We’re starting to settle into a routine of sorts. The boys do what school they can (or more accurately what they’re willing to do), and I either work or not work, do school with them – or not – and attempt to cook…sometimes. They boys are waking up late, staying up late, and are playing video games with friends a few nights a week. Mike has had a bit of breathing room now (thanks to the flattening of the curve), and we’ve even had a couple of nights to ourselves, liberally relying on screentime to distract the boys while we order takeout and have a few drinks.
We do the occasional zoom parties with friends or family (my extroverted self lives for these) but in general, we’re just…here. Busy during the week but always home. This new life is so far removed from our pre-COVID city lifestyle that it feels like we’re living in an alternate reality.
And yet, this new life reminds me of something.
It reminds me of cancer.
Cancer – or, I suspect, any major illness – is one of those things that sweeps in and puts your entire life on hold. Trips get canceled, jobs are scaled back, expectations change. No matter how hard you try to fight it, you become – at times – someone not fun.
I remember hours of unsupervised screentime then, too.
When I was in the throes of diagnosis and treatment, I remember life slowing wayyyy down. Like living in slow motion. There were no plans – who knew how I’d be feeling, how I’d respond to that treatment – and even the end was nebulous. On good days, we’d take it a day at a time, on bad days…those would be measured in minutes. I remember taking pain meds (or anti-nausea meds or anti-anxiety meds or some combination) and whispering “you’ll feel better in 20 minutes….you’ll feel better in 20 minutes…you’ll feel better in 20 minutes…hold on, hold on, hold on…”
I couldn’t look forward. Forward was dangerous. In broad strokes, it could be comforting, “5 years from now no one will even be able to tell I had cancer!!” but the reality of having to live like this for another 3 months…6 months…8 months…a year – those thoughts would break me. It was far better to focus on the immediate future. The next few days. The next 20 minutes.
I’m finding the same thing to be true, now. We’re mostly happy. We’re mostly happy as long as we’re just focusing on now, what we’re doing right at this moment. We’re happy sitting on the back porch, we’re happy curling up for a family movie night on a random Wednesday, we’re happy cooking something hot for lunch, just because we can. We’re mostly happy taking things one day at a time. But when our thoughts turn to timelines – when can we hang with our friends again? When will we be able to see our families – so far away – again? Will it be this year? The next? And then I realize that my sister’s baby will likely be a toddler before I next kiss his fat cheeks…these are the hard thoughts.
These are the thoughts that make me crazy.
So I’m trying to – once again – to live my life in moments. I watch Pax reading on the couch, totally absorbed, and his brother bumping his way down the hallway, Raines’ shoulders suddenly bigger than they were. I see my husband rub a hand over his now-always-scruffy jaw and catch his eye. I love that blushing grin that’s just for me. We go hiking once a week, because our governor has said that hiking is allowed. We have our occasional zoom parties and we watch too much TV and eat too many peanut m&ms. Some mornings I just want to burrow under the covers and some mornings I let myself.
I try not to think about last summer when we traveled to Italy, the trip with my brother that we just canceled, or last year at this time when my Mom was visiting. Instead we shuffle around our porch furniture and look at hikes close to home and talk about what we’ll have for dinner tomorrow. Not next month, not next year…tomorrow.
Three cute tops to wear with black sweatpants. Ready? ONE, this floral tee from Abercrombie has such a freaking cool print, TWO, this one (also from Abercrombie) is basically a dupe of my Anine Bing leopard print cami (and YES I wear it with black sweats, duh), and THREE, this black striped, tie-front tee from Banana would be cute and easy to throw on.
Annoying. Abercrombie has free shipping over $75, and those two $20 tops mentioned above aren’t going to get you there. There are many other cute things (thermal wrap-top, summer sweater with a cute back)…but I just remembered my kids grew recently and need pants. Serendipitously (for my wardrobe), the only jeans Raines (and Pax) will wear are from Abercrombie. Look for ones labeled “sweatpant stretch”. This wash is Raines’ favorite. (Abercrombie’s boys’ sweatpants have a good, slim fit, too, if your guys also need those.)
I’m having a sweater-tank moment. I think that’s what pushed me over the edge at the Banana sale – which, by the way, is shockingly good. The sweater tanks I’m referring to are this one and this one…but you can see all of the Banana stuff I just added to my cart in this week’s Weekly Sales report. (My stuff is at the bottom.)
Smells funny so you know it’s working. Biossance sent over a package of skin care goodies and I haven’t been able to move past their Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum. It’s SO freaking good. I’ve been using it almost every night (alternating with my retinol) and it’s shrinking my pores into nothingness(!!!), and I’m waking up looking…fresher-faced? Somehow? It does have a strange smell and tingles for a few seconds going on but the results are so good I DON’T EVEN CARE. You can also pick it up at Sephora, but I was able to wrangle a code (thanks guys!) if you go right to the source. Use THEMOMEDIT to take 15% off any full-size product (but seriously just go get this one).
Thanks for nothing, Kristina. Over on The Mom Edit Insiders group, Kristina had mentioned that she was drooling over these Vince sweatshorts…but not the price tag. Now I too am drooling over those sweatshorts (grrr you are all shopping enablers) and so I went on a quest. I can’t decide between these cuties from UpWest (anyone know this brand?) or these Champion sweat-shorts via pre-order (and I guarantee they’ll sell out).
My latest TV obsession. Never have I ever is Mindy Kahling’s new coming-of-age sitcom and it is genius. I love that it busts through so many old stereotypes (if you don’t mind a few light spoilers, I totally agree with this article). I’m trying to decide if the boys could watch it…Mike gives that idea a hard ‘no’ but I don’t necessarily agree – it might be good for Raines. (Ahhhhh I just checked the rating: TV-14 which makes sense.) On Netflix.
Take me to your leader. Have you heard? UFOs are real.
If your kid learns just ONE thing during the pandemic…this Vox article makes a seriously powerful statement about what that one thing should be. And, quite frankly, it’s really the one thing us adults need to remember, too. This pandemic is showing us all – quite clearly – the inequality in our country. “I promise that having a genuine, searching conversation with your kid about what constitutes an “essential worker” will have a far more lasting effect than grabbing the Caviar delivery from the porch and getting back to the geometry lesson as the driver speeds away.”