds, has been immensely cheering.
Things to love about the apartment: So much less to clean. Laundry just a few steps away from living spaces. Our own en-suite bathroom, for the first time in our lives. We are always together; there is nowhere to go to be alone.
Things to not love about the apartment: The absolute filth of wall-to-wall carpet. We are always together; there is nowhere to go to be alone.
Black Paper, Teju Cole
The Right to Sex, Amia Srinivasan
Our Country Friends, Gary Shteyngart