The uncertainty of these times has made it very certain that the new choronovirus will be with us for a good while. Eventually—and hopefully—we will find the means to return as close to “normal” wherever possible, hopefully within next year. Figuratively, we’re running a marathon, an endurance race where—as many of you already know—demands stamina, pacing, patience and the willingness for self-sacrifice.
Our home these past 3.5 months has been a sanctuary for our daughter, two boys, a new born and our son-in-law. From quiet, predictable routines to a household filled with activities, remote schooling, and more, altogether this was a period of joyful noise and scattered stuff in, out and around the house.
The boys were constantly in motion. The desire to explore, imagine, to experiment and be inventive was nothing short of remarkable. And while the boys did their best to pick up after themselves, they were far better engaging their playfulness, their devil-may-care personas, as evidenced by the scattered clothes, toys, and more, left on the deck, out in the lawn, on the slip’n slide water game or in the breezeway. The breezeway of course is the equivalent of an “airlock” that space that serves as a buffer to the kitchen that lies beyond.
And yet, clothing, LEGO toys in various stages of disassembly, wet sneakers et al, found their way onto the runner that marks the outer circle of the kitchen.
As of this writing, the house is once again quiet, sometimes much too quiet. Just before the 4th of July holiday, they returned home, to their own spaces and routines. It is as it should be. As much as we enjoyed our time together, all good things must come to an end.
The organizing, cleaning and picking up of stuff continues. I refer to the many pieces scattered around as shrapnel. To walk barefoot across the lawn is an exercise in uncoolness. The edges of a LEGO block, a broken piece of plastic, a spoon forgotten, all became suitable reminders that wearing footware during the clean-up phase should be mandatory.
It’s true that having grandchildren can be a terrific life stage. You love them to pieces, you revisit your own escapades from the past, your marvel at how your own parents managed the rambunctiousness of our youth. Whether it’s an afternoon or 3.5 months, those kids need to return to their parents, routines, friends and all that is their life beyond ours.