Day 21–Change of Pace

    Being exactly three weeks into our stay-at-home mandate, I can say that I have officially adjusted to the new change of pace. I still have a wave of fear or disorientation about once a day. But most of the time, I have grown happily accustomed to the gentle slowness of our quarantined way of life.
    After a full day of work–he puts hours and hours into each podcast he creates for his students as he teaches them from across the ocean–Ron took the little kids outside to play soccer and start a fire to roast some meat. I started dinner in the kitchen. I played the grooviest music I have and danced as I cooked sweet potatoes, cabbage and carrots. Every single kid was upbeat, happy, and could laugh about the day in its ups and downs. As we sat around the dinner table, a cheerful conversation morphed into Sebastian starting to play charades. He told us to guess who he was. That turned into a long game and then that transitioned nicely into family prayers.
   It’s all so bittersweet. I fear sickness when the doctors offices and hospitals are over-run. I fear the economic collapse and the daunting unknown. Every day I await the bad news, and I’m not even sure what it is. As Clare has pointed out, we now get excited talking about the death toll when it is only hovering around 600 per day. That is just sad. I marvel at our changed world.
    And yet I rejoice, more than words can express, at this chance to go slow, be home, and be present. I listen to the scratch of a pencil as one child draws; I observe another one walk across the room in her messy bun, fluffy socks and sweatpants; I listen to one child sword fight and another laugh as she catches up with friends on FaceTime. I realize that this is all about to vanish. The quarantine might be 40 more LONG days. But only 40. Then we will return to driving kids to soccer and then to a friend’s house and then to ballet. We will rush to put on dinner while helping someone with math facts. We will return to being fast-paced, productive and inattentive. We will return to feeling financially secure and confident that we are healthy and safe. And yet we will forget to just stop and be present. We will stop savoring the beauty of the imperfect, the perfection of the ordinary. We will stop relishing and delighting in the intoxication of just being there, just being with each other.