Thursday, April 9, 2020

Clarity. A lesson in Quarantine.

Before Coronavirus was here, before shelter in place and stay at home orders, there was fun!!!
Ha ha. This was the weekend before it all went down. Ty's father visited us from New York and we were enjoying this wonderful spring weather in Texas. We were dining outside at restaurants for lunches and dinners, exploring and swimming at the pool. We also had plans for more family to come visit us for Easter and to go to La Cantera Resort for the weekend. Those plans are squashed of course. I know so many people had vacation plans, weddings... all sorts of fun things. Sadly, all postponed. None of my family (besides Ty's father who was here visiting the week they started to shut things down) has met Vera yet. This makes me very sad. I'm not sure how old she will be when family finally gets to meet her. She may very well be close to a year old. 

Just like that, life has changed in so many ways. Now the kids are doing online learning and drawing lessons with Mo Willems. Weekends are now spent with picnics in the livingroom and walks around the same neighborhood 100x. Now Lysoling our groceries is a normal thing. lol. We do anything I can think of to keep the kids (and myself) from going crazy.  Luckily, the weather is nice enough to go outside for lots of walks or to play in the yard. The kids are remarkably unaffected by any of this. They are thrilled to be home. My homebody kids do not get that from me! They don't seem worried or anxious about anything, thankfully. Although Maxwell is a little concerned why we haven't let him get his bi-weekly treat at Chick Fil A. Haha. And Scarlett is definitely sad that horse lessons have been cancelled. But overall, I am thankful for the fact that the kids seem to be unscathed. I think I am probably taking it the worst of any of us here and mostly because I am such an extrovert, adventure-seeker. 

I am pretty optimistic about it all in general. It could always be worse. The virus is bad but could be worse. I could be sick. But I'm home and healthy with my family. The gym has to wait to open now. But it will happen eventually. Count your blessings, right? 

Still. Sometimes knowing all of that doesn't help when you are on the brink of a breakdown. Stress is a real thing.  I do get nervous now and again about certain things but I tend to take a different outlook on a lot of things. I don't stress too much over the fear that can build up from looking just about anywhere online or on tv. For me, the worst part of this all is the isolation and being stuck inside. I just don't do well being cooped up. It's just my personality. 

 For instance today when I started to go stir crazy and decided I needed to clean the entire house spotless while having a baby stuck to me 24/7, an 8 year old asking me to help her with math (ugh, not mattthhhhh) and Maxwell asking me to "Watch this" a hundred times as he did a jump and a skip lol. I guess I'm one of those people who uses cleaning as a stress reliever sometimes. And since my house cleaners are not coming for awhile thanks to Coronavirus, I decided the house wasn't going to clean itself! Cleaning and organizing gives me a sense of control in an otherwise uncontrollable universe. That feeling when I look around and the house is good. So today as I scrubbed the toilet with Vera attached to me in her baby carrier, I could hear Maxwell yelling for me from the top of the stairs. "Mama, come here!" "One minute!" the overly used phrase I find myself repeating way too much lately. I felt warm liquid flowing down my chest. I looked down to a smiling baby who just puked down my shirt. A moment for the books. I looked into the bathroom mirror. Me standing there in workout clothes,  messy hair, a toilet brush in my hand and puke all over me.....Sigh. Maxwell's voice louder, "Mama!" Scarlett came in to inform me that Maxwell was calling me. Yes, thank you, I think the whole neighborhood could hear him. I wiped up the spit-up and headed to my room to grab a new shirt. Scarlett stopped me to ask for math help so I quickly tried to assist. Sorry teachers, she's gonna go back to school doing old-school math and that's that. Cubby, our goldendoodle rang the doggy doorbell on the back door so I let him out and then grabbed a shirt since I realized I was still shirtless. All the while, Maxwell still calling for me. For the love of God, patience!!! Vera started to fuss. I changed her diaper. Finally I made my way up the stairs mumbling, "Maxwell, you need to learn patience. I was changing my shirt and cleaning this whole mess of a house because you kids leave everything...." I stopped as I reached the top of the stairs and looked around. 
"Tadaaaaa!!!!" Maxwell exclaimed. I scanned the room from left to right. It was the tidiest playroom I've seen in weeks. Of course he had stuffed one too many stuffed animals in an overflowing bin and a few things were put in the wrong place but he had picked up the entire playroom. "See, I cleaned for you!" his face with such pride. I immediately smooched up his face and gave him ALL the praise. Sometimes when you think you are on your last straw....something comes along and give you some clarity. Maxwell had inadvertently allowed me to realize that while I was focusing so hard on what I thought was important, what really mattered was and is love.  Time and time again it comes back to this for me. He was kind enough to notice that I was stressing out and cleaning like a mad woman. He took the time to recognize that and then lovingly helped me. Now, this doesn't happen every day but it couldn't have happened on a better day. That kid is usually the one making me pull my hair out but today, his love just shined through. 

While the stress of this time right now is overwhelming to a lot of people, I think we can find solace in the kindness and love out there.  So many people making masks and donating. Our neighborhood here has come together and have been offering up milk or toilet paper to those who can't find any, offering to shop for the elderly and sharing baby items for those with little ones. That stuff just goes to show that when everything else in the world seems crazy and chaotic, in the face of uncertainty, there is still love. And love is what matters. We all have to be there for each other and have each other's backs. Maybe there is someone out there who needs a little love even more than you today. My children continue to inspire me and give me clarity every day. Maxwell was my clarity today. 

 We are all taking it one day at a time. Some days are good and some are hard. It's new. But we adjust and life keeps on going. In between gym plans and taking care of kids, I plan and dream about our next vacation. Or even just going out to eat again or browsing in a store! Ha ha. These photos are what I have to remind me that life will be fun again. I think when this is all over, we will appreciate the simple things that we once took for granted. We will come out of this different and I think that despite the sadness it has and will cause, it will also show us our strength and what is important. So as we ride out this tough time, I'm going to try to take Maxwell's lead and spread the love and kindness the best I can. <3 

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