by Amber Zaliski
Is anyone else convinced that we are currently living through season 245 of the United States of America series?
The writers must be running a contest to see who can come up with the craziest plot twists. I, for one, am kind of impressed because the subplots run deep and times are wild. Times are so wild that the Pentagon released official U.F.O. video evidence, hardly anyone is talking about that, and you have to think there’s more where that came from, right?
I really don’t know what I think about our current state of affairs during these End-of-April-Coronavirus-Pandemic days. Does anyone really think they know what’s going on? Wait, I take that back… some people clearly think they know exactly what’s going on and they are happy to jump to extremes. How does that feel? It has to make things easier, I think. As someone who doesn’t believe blindly in many things… times are confusing! My current favorite Mary Oliver poem is “Angels” because I also “have a lot of edges called Perhaps,” and as a former English major and word nerd, it’s been interesting to see the many, varying interpretations of the word essential.
As we continue to be bombarded with more data every day about coronavirus statistics and with more data every day about coronavirus statistics and which demographics have been hit the hardest, I think it’s easy to see that this does not affect everyone equally. Obviously, this is much harder for some than it is for others. Life really isn’t fair, is it? There is one demographic, however, that is consistently overlooked.
Stay-at-Home-Moms-of-Only-Children – please stand up. Our struggle is real, too! Do you know what SAH-MOOC means? It means that for a lot of the time, and there I a lot of time now, I am the only person my daughter gets to talk to and play with, and no, Mom really cannot pretend to be a little black kitten that you found in the woods that you can talk to with your magical crown of sticks, and I am definitely not lapping milk from a bowl, okay? Not again. Occasionally, when I feel like I’m really down to my last few seconds of patience and have said something like, “please, quit talking to me, I am trying to think a thought and wash a dish,” I call my best friend that has three kids, and we try to have a conversation over the general hum of chaos at her house, and you know what we’ve decided? This isn’t easy for anyone, and why is there always a dish to wash?
I wish I had something useful to share with you. My daughter’s newest fave show to watch is “Earth to Luna” on Netflix. If you need a grown-up show and are into historical fiction, have you watched “The Last Kingdown” (also on Netflix; that’s all we have)? The costuming is amazing, all of the characters are well-acted, and 9th century Vikings invading England is maybe a good reminder that the world has always been wild. There are lots of great art projects online. We really enjoy the Create_Play_Explore tutorial videos that an incredible local art teacher, Heather Carr, is making and sharing online.
Some words of encouragement? A quote I’ve held onto since I stumbled across it one day while I was sitting at home breastfeeding my baby that rings especially true today and speaks to the elasticity of time – “The days are long, but the years are short.” I mean, really. Right now, these days without dance class, and playground dates, and library trips, and grocery shopping, and friends – they are quite long. But our little baby turns six this weekend, and we’re still saying, “How?”
The current phase that we’re entering is legit funny and creative and passionate. She loves to stand on top of things and shout speeches and make up songs. Earlier this month, my husband and I were in the living room. Kevin was probably looking at guitar stuff, and I was staring out of the window maybe having an existential crisis or trying to pump myself up to cook dinner, again. Mirren came out of her bedroom dressed in two scarves – one of her favorite games lately. She has created some really incredible outfits out of my bag of 12 scarves. As she walked into the room she looked at both of us quite dramatically and said, “Be bright. Be bright in your hearts.”
I’m trying! And I’m hoping everyone is able to find a bright side or at least a flicker of light. I know we’re all watching to see how this story plays out, and I’m praying it doesn’t have anything to do with those UFOs. Maybe we should all be paying closer attention to the writers and questioning some of these storylines. Stay well, y’all, and be bright in your hearts.