Tag Archives: Coronavirus

Peace and Love to The Heartbroken …

25 May

Feeling a little Bangles today.

A little Manic Monday.

People excited about the 3-day weekend but didn’t really feel like one since we’ve been on hiatus for about two months. The Outdoors packed with crowds because apparently everyone is a Bear Grylls Adventurer on the trails. But we never hit hiking on weekends, even before Covid. In fact we seldom go hiking and enjoy the beach or sports in the park more. But we did neither.

No hockey, baseball, or softball tournaments at all this weekend. And it did throw us off a bit. First time in about four years. But this weekend we still had a BBQ and feel good songs hanging in our tiny little space out back. A family affair, the mini version.

But in between the sunshine and good food I still thought about many who have recently sacrificed their lives so others could live. So I could hang out in the hot sun and take deep breaths as I looked up at the clouds.

So I took a moment this weekend and paused. Paused for gratitude. Grateful for life even if it’s restricted I still have it and not many can say that. Over 100,000 in my neck of the woods cannot. Some giving theirs in a fight.

And with all this ugliness out there these people gave someone else a chance, or at least they tried to. They were the positive in someone else’s most negative moment. So I paused for them. Reflecting.

And I pass this along as I saw it online. Made an impression on me. It is not a complete list of course, but was gathered by a guy who cared enough to go through different portals and compile a list with the information that was available. I’m humbled by their selflessness and saddened for their families. Sending peace and love to the heartbroken.

Stay on the Buen Camino friends!

This Mother’s Day Banking on Small Moments, No Chores, and Mixed Tape Soundtracks

9 May

Wishing so much to travel and be outdoors with nature this Mother’s Day Weekend, and not being able to is a bummer. Not devastating mind you, just a bummer. This is the one day out of 365 days where it’s all right to think of myself and not feel guilty.

One day.

24 hours.

Now granted I have to go on a cleaning marathon the day before with the bathrooms, the laundry, the vacuum, the mop, and the dishes, but at least that gives me a day of nothing on Sunday. Can’t say what’s waiting for me on Monday, but Sunday is clear.

24 hours.

I’ll take it.

Even if it’s indoors.

Usually I’m sitting at the ballpark cheering for my Boys in Blue hanging with my family, enjoying the sunny day and loving the little moments in between the Big League hits. The smiles of my kids as we finally reach our seats, the view of the field with newly cut grass cut in patterns, the high fives when home rubs make an appearance, the walk-up-to-the-plate songs, the bloopers on the Jumbotron, the seventh inning stretch, Clayton pitching, Justin swinging away, and Max making great plays.

But I know this isn’t for everyone.

I know some people go all out in their Sunday best with fancy church hats and heels to champagne brunch and that’s super great! Maybe I’ll do that one day.

But I’m good with jeans and a baseball cap, Dodgerdog, peanuts, and a special beverage. Simple things like that always made my day. They make me smile. Everything but the parking situation makes me smile. That’s just a whole lot of patience required after all the goodness … but it’s kind of like a regular mom day. Highs and lows.

But if my team wasn’t in town I’d drive down to the beach and spend the day with the waves, boogie boarding, feeling the ocean wash over my toes, and hanging out underneath my red Tommy Bahama umbrella. Soaking up the sun and feeling the magic that comes with living near an ocean is something that always makes me feel good Mother’s Day Weekend.

Either way I’d have a plan, and this time, even though I can’t enjoy the Great Outdoors, or cheer my Boys in Blue to celebrate my momness, I still have a plan, I guess. Just a little different this time around.

I mean I can’t say I’m angry about it at all. I’m healthy, kids are healthy. We have each other, we have family. We have food, shelter, and what we need. We haven’t suffered a Covid-19 tragedy, we’ve been one of the lucky ones. Don’t live in epicenters like New York, but just in my city alone, not my state, but my city there’s been over 30,000 cases. I recently heard that someone I went to school with died from it. Age 44. Just like that.

So even though there’s no Mother’s Day celebration I’m grateful that we’ve been lucky. Being careful and following rules have helped us out, because sometimes even when you do the right thing, there are others that don’t, and it puts everyone at risk. Even the young healthy 44 year-old guys who have little daughters.

So the fact that I’ll have restrictions this Mother’s Day doesn’t necessarily burst my bubble. It’s not miserable. It’s an opportunity to make another good story. As in, you remember the time there was the Coronavirus and we were sheltering in place, but we still rocked that Mother’s Day?

Making stories is what keeps us going. When looking back most of the time they’re the more interesting or funny stories. Sometimes they’re sad, that’s true, but most times in retrospect they’re not. They bring smiles and laughter at how you can’t believe how you got through it all. Your resolve impresses you.

It’s a date on a calendar to be recognized, yes. But celebrations can wait until it’s safe. There will be so many celebrations when this is all over. But don’t get me wrong, there’s still life, and adventure just a different way of going about it.

There will be chocolate. Definitely. Chocolate and maybe a scenic drive where we can enjoy panoramic views from the highway while listening to our own soundtrack. This year, this Mother’s Day we’re banking on the little things, small moments, a mixed tape, and no chores done by me.

But until then I send you sunshine and waves from months and months ago 🙂

Buen Camino!

Finding The Moments Adds Space

25 Apr

So in all this togetherness I’m beginning to realize that there’s not a lot of space left. Space for a breather, space to take a minute. Like to exhale. That only comes at night when everyone else is asleep. But the sun is gone and the mosquitoes are out so there’s no outdoor anything happening, not even to the small patio.

I can’t imagine what a family of five must feel like. Not any one … A working-class family of five. Oof. Or maybe just three kids under the age of five. Dude.

Parents out there … I feel you. I feeeeeel you. You have to tag out sometimes just for sanity’s sake. But what if you have no partner? What if you can’t just leave when you need to?

That’s a rough one, that’s when the grays start popping up and you immediately try to remember how to take deep breaths so as to prevent a heart attack, because you feel it rising up inside of you. The frustrations of parenting in this tight environment gets to you. I mean it makes the small space you inhabit even smaller.

Quiet always feels good to parents after sustained chaos. But I also hear that loneliness takes its toll if you’re single and don’t have the loudness surrounding you 14 hours a day. Company and conversation are missed as you can only take so much alone time or online meetings. Connection is missed. And your space feels small.

Everyone’s struggle is different. Sometimes someone else’s plate looks better. But that’s for everyone.

Hang in there parents …

So you just try to find a moment … something that made you laugh or something that ended up right after a whole lot of wrong. Dude.

Listening to good poets slam their beats and touch a heart string to create a smile. That felt good, even if it was just a couple minutes while the kids played Legos. Finding a funny sign and it making you laugh, not just smile, but laugh.

Planting a garden from scratch for Earth Day felt like an accomplishment. It will be a while before I see any results but we still took steps in the right direction.

Talking to friends on the phone in a video chat gave a few of them a very needed outlet of expression and relief.

Finding the little moments add up at the end of the day, or week … Homeschooling distance learning week three went well as all work was finished by Friday and the kids continued to learn something new not just go through the motions. Sparta and Athens. Fractions and order of operations happen in real life, like when measuring and baking banana nut bread muffins, and step two needs to happen before step 4. Clouds have names, like cumulus, and they mean something to the weather. Learning to play the Star Wars theme song on your saxophone. Recycling old crayons was the best surprise moment as it was something new and in the process we created art for Earth Day.

Baseball was still the funnest lesson as Abbott and Costello informed them on who was on first.

Finding the moments helps expands your space.

Buen Camino my friends!

🙂

Outdoor Fitness Fun, Bob Ross Art Breaks, 80s Dance Jams, Netflix, and Looking for the Last Toilet Paper Roll

17 Apr

Normally I would have been excited to have gotten two weeks of Spring Break with the kids. That opportunity never happens. We made plans for another Outdoor Adventure to see big Sequoia Trees, Redwoods, lakes and trails on a road trip that would have produced Rainman-like photos from in and out of the car.

I felt rejuvenated with the outdoor love as we returned from Colorado the month before, but just as with everyone else Coronavirus changed life and we found ourselves hanging at home and preparing for this thing called distant learning and searching for the last toilet paper role.

Yesterday marked the 30th day my part of the country hunkered down and tried to protect its people with social distancing and Stay at Home order. Our governor and mayor are rocking it, trying to help people stay alive, bend the curve, even if some aren’t smart enough to understand the severity of the situation. We are all chipping in and there are more highlight reels of Good Samaritans than of ignorance and greed. And that’s been positive and uplifting because even if some people in position of power can’t lead the regular moms and pops, young and retired are stepping up and hitting homers out of the park.

Moms or dads are educators now, they’re still in parenting mode in search of the last toilet paper roll, but now in addition to working from home they’re part time teaching. And that right there is a recipe for an 80s sitcom starring Jack Tripper as the dad or Laverne DeFazio as the mom.

That is my current state of existence. We just completed Week 2 of Distant Learning in The Guat household. And while a lot of moms who had big back yards, trampolines, pools, multiple electronics, siblings in different rooms, laptops, iPads and desktops complained about boredom in their houses and were suffering bouts of massive anxiety I paused for a moment…

Small apartment. One computer. Two kids. It would be epic.

And it was.

At least we had a patio. Legos. And enough sporting equipment to open up a Big 5 Sporting Goods.

I never really had much growing up, and my kids have more than I did but we’re not high rollers. However we’re not suffering hardships that many other families might be going through right now. Foster care. No jobs no income. Domestic abuse. No internet access. Language barriers. Coronavirus makes situations like these more intense.

So we make the most of what we’ve got and I’m always emphasizing life lessons and love. And even though I got my Zig Zigler vibe going on as we start the days, there are frustrations and whining episodes that add more gray hairs to my new salt and pepper silver fox look.

They miss their friends. They miss being part of a team. They miss walking through the hallways with construction paper art on doors and seeing the everyday faces of kids in the crowds. They miss laughing at inside jokes during recess by the red playground, or walking from their lockers and headed towards lunch with their friends. They miss playing in games. They miss high-fiving and hugging their teammates when they score. They miss the energy, the cheers, and the vibe. They misssssssssssss it.

But we get through it, through it with outdoor exercise breaks, indoor family fitness fun, books, Bob Ross art sessions, Mo Willems drawing workshops, old school home economics, Monopoly battles, 80s dance jams, Netflix, humor and eating breakfast in pajamas.

Week one was for setting up a routine, getting the hang of online assignments, moving into the groove of homeschooling and still searching for the last toilet paper roll. Week two revved up the material and tested my flow. But we’re fine. It’s more laid back than our regular schedule of massive homework with soccer, hockey, baseball, and softball practices. There’s no more GO-GO-GO-GO we’re gonna be late! Do your homework before we need to leave. Don’t forget about your report. We’ve got to be on schedule! That schedule that’s written in a rainbow of Sharpie markers on the calendar that all moms and dads live by because if you didn’t the whole day turns into a disaster of epic proportions!

There’s none of that now. No Sharpie Marker schedule. We have nowhere to go, nowhere to be. Things slowed down. And we’re okay with that. Today we’re okay.

Buen Camino my friends!