As a sign of our current condition, the blog post I wrote two weeks ago never got posted. We are succeeding at some things, and failing at others. None of the failures will matter in the long run.
In the build up to Easter, I was doing frantic shopping for little pleasures for the kids. It’s so frustrating to have to worry about where I can get chalk and jump rope! And I know those are petty, silly first world problems. But as we closed out our first month in Quarantine, our poor kids were really starting to fray around the edges. I have to be honest – so were the adults.
Joy is working in a COVID unit, so she is now in quarantine in our quarantine. I hadn’t realized how hard her loss had hit me until Easter. As we took our requisite family picture at the top of the stairs (always blurry and cutting out part of someone’s face. Tradition.), I missed her and knew I would just keep missing her as she’s graduating this year. As I set the table, determined to keep some normalcy, I had to put back her plate. While the kids mentally understand why they don’t get to hug her (definitely not Sylvie – she’s just pissed!), they miss her too. Frankly, they’re handling it better than I am.
Easter morning was fun, but I got more morose by the minute for the rest of the afternoon. The kids gave me hugs, brought me artwork, and made me laugh. Dave told me later that under the circumstances I am now only allowed to wallow in our room, where it won’t upset the kids. He’s totally right, and it’s frankly a bit out of character for me to have a bad mood for so long. I honestly think it’s a temper tantrum that’s been coming on for a month. We had a great Easter dinner, and loaded the kids up with sugar and a dream tray of desserts. They all loved their toys from the bunny, and were sharing and showing off to each other all day. The kids love to dress up, so we got fancy for dinner at the fancy table. It was lovely, once I stopped expecting it to be like other years.
The real joy came with dessert. Our dining room table is enormous – 12 feet long! It’s usually full from one end to the other, but for our dessert, after we tucked the kids in, Katherine, Dave and I gathered at one end while Joy ate her dinner at the other. We literally laughed till we cried, and for the first time all day I didn’t feel weird.
It wasn’t a normal Easter, for us or anyone else. The kids didn’t feel it as much as I did, but that just means we did a good job. And if this is as hard as it gets – missing people still in our house, still healthy, then we are still pretty incredibly lucky.
Spring is coming, and with it I’m sure a terrible urge to see friends, sit on patios and hug each other in the sunshine. We will get there. I may not have felt like it on Easter, but by the end of the day I had been reminded that life always goes on. And that’s really what it’s about, isn’t it?