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Multigenerational Mom Muses on Twin Toddlers & Twenty-Something Daughters

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stay home

on pollen and this pandemic

It’s almost April. In Georgia, the sun is warm, the breeze is balmy, the azaleas are bursting to bloom. Trees are erupting in celadon halos, one after the other, scattering their dander far and wide. It settles on truck beds, on patios, on skin.

As I sit on my back deck, a hawk rides a thermal overhead, while all around me bees buzz, crows caw, wasps flit, dogs bark. The air is alive with life.

It’s also alive with COVID-19, floating unseen and unheard. Until it’s not. Until the coughing starts. The fevers mount.

My husband mows for the first time this season, dry dusty Bermuda silt floats in his wake, catches on the currents, dissipates in the breeze.

And so goes the virus… spittle and nasal exhaust swirling behind one person and into the unsuspecting path of another as they search the aisles for that ever-elusive toilet paper, their weekly ration of milk.

Eyes water, throats burn, lungs react. Is it the pollen — or the Corona?

How crazy is it that so much death and destruction can be carried in the same currents where so much evidence of life still swims?

If we could detect the virus the same way we can detect the pollen, there’s a high likelihood none of us would be out in public unless we had to be… needed to be… for the greater good. Like those heroes out there facing the public, willingly walking into the invisible wake of this pandemic to help their fellow man. They are selfless and intentional.

And we need to stop being selfish, intentional or otherwise.

We need to stop being stupid. Stop taking for granted the lives of the first responders, the nurses and doctors, the grocery clerks and food service folks, the heroes of this world as we now know it.

Not all of us are susceptible to pollen, but we are all susceptible to COVID-19. And at this point, we’ve all been impacted. If not with the virus, then with the fall out of the virus: lost incomes, lost school years, lost loved ones, lost life as we knew it.

As of this morning, more than 124,000 Americans have contracted the virus, and 2,100 Americans have died. Infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci predicts millions of cases in our homeland… and over 100,000 deaths.

It’s’ not all gloom and doom. We have beautiful spring days, full to bursting with new life. So I choose to revel in the earth’s breathtaking beauty. I’m enjoying my backyard, my driveway, the woodland path with the violets sprouting underfoot…

But these days are also full of breathtaking danger. So I respect that danger. I avoid my neighbors, my family members across county, the siren call of social gatherings and the false sense of security because it’s warm and gorgeous outside.

It’s so easy to convince myself that all is right with the world.

But it’s not.

Stop being selfish. Stop being naive. Stay out of the wake of this pandemic. So that more of us may wake tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and eventually we may wake to a more normal world once again.

Stay Home. And Stay Healthy, my friends.

Finding Gifts in the Darkness

Last night, on the eve of our boys’ sixth birthday, our family did what we do every night. We turned on a lullaby, and while it played, Tate and I danced in the dark, and Parker and Mike tossed the football.

Tate is into interpretive dance these days — sort of ballet, sort of slow-mo breakdance. Parker is perfecting his quarterback stutter step. He fires three-foot bullets to his father; Tate pirouettes in our pas des deus.

It is my favorite time of day. I love how the boys still curl into our bodies like baby bats as we lift them into bed, clinging to our necks for kisses.

Last night, Mike and I snuck out after tucking them in, to sit on the their new birthday trampoline, have a glass of wine, and stare at the stars. There was a fine mist covering the sky. At first only Venus, in a blurry halo, was visible. But then, the night pulled back her veil — its long, wispy strands rushing off in every direction — to reveal the scattered, bright pinpoints of stars overhead. It was so peaceful.

I couldn’t help considering the chaos and uncertainty in the world right now, contrasted with the quiet, soothing simplicity surrounding us there in the dark.

A plane whirred overhead. An occasional cricket chirped. Someone had lit a bonfire not far away. The slight scent of woodsmoke drifted into the spaces vacated by the mist. A few doors down, the soft murmurs of back porch conversation.

Our neighbors had our same idea… seek refuge in the stillness of the night.

I wished upon a star then… that all the hazy uncertainty surrounding us would dissolve into studded pinpoints of clarity and hope. I prayed for fresh opportunities to emerge from the fog of fear and the fever of disease. Quickly and soon.

And I know it’s going to take a while longer. Still, if people who can stay home would just stay home. If they would stop running the roads and pounding their metaphorical chests and proclaiming themselves immune from the virus… Then it wouldn’t take nearly as long for us all to reach the other side of this pandemic.

The number of cases in Georgia has tripled overnight. Here in Bartow, we almost doubled. We’re climbing that exponential curve. We’re about to start knowing people who are sick. Some of us already do.

So stay home. Please. Find the stillness within to contrast the chaos without.

Sit on your porches, your patios, your trampolines. Sing songs and dance dances here in the dark. Because these are, indeed, dark times.

But there is sweetness to be found inside darkness, too. There is. Find those sweet, quiet rituals that can center your soul and soothe your worries.

Kiss your family. Take long baths. Star gaze. Read. Write. Meditate. Pray. Pray for those who are sick, pray for those who are in the battle zone fighting for patients’ lives, and pray for your fellow man.

Today, the boys have no birthday party. No school celebration. No family gathering.

But they have gifts. Gifts delivered by grandparents maintaining a socially-safe six feet between them. Gifts delivered by Amazon from grandparents with three big states between them. And gifts delivered by a novel virus currently sweeping the world.

Yes, gifts have even arrived courtesy of this pandemic. Because these boys have been gifted with lots of time with their parents. And we’ve been gifted with lots of time with them. And that is a gift not to be taken for granted.

Because they are growing up so fast. And we are growing old even faster.

Yes, there is sweetness to be found in the darkness. So when night pulls back her veil and reveals all her scattered, bright pinpoints of simplicity and light, receive those gifts. Relish them.

Oh… and Stay the F at Home.

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