Joy in Quarantine

Laughter flooded the rooms of my house today. Catching pretend tigers and putting them in their cage (ie: throwing my boys on the couch), playing hide and seek, screams and giggles after each successful scare. Taking adventure walks to discover new things on our property, holding hands helping one another up a steep hill. Sitting in the glow of the morning sun, watching over my email as both kiddos quietly examine their school activities.

It’s been over a month since we’ve been in quarantine. Calvin, Miles, and I have had to learn “how to school” together. All three of us with different styles. Calvin, the structure, clear cut, “has to be perfect” kind of kiddo. Miles, the “stick crayons in your mouth like a walrus, draw as far outside of the lines as you can” kid. Then there’s me, somewhere in the middle. Let’s follow directions, but making it “your own” is acceptable, within reason. We’ve each had multiple days of frustration with one another; not listening, refusing to admit we were wrong (pride can run deep in each of us can’t it..?), “I’ll do it my way” mentalities. Sometimes tears, growls, or heads banging on the table. All three of us have taken turns. No joke.

This week we seemed to take a turn collectively. Each of us bringing our style and perspectives to the table, working together. I am so thankful to have the guidance I do from Calvin’s teachers. Their daily presence online and support have been so appreciated.

I know not everyday will be like this. Tomorrow all hell could break loose. At some point, it will, because, well, life happens…

We are quarantined. We aren’t going to be our best selves everyday, as we are all under stress, going through a situation unlike any other. We miss our friends, our outside of home life (our daily commute, work, occasional hide outs in the aisles of our favorite stores). Just to get a breather. However, today was a good and beautiful day with my boys, and I won’t take it for granted. Because in this time I’m realizing there is no prediction of what will happen and when, we have to roll with what we’re given, finding the joy in midst of uncertainty.

Sundays

My dad was a construction worker for over 35 years. This little radio, was his when he would go on job sites or side jobs. Today, it kept me company while I painted closets. It’s dusty, broken antenna, faint smell of chewing tobacco, and cigarette smoke makes me miss him.

That pain in the ass was a smoker most of his life, and chewed too. Awful habits, that Cody and I spent decades trying to eradicate.

Today I really struggled. As I painted, listening to the radio, I thought about Dad, his visit the night before his stroke. Miles gave him this big hug and I had thought to myself in that moment “keep that mental image forever”. Dads smile and laugh as Miles lept from one end of the couch into his arms, caught us both off guard. Miles isn’t a hugger, but he was that day.

Micah walked in as I was thinking about it, and tears just began to well up. Without a word, fella just nodded and smiled, not asking any questions. He knows my heart, especially on Sundays. Those were our visit days.

I finished painting a wall and decided I needed a break. We live out in the country and since we don’t have a paved drive, the boys and I took our sidewalk chalk to the road. As the boys and I colored pictures, I began to color in a rainbow. As I did, I stumbled across this imprint, in the perfect shape of a heart, on our road. I traced around it, confused that it could really be there…Right in front of my house. I colored it in and took a step back. A perfectly shaped heart. I had never noticed before in all the walks I’ve taken on my road….

I instantly heard this stirring in me:

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10

This heart, this radio. Our dad(s) are always with us. I was reminded today of my earthly dad, and my Heavenly Father. Their presence felt, even though not seen. Sorrow and joy all at the same time. Never alone, I have two dads watching out for me.

My storm isn’t over yet, but I’m thankful to know there is a rainbow on the other side, and through it, is a beautiful heart that isn’t going anywhere. My god is Always with me.