Those of you with unreliable lower backs are probably intimately familiar with the sensation of a warning shot across the bow — like, your back isn’t out, but it’s really unhappy with you and now you have to do that pinched-butt shuffle when you walk because Shit Isn’t Great, Bob.

(I didn’t even do anything. I was turning around in the bathroom to get a towel and my back was just like NOPE. That’s some annoying old person crap right there.)

It’s better now but I was quite worried for a bit that I would be laid up and wouldn’t that just be the icing on the crap sundae, ongoing long walks have suddenly become one of the most important parts of my day right now. If nothing else this strange way of life has certainly made me appreciate the things I can do, and that are available to me — although I must say that my reaction when my streamed movie kept glitching out two nights ago was not exactly full of generous-perspective patience (it was a shameful combo of “Is this regular Internet trouble or is civilization as we know it officially in the process of permanent collapse” and “WHY GOD WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME PERSONALLY??”).

I am slowly losing that dreamlike feeling where everything felt like a Hollywood script (cue the spinning large-print headlines and somber news anchors!) and I guess this is what it’s like to move past total disbelief and into the land of Okay, What Now. Dylan was with his grandparents most of the week and now that he’s home the boys are back to fighting over every tiny blessed thing and so I spent some time last night working up a schedule for them:

8 AM – 9 AM: Free screen time
9-9:30 book reading
9:30-10: Khan academy math (Khan is free)
10-11: Watch an episode of Crash Course in World History
Write a short presentation of what you learned and present to Mom & Dad
11-12: break for walk/bball/outside stuff
12: lunch
12:30-1:00 journaling
1-2 Khan academy grammar
2-3 Research and science: Keep track of the news and how the various countries are responding to the pandemic. Create a daily presentation of news and updates for mom and dad.

It doesn’t seem hugely strenuous on their end but is probably comically optimistic, we’ll see. Both kids were like “Wait, I thought school was canceled, this is bullshit,” but the alternative is me slowly spiraling into madness while James Franco’s gold teeth intone “Spring break forevaaaaa…” over and over.

Stay sane out there, friends.


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4 years ago

Could not stop laughing over your reactions to streaming issues! Always love hearing from you.

4 years ago

Hard SAME related to fear around streaming issues I have a serious immune deficiency and am in the high-risk category, but yet most of my super panicky feelings have been about losing internet service due to high demand. Not logical, but it’s where I’m at right now.

I have 13 year-old daughter and your schedule seems about perfect. She’s an only child, so no fighting issues, but a lot of guilt on my part that she’s lonely and can’t hang out with friends. Thanks for writing right now, it’s always great to read your posts.