There are my boys that I hung out with today. They are so easy that it's hardly accurate to call what I do with them baby-sitting. I simply and actually hang out and am there if problems arise or if books need reading or snacks need making or a diaper needs changing. I took a bag of books from here for us to read. Old favorites and a few we've never read before. We probably spent at least two hours or more reading. I love to discuss the pictures with August and Levon, too. They point out to me which of the characters is them, which is me. Which might be Owen or Maggie or Boppy. We study the illustrations closely for further illumination of the stories. We discuss the meanings of words that some of us may not have encountered before. We do in-depth readings of our books. And it is my true joy.
Vergil came up from his lair in the basement where he works to fix his lunch and got Levon down for a nap. I had tried but I don't have the technique. When he woke up, I gave the boys a delicious snack of graham crackers and soy milk. They dip the crackers into the milk and are happy little guys although they both look a bit stunned in these pictures.
Jessie isn't doing work with patients yet, but has been in a classroom. She feels confident that she isn't being exposed to anything. Of course one never knows but if one weighs one's options carefully and pragmatically, a certain amount of confidence can be had. And she washed and changed clothes before she did anything when she got in.
As we do now.
It's so funny. On the outside I think I appear to be as calm and rational as anyone could be. I listened to some of today's update from the Not Great Pretender and his panel of experts and I have to say that for having lost so much time and opportunity at the beginning of this whole thing, they seem to be trying to catch up now. It will never be what it could have been if Trump hadn't gotten rid of the pandemic team, had been able to let that team go to work on this issue back in January (or before) and also accepted tests and supplies from other sources outside the US. There is no doubt about any of that. But I swear to you- I think they're playing catch-up as fast as they can and it all seems a bit more in place than it was a week ago.
So yes, I am trying to contain anxiety, to remember that the worldwide death rate is not hugely alarming at this point, to be calm and accepting and sensible.
On the other hand, I am constantly scratching at some damn hivey place on my body. It's intense and impossible not to give in to at least some scratching. I'm using Benadryl cream on the areas affected and that does help but it doesn't magically make it all go away and my body is so clever that it changes the itchy, red, swollen places day-by-day, even hour-by-hour.
And on we go in this different reality. I am constantly being thankful that we do have our services, the electricity, the water. There is gas to buy and food, too, although I hear that people are starting to stockpile that more seriously. I am more grateful than ever for the life I have here with my husband, my chickens, my garden, my flowering trees and bushes, the sweet smell of the tea olive, the song of the birds, the view I have of trees and sky, the graceful walls and sturdy floors of this old house which has seen so much and sheltered so many through more changes than I can imagine.
I'm trying not to worry.
Time for me to go make up a loaf of Irish soda bread for our supper and put the cabbage and carrots and potatoes in with the corned beef. I'm pretty excited about that.
As always, in normal days and in strange days, in normal ways and in unusual ways, it is the little things.
And little people we love who distract us from checking the news every five minutes.
It is what it is. We change and we adapt or we risk so very much.
All things must pass. All things must pass away.