The world feels so heavy right now. Moments throughout the day I feel like there’s an elephant sitting on my chest. Pushing down, into my heart, breaking it piece by piece.
Like there’s a water fountain behind my eyes. Forcing water out of my face in the form of tears rolling down my cheeks.
Like there’s a ticker in my mind wondering when the next freak out will come. Counting down the seconds to panic…
What will be next?
This weekend, I was scrolling through social media when I saw my sister tagged me in a Tiger King meme that made me laugh so hard I nearly peed myself.
And then I laughed some more.
Thinking of how ridiculous that show is and how ridiculous life feels right now. Like how my 2-year-old keeps running around without her diaper on and how Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Airheads have basically become a food group for me at this point.
Because there are no rules anymore. There’s very little structure. Routine? Yeahhh, that’s pretty much gone, too.
And I need to laugh about that.
Because if I don’t laugh, I might break.
And I can’t break.
So I’m laughing. (Right now, anyway.)
This time of the coronavirus will remind me of a lot of sadness—sadness I don’t even want to get into right now. But it will also remind me of happy things and silly things. Ridiculous things and outrageous things.
Like, it will remind me not only of Tiger King and eating more candy than I did that really successful Halloween in sixth grade, but also of making homemade pasta together as a family while my husband and I snuck pieces of the dough and our children got themselves covered in so much flour they looked like the guy from the movie Powder.
It’ll remind me of TikTok and learning the “I’m a Savage” dance in the bathroom at 2 am because I couldn’t sleep (true story, because… well, I am in fact a savage).
It’ll remind me of diving so hardcore into the Upper East Side world of Gossip Girl because after finishing Tiger King, I needed to be transported to another world that is not the strange new one I am currently living in 24/7.
It’ll remind me of, quite possibly my most outrageous online shopping purchase to date—an inflatable hot tub. (Here’s to $100—and free shipping!—attempting to buy me a sliver of happiness.)
It’ll remind me of rolling my eyes at my husband while I listen to my kindergartener tell her teacher and classmates how she’s been “playing with makeup and sleeping a lot” during her Zoom call.
It’ll remind me of the stress I felt, then giggled at while scheduling more virtual meetings and appointments for my 4-year-old than I ever have as a work-from-home mom. “Sorry, they can’t take your FaceTime at 11 am because of her livestream zoo visit. How’s noon for you?”
It’ll remind me of commiserating with my cousin all the way in Ireland—about all of the same things because we’re basically in the same exact situation as each other no matter the time or professional or lifestyle differences.
It’ll remind me of chatting with one of my siblings in the Houseparty app then all of our other siblings descending into the call one by one to just shoot the breeze for the five hundredth time in one day. To talk about nothing, and do nothing—together.
It’ll remind me of trying to watch Palm Sunday mass online with our kids while the picture is sideways on the TV because we can’t get the iPhone mirroring app to work correctly, two children are half-naked, one child is loudly chomping on Pirates Booty and I’m sipping coffee on the couch in my pajamas.
It’ll remind me of my husband’s panicked face when my 2-year-old bursts into our “office” (bedroom) chanting “Frozen 2! Frozen 2!” during a team call that he was not muted on.
It’ll remind me of tagging each other in and out of our work days like a blurry relay race, shuffling laptops and keyboards every which way, inside and outside, in this room then that room, saying, “You good?” before we make coffee to chug and take our turn to get quiet, child-free work done.
It’ll remind me of our kindergartener losing her second tooth and rummaging through the house for cash—because we never have any on hand—and celebrating when we finally found a dollar to leave(!), which we then forgot to leave(!), and ultimately had to do some backtracking and CIA level recon to salvage the situation.
It’ll remind me of tortilla chips and queso being considered an acceptable lunch for myself. Of my new hobby that is baking bread and then eating the whole loaf. Of friends driving by with signs, saying hi from the road. Of YouTube art videos for kids being considered “art class.” Of the constant wonder how we can still be generating laundry when we all seem to be wearing the same exact clothes every day like we’re Doug Funny.
Of weirdness. Of sadness. Of togetherness. Of happiness. Of wild worry and love and insanity, all rolled into one.
Of a strange time in history that we’ll tell our grandchildren about.
The tough time in our lives where—a convict who really loved tigers, a boatload of candy (and, okay, other groceries, too) delivered by the great and essential postal and delivery workers, choreographed dance videos on an app called TikTok, funny memes of the cluster that is working from home/caring for children/homeschooling/cooking/cleaning, and healthcare worker superheroes—got us through.
Because we will get through this. And a little laughter will help.