popoI’ve watched the daily number tick up in the past few months, so it’s not like I wasn’t aware of how long I have been writing this blog. But I have to admit, writing “Day 100” in today’s headline felt pretty weird. But I thought I’d celebrate with this sweet hat Amelia made for her 100th day of kindergarten a while back.
First I wondered, was this Internet bloggy thing even equipped to move into double digits like that? Would I experience some kind of Y2K glitch that would send me back to 00 and thus the beginning of quarantine? Had that happened, I would have bought more disinfecting wipes and fewer cannellini beans this time around.
Hitting a marker like this feels like it warrants a little reflection. It is a little surreal looking back on posts from the very beginning. We were just starting to wrap our heads around this, and the thing I’m most struck by is my own underlying thinking that COVID quarantine was going to be a weird little blip on the radar. Everything was happening so fast, and we knew so little, I wasn’t much thinking past a week or two in the future. Maybe it was going to last a few weeks or month, but I guarantee I didn’t think I’d be writing this 100 days later.
While it feels like forever ago, I still have a distinct recollection of how this started. It was the first day the kids were home from school as a result of COVID, and I’d seen plenty of parents from a patchwork of states posting about the stresses of working with the kids at home. At that point, some states were shutting down, others weren’t, and everyone was freaking out about the prospect of home schooling, even for a few weeks.
I came up with the idea of Ps and Q as a Facebook group for parents to share suggestions, successes and horror stories, and figured I’d write a little here and there to post in the group.
I remember in the first blog, referring to the shutdown as “extended spring break,” because that’s what it was. Our school district just had the kids vacate school a week early, and there was a vague understanding it would be temporary.
From early on, I had the feeling that this was a serious issue, and from a scientific point of view, I couldn’t tell you why I was thinking it would only be a few weeks back then. I didn’t have any reason to believe that. In all honesty, I think I couldn’t really process the idea of being on lockdown indefinitely. That was probably pretty overwhelming for all of us to process while the world was changing at warp speed.
After writing a few days in a row, I challenged myself to keep it up. For years I’ve been trying to shake off the writing rust and get into an actual writing habit. Building habits is hard. It’s hard for any of us, and it’s particularly hard for a guy like me whose mind tends to wander and who gets distracted pretty easily.
Hey, I wonder if I still have the soundtrack for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in the basement? I like that Extreme song and I really don’t want to have to pay for it again on iTunes.
Anyway, back to the blog, I made it for a week, and then two, and then three. There were lots of days, especially in the early going, that I just wanted to skip a day or say to hell with it altogether. But underneath it, I wanted to prove to myself that I could stick to something. At day 100, there’s a part of me that still isn’t convinced, so onward I go.
It was also important for me to write this because I want to remember this time, and I want the kids to remember it too. It’s amazing how memory tends to capture the broad strokes but forgets a lot of the details. Even during the last 100 days, I’ve had people mention something I’d written about a week before and I’ve had the realization that I’d already forgotten that thing. Good thing I wrote it down. Part of that is normal passage of time during an era of crisis, and part of it is that I don’t have the best memory.
I thought then and continue to think now that this is a period worthy of remembering the details. This will be a notable piece of the kids life and I want to be able to tell them more than, “we stayed in the house for like a year and worried about finding toilet paper for a while.”
I’m sad to admit I don’t have the best memory. Deja vu, I feel like I’ve said that somewhere before. Weird.
We have come a long way since March. We’ve gotten used to a lot of the strange things like mask wearing and avoiding public spaces. It still sucks, but we’re more used to it. It feels like we’re learning more about the disease all the time. Some bad, like finding out that it affects lots of functions outside lungs. Some good, like probably all the wiping down of groceries from the store isn’t really necessary.
For me personally, I’m so far winning the dare with myself to do this, and writing this blog every day has become something I look forward to. I will be the first to admit that not every post is exactly inspired, but I figure if I keep up the process I’ll stumble into a hit here and there.
I do want to take a moment and offer a huge thanks to Erin and the kids, who not only provide me with things to write about, they also provide me with inspiration, joy and the drive to keep moving forward.
And I also want to offer a sincere thanks to anyone reading this. Whether you’re a daily reader or just check it out now and then, sharing this with you means a lot to me. It’s also helped keep me honest because a big part about building a positive habit is accountability. While I don’t expect angry letters from anyone if I miss a day, it still helps me to know you are out there.
So thank you, and I hope you join me again over the next…however many days of this thing are left. Stay safe out there.