The boys go back to school tomorrow! After four months of learning French and Social Studies online, they will be back in a classroom with real friends instead of virtual ones. This age of their life should be buffeted by middle school angst, yet instead they’ve remained safely cocooned in the web of home. Is that a bad thing or a good thing? At home, I get to hear their teachers voices and see how they behave in class. I give them vegetables and know who likes hot leftovers for lunch (Eli and Mike), or pretzel rolls with cheese (Jake). When I telework there is time for laundry and starting dinner, and to observe the sleeping habits of the cat. COVID, despite everything, has also been four months of pretty cool life experiences we wouldn’t otherwise have had.

We wake up and make breakfast, with extra time to sleep because there are no lunches to pack or books to find. The stressful rhythm of a morning focused on not missing the bus is replaced by a calm ritual of pancakes and smoothies. Days can pass without getting in the car. Here are some other things that we’ve had time for, thanks to COVID.

Making Wine

1000 Pieces of Cereal

Homemade Ravioli

Wooden Models

Swimming in a Snowy Mineral Pool

A Recipe for Linzer Torte.

Drinking Coke from a Siphon

Virtual Violin Lessons

Working With Mike

Baking Projects

Teaching Gus to Walk In the Snow

Hot Chocolate and Shoveling the Driveway

Long Hikes

Long Swims

An Ice Skating Rink All to Ourselves

Pink Lemonade

And Seeing What the World Looks Like, All Alone in a Field of Snow

The best part about COVID is that we don’t rush anymore. Nobody is anxious to get to school or to work, and it’s wonderful how many minutes a day we do not spend rushing. There is time to see the sun rise and the snow melt in our own backyard.

There are as many problems as there are people, but COVID unites us in this suffering. Before, we were all unique and our attachments had to be taken on faith. We had to look for others that suffered like us, or at least hope that they did. There are still as many sufferings as there are people, outnumbered only by the infinity of the stars. If only COVID, like the stars, could be swallowed by the dim light of the Universe.

For these other memories though, I hope they never disappear.