I speak from hypocrisy, as we all must speak.
Georg is listless and depressed at the end of each day working from home. Last night, he tried to explain to me how unexpectedly difficult it is to be at home all day every day.
"Yes, I know," I said, reminding him that I am a stay-at-home mom who lives in the suburb with no car and no friends nearby.
His eyes opened as if understanding for the very first time. It sounds dramatic, but social distancing has been my life for the two years I have stayed home with our toddler, and sometimes it bleeds me. I feel listless, my brain slipping into disuse. I try to devour books, podcasts, and lectures whenever I have free moments, but the information slips away or lies unused in one of my many "Notes" documents, having no one to share it with. I try to follow a routine with Sophie, but it's so arbitrary that even those daily walks or playground time have no urgency, make no demands on me. April, I have been reciting to myself like a mantra for months. In April, we will have moved to our new condo, closer to daycare. I wake up at 4am every morning for this, teaching English online for a few hours before she wakes up, saving money so I can buy just two days to myself every week, just two days of daycare so I can write freely, and beyond the four walls of this apartment. Even a cafe feels like freedom to a mom who is only allowed out of the apartment once a week, when the husband is home with the car and we can all go grocery shopping.
But April is almost here and the daycare is closed, as is everything. There is no telling when it will be open again, when this pandemic will end. So I wait and cling to my sanity, gathering the chicken eggs of introspection and reading as if to alchemize copper into gold.