May 1, 2020
Summarizing a mountain’s worth of stories, current events,
creative ideas and stuff that makes us lol
Son: I had some scary thoughts.
Me, rolling up sleeves to have a big father-son talk about All Of This:
Okay. What kind of scary thoughts?
Son: Vacuum cleaners. Broccoli.
Son: Vacuum cleaners are LOUD.
--Lin-Manuel Miranda, @Lin_Manuel
Parenting happens at all hours. Raising children is not simply a personal choice. And working parents cannot do it alone. These are the three big lessons outlined in a recent New York Times piece that the coronavirus lockdown has exposed. Gone are the days when we can reasonably be expected to, or pretend to, separate our working lives from our family lives. With children regularly interrupting work zoom calls and work zoom calls regularly getting in the way of epic family coloring sessions, the fallacy that these two facets of our lives can exist in their own neat vacuums has been broken. Or has it? When we emerge from this transformative time will employers continue to penalize parents, especially mothers, who can’t separate their family responsibilities from their professional ones? Or will employers embrace what has always been true, that family-friendly policies like paid leave, affordable child care and remote work (among other things) help make for happier, more productive employees? Let’s hope the fourth lesson learned is this latter one.
Now, for some extra credit and just because this piece was simply too beautifully written to pass up, have a look at chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s story about having to close her restaurant Prune, on Manhattan’s lower east side. It’s an intimate reflection on her dreams for the place, how they are changing since the pandemic hit and what it might look like when we finally emerge from all this. “So I’m going to let the restaurant sleep, like the beauty she is, shallow breathing, dormant. Bills unpaid,” she concludes. “And see what she looks like when she wakes up — so well rested, young all over again, in a city that may no longer recognize her, want her or need her.”
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/onward-and-upward-in-the-garden/the-tonic-of-gardening-in-quarantinehttps://www.huffpost.com/entry/seeds-crisis-gardening-coronavirus-food_n_5e85eca0c5b6f55ebf492212It’s not just toilet paper that’s hard to find these days. Turns out, there’s also been a serious run on fruit and vegetable seeds worldwide , too. Why? Crisis gardening . In response to the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people have been starting – or expanding – their produce gardens. For many it’s been a way to help manage fears about the food supply amid the lockdown. But all this digging in the dirt can also be a meditative balm for anxiety in an ever-uncertain time and it certainly keeps families busy during the long hours they’re stuck at home together. Not to mention, as Charlotte Mendelson wrote in The New Yorker earlier this month, “What all gardeners know, and the rest of you may discover, is that if you have even the smallest space, a pot on a window ledge, a front step, a wee yard, there is no balm to the soul greater than planting seeds.” So, go grab your hoe and plant.
https://akidsbookabout.com/pages/covid-19Figuring out how to explain what’s going on in the world to our children is no easy task. Fortunately, authors, illustrators, scientists and other experts, have stepped in to create free, often downloadable, children’s books on the topic . There are a good number to choose from, which makes it easier to find something suitable to your child’s age and interests. Some even have printable versions you can color in , making them not only a learning tool, but another way to keep the kiddos busy while you get dinner made or finish your next zoom meeting. No doubt, we wish these resources weren’t necessary, but we’re pretty glad they’re out there.
ALSO: it’s Mother’s Day soon. And it will – like so many celebrations – be a bit strange this year not to gather over brunch with the amazing women who make so much of our world turn. So don’t forget to call or video chat or send flowers (do it ASAP) or check out some of the gift lists out there like these and these . Mom will be so happy if you do.