A Space to Call My Own
We are limping to the end of this crazy school year, where I have done all the things from our kitchen: supervised virtual first grade, homeschooled preschool, tossed out snacks during work phone calls to keep kids quiet enough that I can concentrate, been a human jungle gym during Zoom calls, sorted mail and paid bills. And of course, the normal kitchen things too—putting away groceries, making meal plans and cooking dinner.
There are three weeks left. Twelve school days (not that I have a countdown going or anything). Our teachers have been incredible. More than incredible, really. I will never be able to express enough gratitude for all the ways they have made things happen this year. I could not have asked for anything more, but the finish line is in sight and I cannot wait to get there.
It feels like we’ve finally turned a corner where the pandemic finish line is in sight too. Vaccinations have allowed us to breath a sigh of relief. And I’m starting to move from thinking about how we survive the rest of this year to thinking about the future—planning for what next year will be like when my kids go back into a school building for the first time in a year and a half.
My kitchen command center has been out of necessity. Next year, I’ll have seven hours a week of no one at home. Seven hours doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more time in a week than I think I’ve been home alone since March of 2020, so it really sounds pretty decadent.
After so much togetherness this year, I’ve been craving space I can call my own.
There’s a little office off of our room that started out as a nursery, spent some time as a catch-all for everything we didn’t know what to do with, and was on it’s way to becoming my little space when the pandemic hit, and my husband started working from home. Now that he’s back to the office, I decided it was time for a makeover.
First—down with popcorn ceiling.
Then—the navy walls I’ve been dreaming about.
And the pink chair I’ve also been dreaming about.
It’s not quite done—I still need to add art to the walls and organize the bookshelf. Right now, it’s mostly an upgrade to my early-morning writing space since I’m still running the circus downstairs during the day. But the morning light is perfect, and having a space to call my own is helping propel me through these last few weeks of insanity before summer.
There has been a lot of benefit to the constant togetherness and the kitchen command center. I’ve gotten to be more involved in their education and spent time with them I wouldn’t have gotten to in a normal year. We were able to squeeze in two off-season beach trips thanks to virtual school. We spent lots of time exploring nature preserves and trails we might not have made it to otherwise. Despite the many challenges of pandemic life, I have a feeling one day I’ll look back on these days and the hard edges will have faded; I’ll mostly remember all the memories we made together.
But parenting during a pandemic is no joke, and I’m oh-so-thankful that we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.