We’re all having different quarantine experiences but one thing I’d think we’d agree on is: this new life is strange. There is a real element of surreality to it all. I don’t think many of us could have predicted how our lives would change, and how we’d begin to feel about these changes. Whatever you’re experiencing, please go kindly on yourself.
For instance I wouldn’t have predicted that my partner, children and I would work so harmoniously together; separately for the most part, but checking in with one another for coffee breaks or snuggle breaks. Part of that is just the unschooling lifestyle, I suppose: we’d already spent so much time together over the years, and we’ve built the systems and gathered the resources needed for each person to thoroughly enjoy their day (for our youngest son, his only requirements of late are large amounts of food and Nintendo’s Animal Crossing). “People are complaining that their days are blending together – but I don’t feel that way at all,” my husband tells me last night as he dresses for bed. I agree. I think to myself, This is because our family likes what we do all day long. I’m really grateful for this. Not everyone has this experience.
Our sons are deep in their own worlds – mostly socializing online, drawing, gaming, and I’m quite sure shitposting and memeing. We have dinner together each night as a foursome, and besides that there aren’t too many four-way Hogaboom collaborations. Once a week the boys make dinner while Ralph and I work. They turn up the music and laugh and produce an incredible meal and take a bit of pride in this accomplishment. The dinner is great, but listening to the teens’ banter and laughter is even better. Even one year ago, this weekly tradition wouldn’t have easily happened in our home. “Life comes at you fast”, as the kids say.
Our youngest son has taken to curling up on our king size – even when the bed is stripped as I wash linens, as shown here – not quite wanting to be close to me per se as much as taking comfort in his parents’ bed, where he slept for much of his life. At night while he games I sit on the couch and he edges closer and closer, his weight pressing against me. His shoulders broaden and his arms are thickening up and I have that distinct impression of being made smaller, of withering away. I have a lot of life in me but he seems to have more.
Ralph and I are cooking so much lately, of course. Even if we wanted to get takeout (and… we don’t, not really) there aren’t a lot of vegan options where we live. Being locked-down has really cast a light onto how often we picked up food from the local Chinese or even Taco Bell. So for now; home-cooking. All this food preparation reminds me of those years when the kids were smaller – just how much time I spent sorting and rinsing beans, making up batches of rich tomato sauce or loaves of bread or big steaming pans of fried rice. The bread, the rice, the pasta – they all disappear quickly these days, within hours.
Despite the oddness of the times, life is good. Life is very good. Work filled up so quickly; I went from March barely making a profit, to April which looks to be my highest-earning month yet. My creative energy and output is off the charts. I’m wanting to work until 11 PM; it is an effort to come away. Never in my younger life would I have thought I’d have so much energy at hand. It’s a gorgeous thing – if at times overwhelming.