march 16

march 16, 2020

Our first official day of spring break which, by the early afternoon, we found out has been extended until April 13th. Last Monday was completely normal–school was on and “social distancing” was only a whisper. Things were starting to cancel, but everything felt very normal. Things really started to escalate on Friday. Lily came home with all her books in case they had to extend Spring Break, and, nationally, things started shutting down. It was an ominous and unsettling sort of weekend.

Today, we got outside as much as we could–the kids and I went for a walk and played inside together. I had to go grocery shopping after dinner, and the store was picked pretty clean although the only thing I could not get was bread and applesauce. In the morning the federal recommendations were to gather with no more than 50 people. By the end of the day, it was down to 10. We cancelled Taco Tuesday. It’s such a strange time.

march 16, 2022

A few days before everything shut down in 2020, I dropped the girls off at their weekly dance class (their last weekly dance class) and then drove down the road to the grocery store to pick up a few things. It was unusually busy for 7:00 at night and the shelves were unusually bare. It was the first time I felt palpably unsettled by what was happening around me.

As I rounded one of the last aisles, I tossed a small, black notebook into my cart. I sensed the speed at which things were changing around me and felt a need to track it. I couldn’t have known then all that the future would hold but I knew future me would want a record of it.

I wrote in that notebook every morning for 79 days.

The entries are devoid of emotion. I didn’t pour my heart out on the pages as teenage Molly did in journals of old. I just kept a record. Maybe, on some level, I knew I would forget the events exactly as they transpired but that the emotion of it all would come back if only I could remember, and, two years later, remembering feels important.

Today we are a few days into spring break, and the kids and I have been getting outside as much as we can. The promise of spring is on the doorstep and, as has been the case each time I’ve looked into the past, so much is the same even though many things are different.

I find so much comfort and joy and hope in that very small truth.

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