The other night, my brother’s family and my family got together at my parents’ place for fresh black raspberry pies with whipped cream. My brother’s kids were playing, but my younger son sat apart. When I suggested he go play, too, he shook his head. Then he paused, reconsidering.
“I could wear this,” he said shyly, pulling his mask out of his pocket. It was more a question than a statement.
“Sure,” I said, and minutes later he was down on his knees, clustered with his young cousins around the sand pile.
Watching him play — the first time in months that I’d seen him play in close proximity to other kids — my heart broke a little. An already sensitive soul by nature, he’s become increasingly cautious, fearful of getting too close to people, preferring to stay home than risk being exposed, or worse, exposing someone else.
I’m glad he cares about other people enough to not want to get anyone sick (if only we could all be as thoughtful, can I get an amen?) but seeing him in the great outdoors surrounded by glorious tall trees and wide-open skies and the people who love him most, and wearing a mask on his face — a mask! — I felt so very sad. Children should’ve have to worry about this sort of thing.
Some days it feels like the whole word has become shadowed — sinister, almost — and I get the distinct impression that we’re living in the middle of a dystopian novel.
I wonder how the story ends.
Gradually, we’re figuring out ways to be safe, yet still live. This means, in nice weather, having an open-door policy: when friends come over, we mostly stay outside, and we don’t worry when people need to come inside to grab stuff, use the bathroom, visit briefly.
*My younger son and I met up with friends at a river for a few hours of visiting and playing in the water.
*My older daughter’s friend is staying here, off and on, for a few days. With no air conditioning, our windows are thrown wide, and, thanks to the heat, no one’s too keen on cuddling in enclosed spaces. As an added precaution, she sleeps in the guest room instead of my daughter’s room.
*When some out-of-state young adults needed a place to camp out on their way through our area, we let them stay in our yard, giving them access to the downstairs bathroom and setting out breakfast on the porch.
*My younger two spent the night at my parents’ house, sleeping out on their porches instead of inside.
*My older kids went camping with friends for the weekend. They divided up between three cars to help with physical distancing, and sleeping arrangements involved hammocks and extra tents.
Though that kind of fell to pieces when they got hit with a wicked rainstorm and one of the tents sprung a leak.
Speaking of cars, I think my older son’s new car makes for a perfect covid-mobile.
Lots of fresh air and it only seats two!
And finally, three gems….
If you’ve ever wondered how effective masks are, this clip (starting at about the 30 second mark) is for you.
Our beloved Schitt’s Creek darlings salute the teachers on a zoom call.
Oh, David. How we love you!
And a current day Parks and Rec town hall meeting.
The mask wars are real, y’all.