It could only happen in the movies. A contagion of epic proportions affects the world, and life, as we know it, changes drastically. Except now, what once could have been considered just wild imaginings of an ingenious scriptwriter has turned into everybody’s reality. Seven months of staying (mostly) within the confines of our homes has forced us all to adapt to a new way of living.
The Early Days
I must admit that the first few weeks of the pandemic were riddled with anxiety and unease. I refused to write or watch the news, cooked incessantly, and prayed harder than ever. Days were spent in our backyard. The pool that was seldom used became an outlet for pent-up energy and an ideal place to get much-needed sunshine. The kids and I bonded over board games and binged on Netflix shows. We bought two big freezers and a chiller. Groceries were bathed in chlorine water and soap. It was (is) the time to be overly cautious for everybody’s safety. Every bedroom had a UVKleene Anion Air Purifier, in addition to an Area Sanitizer on the first floor, and UV wands were used to disinfect every package before it entered the house. Meals included hefty servings of fruits and vegetables. Staying healthy was (is) the number one priority. Looking back now, the good thing that came out of stocking up on supplies was that not only were we constantly eating healthy food, I was also able to share the fare with the village guards, my elderly neighbors, and nearby hospitals as well.
Working as a Unit
Two months ago, online school started, and it brought on a new set of challenges. I have a nine-year-old girl in Grade 4 and a 17-year-old boy in senior high. The new way of learning in this new normal had its early hitches, but both kids are doing well under the circumstances. Everybody pitches in so that our home functions like a well-oiled machine. My boy provides tech support and Math tutorials to his little sister. Daddy finds time away from his numerous teleconferences to do Science experiments with his daughter and buy additional reference books for the son. I, on the other hand, am in charge of everything else. It’s fortunate, too, that I have a stock of school supplies that range from art materials, sewing kits, folders to glue, glitter, and sharpeners. Together, we are declaring small victories in these trying times.
My daughter and I even have our own little side projects which keep our days busy. The kitchen often looks like a laboratory as we experiment with different recipes. To date, we have cooked pasta dishes, baked snickerdoodles, and made oatmeal cinnamon cream pies. Then there’s our green venture, which both of us are very proud of. I highly discourage idleness, so after she is done reading a chapter of her assigned book for the week, we put our gloves on and head to our new favorite spot out back. In the long, narrow plant box that lines the east wall of our house, we planted various seeds. Gardening is not an easy task by any measure. With much care, watering, and pruning, my little apprentice and I have now successfully grown our own vegetable patch! It’s truly a marvel to see our healthy ochres, bell peppers, and our lush malunggay tree.
Keeping the Faith
So we are where we are, and there’s no telling when we can step into the outside world again sans masks and face shields. I am certain though, that this is temporary. No matter how long the wait is, things are bound to change for the good. The important thing now is to maintain a positive mindset—to be healthy physically and mentally. As parents, the children look to us for guidance. After our nightly prayers, I always tell them, “ Do your best because better days are coming!” And just like in the movie scenes where people emerge from panic rooms after a deadly storm or earthlings discover a new habitable planet, there will be a successful conclusion to this extraordinary time. Yes, we must all have faith that better days are coming, and hopefully, with God’s grace, it will be soon.
Wife, fierce mom to two sharp-witted kids, corporate lawyer, passionate writer, bibliophile, world wanderer, and fashion enthusiast – these are just some of the hats that Paulyne wears. She’s most comfortable, though, in her invisible tiara, which empowers her to conquer the world. Catch a glimpse of The Busy Queen P’s life as she shares her adventures in parenting and beyond.
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