Day One: March 16, 2020
I suppose Saturday, after I ran those last remaining errands, should count as Day One, but today, Monday, is our first true day of COVID-interruptus.
I normally dread weekdays because my sixteen-year old is so damn hard to get out of bed. A night owl through and through, as his teen brain is hardwired for, he struggles to wake up, especially if there is someplace he’s required to be. Like on the school bus that normally picks up at 7:08.
So it was nice to set my alarm a little later, knowing I wouldn’t have to wrestle
an alligator a man-child out of bed and onto the bus. However, shattered by a nightmare, I woke up before my alarm sounded. I vowed to take advantage of the peace and quiet, at ease that I didn’t have to force anyone out of bed for at least two more hours.
“But I’m not checking Twitter,” I told myself. “I’ll read my book.” (Side note: Join me in reading The Jetsetters. Buy it from your indie bookstore, if you can. These small businesses (and the authors) can use the sale in our time of confinement and many of them offer curbside pickup and/or delivery options.)
But I digress. Needless to say, I did not pick up The Jetsetters. Instead, a quick Twitter check while waiting for the coffee to brew led me down the internet rabbit hole. I’ve never been one to look at what hashtags are trending because I’m 50 and it makes me mad that the world is facing its biggest crisis in my living memory yet #ManCrushMonday was in this morning’s top ten. (Just be better, people.)
Anyway, Twitter led to the Washington Post led to checking my email and then all hopes of productive solitude evaporated.
My goal during this period of confinement is to structure our school-less days. I have the advantage of my kids being in schools where some homework is already assigned and completed online, so this remote learning concept is nothing new to them. (Except my older son goes to Catholic school and assures me that the monk who teaches his Comparative Politics class doesn’t know what the internet is and has instead assigned them to write a paper.)
In the spirit of unstructured structured time and for self-defense—I already work from home and if summer break is any indicator, I’m expected to be their entertainment director and head chef—I even made them a schedule:
8:00-9:00am: Wake up, eat breakfast, read a news article and discuss it with the family over coffee
9:00am-noon: Focus on teacher-assigned work. If finished, read a book
12:00-1:00pm: Eat lunch, take a walk, DON’T check Twitter (that’s for me)
1:00-4:00pm: Finish teacher-assigned work, if applicable. If not, study for AP exams (even though they will probably be postponed)
4:00-5:00pm: DANCE PARTY 💃🎉
“Dance party? Are we five,” Colin asked?
“What? You need exercise.”
“Can’t I just go throw the ball around?”
“Hey, I heard that listening to your favorite songs lifts your spirits and when you’re happy, it’s good for your immune system.”
Yeah that got two sets of eye rolls. So fine, they can use this hour to get physical as they see fit. (Get it?) At least I won’t have to fight them for access to the speakers.