Holy smokes, friends!
Perhaps foolishly, I came outta the gates pretty hot last week. On Monday, I posted an article optimistically titled How School Closures Can Strengthen your Family. “Embrace not being so busy,” I wrote. “With no athletic events and no commute and no pickups and dropoffs, we parents have a lot more time on our hands.” That seems hilarious to me now. For the record, last week I did not feel less busy. I did not get more exercise than usual, nor did I clean out my pantry.
My pre-corona virus routines fell apart hard and fast. It wasn’t until dinnertime on Thursday that I recognized that not only had I not showered or gotten dressed that day, I hadn’t even brushed my teeth.
How I anticipated we would manage social distancing shifted quickly as well. In that same Monday article, I implied that I thought my brother was being overly cautious by not hugging me before our family had dinner together.
This week, there was (obviously) no hugging (and no dinner). We met up outside, at the end of my brother’s street. His neighbors have chalked shapes on the pavement that are 6 feet apart, and we kept to our shape (pictures here). He leaned out from his chalked shape to hand me a drink (surrounded in a bleach-wipe, of course). Six feet is farther apart than is comfortable, and it took a lot of willpower to remain in our seats so far away from one another.
The first day we got the shelter-in-place orders, we encouraged our kids (all older teenagers and college students) to go for a hike with a single friend, provided that they stayed six feet apart. But spying by another mother revealed that they just couldn’t do it. So they are now sheltering-in-place without any social contact with their peers. This is SO HARD for them, on so many levels.
Having tried and failed, I’ve really thought through how to help adolescents deal with social distancing, including college students who aren’t used to being controlled by their parents anymore. I hope this article helps.
Also, having stumbled a lot last week, I’ve rethought my series on how to keep our routines from going to pot. This week, I’m going to back up a bit. I’ll be accounting for all the habits I previously took for granted, like brushing my dang teeth. (Sheesh!)
Lots of love,