Greg wakes up before dawn to get to work by 6AM. I wake up at 6:10 when the speaker robot turns on my bedroom lamp and starts blaring the Mad About You theme song. It’s impossible to go back to sleep. By design. There is no time to linger when school and work start in the same place at 8AM.
I make sure Noah’s alarm went off, get Louise up and supervise her getting dressed. Greg leaves instructions and ingredients for breakfast on the counter so that I do not have to think. He also programs the coffee maker to start at 6:40. He loves me.
Noah and I walk Louise to school. And it’s wonderful. We laugh and talk about the weather. The kids ask questions and make up games and try to leap over sidewalk cracks. We say goodbye. Then we wave at the window. And throw hugs and kisses. Noah and I walk back to the house to start the next part of the day.
Log on by 8AM, sign on to Teams, answer emails, help with passwords, write, get my kid a snack, make phone calls, find the right folder, write some more, make lunches.
We go on our recess walk. We find mushrooms and butterflies. Talk about trees and books. Try to outdo each other making up alliterative sentences. It’s wonderful.
Greg gets home by 12:30 to work remotely and help with school. Then I head to the museum. I have meetings, write, brainstorm with my friends, write some more, drink coffee, and come home. Greg makes dinner, which is wonderful. We eat, clean the kids, supervise piano practice, play games, read books, get the kids to bed, and then sit, exhausted.
It is tiring and difficult. It has moments of joy and many more of gratitude. It’s not ideal, but we are lucky and the parameters of our life remain kind.
At least, that was our routine. For an entire week and half. Then I caught a cold, took a sick day, and decided to be a responsible adult and work completely remotely for the rest of the week so as to not spread it around the museum. And the whole fragile artifice leaned. The precarious balance that we won for a week and half folded in and creased at the corners.
So we start again. Maybe this time we’ll make it 2 weeks before we pivot, yet again.