down my rabbit hole: Memories I am collecting during the 2020 Quarantine

Driveway chalk hopscotch that transformed into a Dora the Explorer-meets-American Ninja Warrior obstacle course.

Witnessing the growing bond between my children, as they homeschool together and become each other’s primary playmates, despite the six years separating them.

The great respect and gratitude I have for my husband, as he struggles daily through managing the kids while he continues a full-time job that was never meant to be virtual.

The amazing maturity developing in my daughter, as she becomes the primary homeschooling teacher for her younger brother.

The heartbreak over my son’s ongoing disappointment that he cannot rejoin his friends at school.

Hubby breaking up a homeschooling argument between the kids over whether or not “How I will become Batman” is an acceptable essay on future career goals.

The joy of watching my friends appear in a Brady Bunch-style grid, as I overcame my tech phobia and embraced my first steps into Zoom.

Listening to my extended family sing Happy 1st Birthday to my niece as we gathered to celebrate from inside 6 different homes.

Pinning my sewing project on Facetime while gossiping with my mother, since we couldn’t have our girls’ sewing night in person.

Packing my freezer like a jigsaw puzzle to fit the one-pack-per-family chicken breasts during the meat shortages.

Checking and rechecking every store I enter, hoping that the elusive TP and paper towels will appear, and instead finding what seems like a quarter mile of empty shelving (did they really carry that many paper products before?)

Standing in 45 degree rain for over half an hour, waiting to get my official almost-first-in-line toilet paper from Sam’s Club.

Walking away from the one-at-a-time line at Joann Fabrics, after no one went into that store in 15 minutes (who ever spent only 15 minutes shopping in Joann’s?)

The suspicious looks given to people either wearing masks or not wearing masks, depending on where you go.

The painful bewilderment of going to the store and wondering how many of us in the building could be Typhoid Marys.

The act of love and friendship involved in handing someone a handmade sewn face mask.

The mostly universal “we’re in this together” attitude of kindness that I find in most of the places I must venture.

The “Roosevelt Fireside Chat style” daily press conferences by Governor Cuomo on YouTube, which have become my news lifeline and the calming, reasonable voice I look forward to daily.

The protective, possessive act of supporting favorite local restaurants by ordering takeout, just because you can.

Watching the adolescent diva’s bedroom turn from day-glow hot pink to dark moody teal, as if with the paint strokes, the last vestiges of girlhood were falling away in favor of the young woman that has emerged.

The happiness in my families’ voices when they greet me as I walk in the door after work every day.

Standing out in the spring sun, thanking God that spring still comes to cheer the planet, despite the apprehension and loneliness we are all experiencing.

scenes from This Ludicrous Life: things I never expected to say

Your tongue should not be touching your brother’s face.

Why are there dry erase markers in the bathroom, you ask? You don’t want to know.

Hubby, you’ve mixed up my underwear and our daughter’s.

We are not using Satan as a character in stories, ok?

I am not interested in discussing your butt.

Oh cool! Fireball whiskey is only 100 calories!

Introducing The Cast: The Adolescent Diva

2) The Adolescent Diva.

– My teenage daughter.

– Brilliant. Beautiful. My ray of sunshine (except for first thing in the morning).

– A complete and total Hot Mess, covered with a mane of curls. She appears to be the color commentator for the Drama-Drama-Drama Sports Page at her school.

– Can take the boys down in the Gaga Ball pit, much to the boys’ surprise. Her favorite slogan is “Real Princesses Save Themselves.”

– Very Right Brain-Left Brain. Talented artist. A permanent Principal’s List student, she has the potential to run an architecture firm or win an Academy Award for Set Design.

– That is, if she can ever find her pencil, her jacket, her water bottle, the mandatory note from school, her shoes…..