posts tagged with 'social distancing'

how are we so busy when we don't leave home?

Just like last Friday, we had an overwhelming online day today. This time I hosted three meetings! Besides that I spent a while working on recording a video. Suffice it to say that I spent more time looking at my own face today than I have any other day of my entire life. And videos isn't all we're doing! When the quarantine started Leah and I thought we had all the time in the world, so we ordered a dumpster; it's going to be picked up Monday so we have to finish filling it before then. The dumpster situation is emblematic of how life is going: how can it possibly have been in our driveway for two weeks already?! (Strangely, while weeks are speeding by each day seems to last a very long time. I don't know how that works.) All that is to say, I thought that being stuck at home would mean I would have time for all sorts of things that I don't usually manage. And that's not happening. Or maybe it is, actually—it's just that the extra time is for Zoom meetings and making videos. Oh well.

our digital life

We tend to do our fair share of socializing. Before the end of the world we had dinner with friends two evenings a week (not counting weekly dinner with my parents), took part in homeschool gatherings twice a week, and hosted Harvey's friend Jack every Thursday... and that's just the scheduled things! Last weekend it all lurched to a stop and we found ourselves with more private time at home than we've had in years. It was... kind of nice! But we did miss our friends, so we've been enjoying the gradual transition of all those meetings to the digital realm. Today we might have gone a bit overboard, though.

We kicked things off at 10:00 with homeschool Book Club party. We just finished reading The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic—we heard the epilogue this morning—and while we couldn't stick to our pattern of making food from the book we were definitely able to dress up like characters from the book. Zion was King Lucas the Loftier and Lijah was Theodore, the potter. Harvey didn't dress up but he did memorize a 16-line poem from the last chapter (this morning!) which is probably more impressive. We also played a rousing game of Mount Majestic Jeopardy. We finished up at 11:30.

Then we were off until 2:00, when we joined the Jacksons' read-aloud to hear more of Adventures With Waffles. That lasted for an hour, then as soon as it finished up the boys had a date for a video call and pokemon battle with our closest Pokemon-card-playing friends. I had to cut them off at 4:00 before they were quite finished because I was hosting my very first Zoom meeting, for the parents in our homeschool coop. It was supposed to just be a half hour but went almost until 5:00 (happily, the bonus time in the oven made the squash that was going into the squash soup even better!).

As we finished up dinner I had just a few minutes to set up a second computer with Zoom so that the boys could join the Kids meeting of our church-related community group, as Leah and I hosted the Adult portion upstairs from the other machine. The adults had a civilized conversation for an hour and a half while the digital native young people discovered that you can draw on Zoom and had a great time doodling, as well as—apparently—playing hide and seek. Well, most of them had a great time: Lijah suffered a complete breakdown and says he never wants to use Zoom again. To be honest, I get where he's coming from. Maybe a screen-free day tomorrow?

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book food

Last night we started a new bedtime chapter book, Secret Water by Arthur Ransome. With plenty of time in our schedule we read some this morning, too: chapter two, which includes a discussion over a breakfast of porridge. I had planned waffles for our own breakfast, but once they heard the word the lure of porridge was too much for the kids to resist. So we did that instead. Then a little while later they listened to a Zoom read-aloud from our good friends at Team Moosiverse. After finishing Neil Gaiman's Fortunately, the Milk yesterday, today the hosts started Adventures With Waffles by Maria Parr. We read it ourselves a couple months ago—and pushed on everyone we know—but that doesn't mean they didn't want to hear it again. I don't think they actually got to the part where waffles come into the story, but it didn't matter: just hearing the title was enough for Lijah to need one for a snack. Who knew my children were so impressionable! It's a good thing we're not reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...

catching up

What strange times we're living in. Since I last wrote, everything is different. I wish I had been noting down everything as it happened, but had I done so I probably would have looked stupid in retrospect—there was a time, for example, when I thought this virus business was no big thing. Happily we got Lijah's birthday party off before the epidemic got going, then we hosted Bible Study here a week ago on Tuesday evening. On Thursday we thought we were going to a homeschool music gathering, but the hosts, with an immunocompromised family member, were more on top of the news than we were and cancelled. We met up with one other family at their house anyway, played some music, and took a hike. Then Friday we cancelled our Book Group here but still invited families who wanted to join us. Just one took us up on the offer and the kids played outside while the adults talked about SARS-CoV2 and social distancing. We had lunch together, but carefully. They left at 1:30, and nobody has been in our house since, nor have we visited anyone else.

I guess that's only been four days, but to be honest it feels like a lifetime. Not because the time has been hard—on the contrary, except for some base-level existential dread we've been having a great time! I guess it's just that with so little on the schedule the days have felt stretched out. Not so much that I've had time to write, clearly, but lots for board games and stories and learning to use Zoom. It looks like this is going to be our schedule for quite a while now, so maybe I'll be able to work some writing in there too.

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