Social Distance Diary, Day 6: Sprouting Joy

Hey there, neighbors. How are you doing? I’ve been wondering about how people are coping, so I thought I’d start sharing my own experience here in a Social Distance Diary. The purpose is to share and connect, and record some of the details of these strange times. This is the first installment, and I’m calling it Day 6 because schools were closed six days ago. I’ll try to keep this up regularly, if not daily, for the duration.

I actually started the distancing earlier, and got serious about it on Friday, March 13, when I kept my son home from PK3 because I was home anyway, and because I was scared. I remember at the time I wondered: “Is this an overreaction?”

I think that being sequestered with a 3-year-old is particularly difficult, although I am definitely trying to empathize other people’s situations. It must be hard with teenagers, and it must be hard to be solo too.

I’ve been looking for the bright spots. Here’s one. On Monday, we went to AJ’s school to pick up his “distance learning” packet (coloring sheets and art supplies, basically). While there, his teacher asked if I would take a plant. The plant was a sunflower seed in a wet paper towel in a baggie. It and other types of seeds were taped in the classroom window. AJ and his classmates would have watched these seeds sprout and grow together over the next weeks. I took the sunflower seed baggie and put it in my window at home.

Yesterday we checked it, and we had a sprout! AJ was so excited. His daddy planted it in an orange solo cup, and there it is on our windowsill. I’m looking forward to seeing it grow, hopefully not killing it and maybe planting it outside one of these days. I shared the pics with his teachers and felt happy and connected for a bit.

Tomorrow I hope to share some of the other ways we’ve managed to entertain the kid. I don’t have anything groundbreaking, that’s for sure.

I’m going to end each diary entry with a note of gratitude, because gratitude is a proven way to increase joy. Here it goes:

Today I am grateful for …

This neighborhood. I feel very lucky to live in a beautiful and vibrant place, and I love the walkability, which seems even more precious now. I am grateful to live alongside smart and community-minded people. Thanks, neighbors, for being awesome.

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