Monday, April 27 2020

real life, catch, and knife skills

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Hope you're having a good Monday morning so far. It feels good to begin another work week. The weekend flew by quickly, but I got at least one nap in and plenty of time outside, so I'm not complaining. Feeling rested and appreciative, I'm ready to jump back into work.

Although if I were to be honest with you, I think the real reason I'm ready to jump back into work is that I don't expect to finish out the week. Marissa is now at the stage of pregnancy where it just looks like she's concealing a full sized baby under her shirt at all times. I can almost count the fingers and toes protruding from her stomach. I believe the medical term for this stage of pregnancy is hella preggo.

So, with the nearing possibility that my entire work TODO list could be wiped out at a moment's notice, it's no wonder why I'm feeling so nonchalant about everything.

Sip. Is it just me, or does life kind of feel busy again? I remember when the quarantine first started, I was so amused by how much more free time made its way back into my life. With nowhere to go, and nothing to do outside of the house, daily life lurched backwards like someone was pumping the brakes on a car. I even remember making jokes to people, saying "we had a busy week, I think we're just going to hang around the house this weekend - we're a little burnt out by people." A month ago, that joke was landing pretty well, and there was a shared understanding that everyone was starved for social interaction.

Maybe it's just me, but this week, that sounds like a perfectly valid excuse. Zoom calls with friends, emails, messages, chores, and other work around the house can really fill a week, and "we're a little burnt out by people" sounds perfectly valid.

So the way I see it, there are two possibilities. Either the novelty of stay-at-home life needed to wear off before the demands of life could be felt again, or we're all just accustomed to doing much less now.

"Do you ever worry that we might go out into the real world and just find everything to be so exhausting?" I asked Marissa. "What if the first month of regular life just kicks our ass because we're not used to doing things?"

Marissa laughed and nodded. "I thought about that, I think it's a real possibility."

Whenever real life opens back up again, it could get hectic. Ironically, I may have to wean myself back into my wily socializing, errand-running pre-covid lifestyle. Keep a look out for that, I guess.

Yesterday was restful. Marissa hung out with Rodney all morning so I could write, and afterwards I joined them outside.

"I tried playing baseball with Rodney and I think he was disappointed," said Marissa squinting up at me in the bright morning sunlight.

"Oh yeah?" I replied. "What happened?"

"Well, first off I told him that I can't leave this chair. Big momma ain't even bending over to pick up the ball. I was making him laugh because whenever the ball rolled near me, I'd just do this until Rodney came over to get it."

Marissa lowered a careless hand to the ground and absent-mindedly twirled her fingers. Even seeing her reenact it from his playhouse, Rodney laughed again.

"And then there was a problem with how I was throwing it," she continued. "I'm not great at throwing a baseball, and he was trying to coach me. He'd say 'Momma - try to hit the bat,' as if that's not what I was already trying to do."

I played ball with Rodney for a bit. I lobbed a few whiffle ball pitches at him, then we rounded things off with a game of catch with the football. Rodney's hands are getting good. He has some throwing work to do, but his catching is starting to surprise me. Throwing the ball from all the way across the backyard, I'd fully expect the ball to just strike him in the face. But Rodney can stop the ball mid-air, and pull the catch into his chest with excellent form. Of course, one out of every five throws still just strikes him in the face.

We watched church with lunch, and afterwards I made a trip to the grocery store. Marissa ordered some new hand-made masks from an Instagram friend, and my new soft burgundy colored face cover is a welcome improvement over the scratchy painting mask I was wearing. The old mask would make my nose and mouth feel so dry, I'd return home with a near nosebleed.

"What was Hy-Vee like?" asked Marissa as I returned home, slinging bags of groceries to the ground.

"Good! They had almost everything - I was finally able to restock butter. And pretty much everyone wears gloves and masks now," I replied.

I gave Marissa the afternoon to nap while I ran interference for Rodney, doing my best to keep him occupied in the kitchen. I put him to work with the pork chops, showing him how to flip the meat with a glubbed hand while I seasoned them with salt and pepper.

Next, we sliced up some asparagus. I momentarily upgraded Rodney to a real knife so I could show him good technique. He learned how to curl his fingers back and 'let the knife do the work'. Slicing up a few stalks of asparagus, he excitedly threw his hands up in the air, still holding the knife.

"I did it!" he yelled as I bobbed my head out of the way of his blade.

"Nice dude," I said calmly. "But you have to keep the knife on the board - no swinging it around."

I demoted Rodney back to his usual butter knife and we finished dinner. We ate at the table, feasting on asparagus, barbecue pork chops, baked potatoes with cheese, and a homemade loaf of French bread that turned out absolutely perfect. It was a nice filling meal to end the weekend on.

Thanks for stopping by this morning. I hope you have a wonderful day today.