Many years ago, when my boys were small, I was on the phone with either my mom or brother (I can’t remember which), and I suddenly yelled into the phone—at a young child—nice—“no throwing dwarfs!” It became a family joke, embodying the things you end up saying and doing that you never thought you would. Why did we have dwarf toys? Why were they being thrown? Why was I yelling about it? At twenty years old, would I have ever envisioned any of that?
That memory comes up for me today because of all the things in the past few weeks that I could never have envisioned myself doing. Some have been fantastic and some have completely sucked. All of them are weird.
I’m not talking here about the obvious changes like doing online therapy and online school and never leaving the house. I’m talking about the small, specific moments that make you shake your head in wonder and confusion when you stop and think about them.
Last night, I played beer pong with my husband and two oldest boys. Weird.
I had a virtual “houseparty” with my college roommates. Cool, but weird.
I’ve played online board games about four times in the past week. Who’d have thought that was even possible?
My living room has been scrapbooking central, with my husband and two of three sons participating in the album-making fun. Never, ever would have predicted that!
Video chats for book club and with family in San Jose, Livermore, Texas, Marin, Washington, and Florida.
I’ve watched rebroadcasts of basketball games (note the plural here) from two and three years ago. (Forget the fact that I’m even a basketball fan in the first place!)
I put on a homemade mask to grocery shop that made me look like I was going to rob the store.
And don’t even get me started on Tiger King!
Every day, there are one or two or twenty of these moments. And all I can do is shake my head in wonder and confusion and accept that this is how it is right now. I am grateful for many of these moments because I’m feeling deeply connected with so many people right now, even if I can’t physically be with most of them. I am also sad and frustrated, drained and stressed by the moments that make me feel completely off-balance and insecure. I’m trying to accept all of it—the good and the bad, the comfort and the despair, the connection and the distance—although there are days when that is easier and days that it is much, much harder.
How about you? What are the moments you can’t believe?