10 Weeks And Counting

It’s almost a full month since my last coronavirus chronicle, but I’m happy to say that the world slowly and carefully started going back to normal this past week.

Coronavirus restrictions started to first loosen here in the U.S.A on May1st. The day everything changed was March 11. As of today it has been 2 months since our state of Illinois officially went into full quarantine—it was that day that I started this, The Coronavirus Chronicles. And I’m not the only tree in the forest.

The Other Coronavirus Chronicles

The current journalism class of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism started a website by the same name as my series of blog article/posts to document life in NY.

There are others doing the same thing as us, and it’ll be interesting what famous books, movies, even television, springs from this time. Just imagine for example, a middle school history teacher in 2300 teaching about the 2000 century: “Then in the 2020s there was a presidential impeachement, a global pandemic, a massive economic depression, and threat of WWIII.” If things go well things will go back to normal by the end of this year. But if they don’t, imagine a student in that middle school history class example asking the teacher “what years?” and he/she responds “the first five months of 2020.” So much has happened so fast, how could anyone not want to chronicle this? Let’s just hope we don’t resume business as usual too soon, for during the 1918 flu, San Francisco lifted its lockdown early — and direly paid the price.

“We’re all going to die and there won’t be any one to remember our stories. You’re life is pointless. Our people and our memories will all burn…”

Brad Pitt on the Jim Jefferies Show Weatherman (playing a weatherman), February 2019

We need chroniclers, we need historians, we need diarists, memoirists, journalists, storytellers…

Picture It…The World, 2020

If you don’t know The Golden Girls by now, “Picture it…Sicily _______” is a catchphrase of the popular character Sophia Petrillo. And the image above is from a funny episode where there’s a hurricane about to hit Florida hard. Someone cleverly photoshopped it to “I’m Ready Take Me Pandemic ’20” instead of “I’m Ready Take Me Hurrican ’91.” The character of Sophia lived through a lot, so she had many stories to tell.

“Storytelling, you know, has a real function. The process of the storytelling is itself a healing process, partly because you have someone there who is taking the time to tell you a story that has great meaning to them. They’re taking the time to do this because your life could use some help, but they don’t want to come over and just give advice. They want to give it to you in a form that becomes inseparable from your whole self. That’s what stories do. Stories differ from advice in that, once you get them, they become a fabric of your whole soul. That is why they heal you.”

Alice Walker

The stories I have to tell center around the terrible twos mostly and they should explain why I have included that Golden Girls meme above.

The Agony And The Escapades

Our dear daughter has done quite a bit of destruction in this short span of time. I think things got really heady April 22nd because Eileah and I were working on our first window art for the 1st Neighborhood Window Walk theme.

I was inspired by my Chicago childhood of putting up window art during holidays to create this Neighborhood Window Walk activity for Tinley Park families, where there would be a different theme and kids and their parents put up their artwork of the theme on a window easily visible to the street. The idea was to make people feel less alone and to feel connected, because we are all going through this together, but the distance and isolation creates a disconnect.

The floor looked like a Degas rough draft of oil pastels. Ever since then we’ve had to do at least 1-2 emergency laundry washes a week. But I’m hoping the first week of May was the worst of this. On May 6th she destroyed a few minor pixels on our flatscreen TV. It’s barely noticeable when the TV is on, but when it’s off the pixels look like stars in the nightsky.

The next day, May 7th she dismantled my work desk downstairs. I don’t quite remember why Geoffrey my husband didn’t stop her, since he was downstairs; I think I blotted the memory of the incident from my memory as a coping mechanism. But then again, she works fast…all todllers do. They are almost unstable.

The list goes of the calamity that has befallen our home. I can’t even begin to tell you about the escapades when we’re out in the neighborhood when we get our fresh air and exercise. When things reached a fever pitch Geoffrey and I thought of that muscial sequence at the beginning of The Prince of Egypt (1998); specifically that lyric which is also the song’s title: Deliver Us. We are not the only parents who wish this…if only our young children could take more naps.

This is me when my daughter asks for chocolate milk…again. I’ve become her bartender. Instead of ‘days of wine and roses,’ our home has become ‘days of chocolate milk and messes.’ 

Suffice it to say the terrible twos are in full swing since her birthday, which unfortunately fell during the beginning of quarantine.

They say “find a group tof women that are going through the same thing that can support you and that you can support in return,” but we are hostages right now. Finding time to do anything for ourselves is challenging. Why else has it been almost a month since I last wrote? We parents would have to communicate when our jailers are asleep. But as Taraji P. Henson so aptly put it “If you sit on that toilet and you don’t flush that shit, it’s going to consume you.” In a recent article Taraji talked about how appearing strong is an unfair burden to put on yourself when you have so many feelings that demand to be felt. I quite agree, but for parents and mothers especially, it’s difficult to allow yourself to take off that façade of strength and composure in front of your child. You want to be their anchor, you don’t want them to worry, and you don’t want them to think you’re weak. But there is a balance between being a good mom who shows how to keep their chin up and show frailty. We owe it to society to raise children who don’t obsess about being perfect.

So in the meantime, as we parents carry on through these sort of Lord of the Flies conditions, with these wild childern who have taken over our homes which have become hotel islands of solitude and chaos, where we must constantly clean up after them and try to administer law and order, heed this advice from my mother-in-law:

I don’t mean to encourage dependence on alcohol, but this quarantine has made it acceptable to drink at all hours you know. In any case, whatever your poison (be it chocolate, ice cream, cheescake, etc.) by all means use what you have for morale support. If there’s one thing we should learn from our kids it is how to indulge ourselves–within moderation of course.

The other thing that makes getting through the terrible twos during a quarantine is my husband (and of course our dog Samantha who has been our rock). Geoffrey has always been a helpful husband, but during this time it’s especially important having a ride-or-die husband because we are juggling a lot. There is more pressure than ever on parents right now, so I’m very grateful to have a partner riding this wild wave with me.

Until next time. Sayonara moms.

P.S. 6 years ago on this date was our civil ceremony aboard the Disney Fantasy; 2 days before our formal wedding ceremony at sea.

You can follow me on social media for all the latest vetted updates on Coronavirus and Tinley Park. Here’s the link to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tinleyparkmom/

Tinley Park Businesses

Small businesses are a vital part of the economy. Here are links to a directory of local Tinley Park businesses that are still open during this time:

Tinley Park Business Directory
Tinley Park Takeout and Curbside Pick-up Restaurants

Also, my business is offering free 30-minute consultations until things get back to normal and businesses can reopen. If you know a business that needs help with their marketing, like getting their e-commerce site set up, figuring out technical stuff, etc. my agency Geoffresh Inc. – SEO Web Design can help. We are offering one 30 minute free virtual consultation to each business that contacts us during this pandemic to help. If the quarantine is prolonged, we will be extending this. It can be the smallest thing or the biggest thing someone needs help with. Please share this photo and our business link geoffresh.com with anyone you know who could use some help. Time slots are filling up quickly.


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