When I was thinking of a topic to get approved for this month’s post, I jokingly asked if I could just post one long scream consisting of 500 As and Hs. Ironically, in the days following this request, I came upon several articles highlighting groups of women gathering in various cities purely to scream. Complete strangers coming together in an open field or empty parking lot to release their tension through blood-curdling wails. I guess my scream post wasn’t such an absurd idea after all. Aside from it having no educational value, no humor, no anecdotes and no facts, at least it would be a short read.
Speaking of short, can we talk about time warps? The past two years can best be described as a very long episode of The Twilight Zone.
Never in my forty years has a time period in my life felt so long and so short. And not like in a “the days are long, but the years are short” kind of way; that’s how we all feel during normal years watching our kids grow. I’m referring to the passage of time from March 2020 through the present, and probably the foreseeable future. Time has become some type of mind game. Our country has been dealing with this pandemic for just under two years, yet the pandemic is associated with four calendar years and has affected three school years. The forced homeschooling between March and May of 2020 feels like it just ended, yet a whole year and a half back in school plus two summers have somehow been placed between then and now. The stack of lesson plans for three kids of varying ages still sits by my desk as though it’s waiting to be pulled out for yet another mom-taught semester, yet each kid would now be using their older sibling’s books.
I acquired a bunch of materials to make a scrapbook of our initial 80-day quarantine when Covid first started because I documented each of our days. I still fully plan on making that scrapbook as all those memories are still fresh in my mind, pictures are still in a special online folder and related Facebook posts were printed out two summers ago in preparation. I feel as though if I wait another five years to accomplish this I will still feel as though we just finished that time in our lives.
I look back at pictures of my kids when this all started and am baffled how much their little faces have aged, yet we’re still in the midst of this COVID chaos. How much more will their faces change before we resume normalcy? One of my daughters put a mask on two years ago and now when she takes it off, she has a whole new smile. Unfortunately, her teachers missed that toothless grin phase. The baby-weaning accomplishments of my youngest (pacifier removal, potty-training, transition from crib to toddler bed to full bed) seem recent until I do the math and realize this all took place over the past two years, yet it also all took place during this pandemic. Pajamas worn by one daughter in original quarantine pictures are now seen running past me in present life but on a different daughter who has somehow moved up into that size during COVID.
All these changes that have taken place will forever be associated with a virus that kept us feeling trapped, isolated and anxious. It’s as if time stopped in March 2020 and each family is sitting on a separate platform floating around, watching their own grow up and do the best they can in this situation, making daily angst-filled decisions while waiting to jump back down to a normal planet at the same time as everyone else.