We are the lucky ones

My husband and I are some of the lucky ones. We can both work from home. He already did so full-time. I'm an academic librarian and since all classes have been moved online, my coworkers and I are providing remote support, teaching, and working on distance learning projects we've always been meaning to get around to.

While we're working from home, we're also caring for our nearly 8-month old daughter. We are normally in a nanny-share but the other family went to Michigan weeks ago to be near their extended family. Since our nanny is considered high-risk due to preexisting asthma, we told her to stay home back in the middle of March. We are still paying her complete wages. It is the right thing to do and we know that we are lucky to be able to afford to do so. Hopefully, our circumstances don't change because this is one way we know we can help right now. 

I won't sugar coat anything, it is difficult (and sometimes just an outright pain in the ass) to try to work full-time while also taking care of our kiddo. And she is an easy baby. While my husband helps out as much as he is able, most of the work during the day does fall on me. She's even had to join me for a few video conference calls. (At least she finds screens entertaining - particularly when she can watch herself.) This can make for some rough days but I'm also trying to see the bright side. Instead of just spending time with my daughter when she wakes up and right before bed, I get to see her all day. Since we've been home she's figured out how to get on her knees and rock back and forth. She's also on the verge of babbling. We get smiles all day which makes even the crummiest weather days a little brighter. On the nice days, I get to take her for walks at lunch. Our neighborhood has plentiful sidewalks and we can mostly avoid other people. 

The kiddo is too young to know what's going on. She's just happy for all the extra attention and love. We know she misses seeing other babies so we've shown her videos on YouTube of kids and even had a foyer playdate with the family across the hall. They have a 6-month old and we both opened our doors to each other one Sunday. We each stayed in our respective foyers which are at a socially distanced approved 6-feet (plus a few extra) apart. We parents got to chat while the kids bounced at one another. It's not quite the same but at least it's something.

One thing that remains mostly unchanged is our evenings after the kiddo goes to bed. We still make dinner almost every night and watch some TV together. Just no sports. We're huge hockey fans and it's odd to not see Ovechkin shooting for another 50-goal season. So, we're working through our show bank. We finished House of Cards, have almost wrapped up Man in the High Castle, and will probably dive into Outlander next. After that, who knows, but we have a long list. Every Friday and Saturday we indulge ourselves and support a local restaurant by ordering pick-up. We know ordering only twice a week doesn't put much of a dent in things, but it's what we can do right now.

We are the lucky ones.

This pandemic and the resulting response has not (yet) upended our lives. It's a change for sure, but it's not entirely (dare I say it) unwelcome. It's more together time than we usually get and, since we just moved, we have the space to make it all work. 

We are the lucky ones. 

We know others are not as lucky and that this is altered so many lives. There is a long road to recovery ahead and we hope we're doing our little part to make things better. 

We are socially distancing. We are not hoarding. (We stocked up on things you need for a baby just before she was born and that stuff - hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, etc. - are oddly the same items you need when Staying Home.) I spent some of my tax refund on a gorgeous cherry blossom watercolor from a local artist. We are staying home as much as we can and only visit the grocery store once a week. 

All things considered, this doesn't feel like much, but hopefully, all the little actions help everyone just a little bit.

I still come back to all of this knowing that we are the lucky ones. 

We are the lucky ones.

If this event doesn't put things into perspective for most people, I don't know what will.