You guys! Remember when I used to have a blog about how four of us lived in a tiny apartment and tried not to go crazy and stomp all over each other?
Yeah, I thought those days were over, too.
Instead, we are having to call on several skill sets learned during that extended hostage situation.
You see, we used to live in the Fun Apartment. Now the Fun Apartment lives in us. We have trained for this. We already know how to be close and a little apart. We are experts in the snuggle. We know how to go crazy and then come back. We know how to put legs on something and make it walk. We know how to keep it fun. Step aside, people: this is our moment.
However, joyously, marvelously, fortunately, we no longer have to live in that barrel of monkeys! Now we live in a perfectly reasonable–palatial even!–amount of space! There is a second bedroom, a second bathroom, closets, and even a mystery room full of junk, broken dreams, and our winter duvet. We might as well have a royal presence chamber, a dungeon, turrets, and a moat! And we live across the street (moat) from a giant park with miles and miles of actual untamed forest in which to social distance! Take that, Barbarian hordes! You’ll never know which 1 train stop to get off at!
So, how is lockdown in New York City? Well, to be honest, right now, it’s not so bad. Three of us are elbow-deep in home-school. The Mister is on half-hour calls that last all day. And then there’s recess. Twice a day. For an hour. It’s like we decided that we go to school in Finland, or another one of those socialist paradise-type places that does everything better and everyone’s tall and thin, even in their winter coats.
Working from home is tricky, though. I wouldn’t have thought that teaching kindergarten was a job one could do remotely, but I stand (unshowered and in my pajamas!) corrected. This new virtual gig definitely has invigorating challenges. It also has lonely moments, but I do still have my, umm, coworkers here to help with that. And I must say that my classroom management skills are totally lit, because during teaching videos, no one talks while I talk! Still, I’m desperate to go back to work, even without that “mute all” option. After all, I had just six months at an amazing school and then we all got sent home. And it’s closing. You might have heard.
Home schooling my own kids isn’t going too badly, though. One of my new “pupils,” who has always had a somewhat complicated relationship to school and it’s required behaviors, told me that I was his second favorite teacher because of my amazing teaching innovation: the bingo card. He trembled at the thought of crossing off the squares in ANY ORDER HE WANTED. That’s right, people. %$&*ing Teacher of the Year. BINGO.
We get most groceries we need at our local stores and no fights have broken out (yet). The shelves remain somewhat stocked and the wine store is still open, so I’m liking our chances. Mostly, we have what we need–although knowing that there is a new Hilary Mantel book out and not being able to read it might be what eventually breaks me. (But my money’s on Cromwell to survive.)
And despite it all, spring is coming. Walking up the glacial land formations for afternoon recess shows me different miracles every day. Trees are still growing leaves. Flowers are still bursting out. Cherry trees are still dusted with pink. The tide in the estuary goes in and out. And my kids social distance with their friends by chasing each other in a game of virus tag. No one wins, because they aren’t allowed to touch each other. All of this is critical to our wellbeing.
And after recess, we return to our apartment for more schoolwork. BINGO!
And after all that digital ink spilled about our blog’s place of origin, what do we call our new apartment? Mostly we just call it home.