The ‘quarantimes’ category

Quarantimes Week 16: Existentialism and Fairness

June 30th, 2020

Eliza asked me, “Would you give up coffee to keep me from dying?”

My daughters are really into existential questions right now. It’s cute, but also unsettling. 

They’re also extremely into fairness, down to the letter. Or the number of banana slices. Or whose turn it is in I Spy. Think of something you couldn’t possibly compete over. My daughters can.

Staying tuned into their cognitive and emotional development is riveting in these times when time itself is amorphous. I have kept track of the number of weeks that has transpired since life as we know it shifted irrevocably. We are in the sixteenth. I am finding a fine balance between parenting and working as full-time as I can. My mom has stepped in to make life manageable. My husband is still going to his job every day. The school year came and went. 

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Can I just say a public shoutout to the teachers at my daughters’ school who went above and beyond over these last few months? Remote learning doesn’t really jive for my 5-year-olds, but these people did every single thing they could to make it work, from every angle. They sent home Montessori learning materials and came up with incredible ad hoc activities. They took the time to read my kids books and play games with them over Zoom. They helped us stay connected to the community. They pivoted hard, under a lot of pressure, and they did it all while homeschooling their own kids and learning how to use computers!

We love you, Rebecca, Mariam, Cheryl, and Jonathan!

Like everyone, I have had bouts of unschooling fervor where I thought, we’re already doing this; maybe we should just keep doing it? Sending them back into the crowds of kids is scary, and the fact that they’ll be wearing masks when it happens is dismaying. In all honesty, they are thriving here in the wilderness, playing outside for hours every day, making up lengthy, imaginative stories, playing the hell out of wooden trains, and teaching themselves to spell. Yes, their speech is going to shit, but maybe they’ll grow out of that. And they are totally unsocialized, at this point, but then again, so is their dad.

Yet, at the end of the day, we are lucky to be a part of a brilliant rural Montessori program, and whether or not school is normal or even full-time this year, we’re invested in going back to it. In the meantime, we have most of a summer left ahead of us, which is going to take a lot of creativity — and possibly some ad hoc speech therapy.

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What I’m reading: 

Black People in the US Were Enslaved Well into the 1960s on Vice

In National Geographic this month, where I get all my slow news, Photos from inside a tree reveal intimate lives of wild honeybees (I think you have to be a subscriber to see the online version though)

I have had a lot of questions and this answered many of them: How Are My Kids Still Getting Sick In Lockdown?

In Search of King David’s Lost Empire in the New Yorker — I have now read this piece three times. The tenuous connection between Biblical folklore and real history is so fascinating to me. And archaeologists amaze me.

What I‘m watching:

For movie night we watched Despicable Me 3. I have fully succumbed. But this series is one of the better ones as far as Disney/Pixar is concerned. 

What I’m listening to:

Andrew Bird

What I’m eating: 

These ridiculous cookies I made from one of my favorite cookbooks, Smitten Kitchen Every Day. You can’t find the recipe online, but I highly recommend this cookbook.

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What I’m working on:

For Helpshift: The Integral Role of Customer Service in Making a D2C Model Work

For January Ventures: Rising Startups To Watch With Diverse Founders

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