Pushing Pause

Well…this last week gave us a new way of living. It is as if we are all pushing the pause button on our lives.

I’ll be honest, at the beginning of this week, I “poo-poo’d” the coronavirus. My opinion (I admit that I did not even consider fact-checking anything) was that as long as we were not being stupid, we could minimize this whole thing. I did; however, lecture my daughter (that already has respiratory problems that are naturally an issue during the “pollening” of our South Texas spring) to be smart and not behave like most 20 year-olds, to stop running around everywhere all the damn time. So I patted myself on the back and considered myself a non-panicky, smart mom. (Insert the eye roll.)

And here we are Sunday, March 15th, mostly self-quarantining because it is the smart thing to do. I did not buy toilet paper. In fact, I have a grand total of 12 rolls in my house at this moment. I even told my kids a story of an older friend whose dad only allowed her to use 3 squares, because it was the frugal thing to do…maybe we should think about using less. (Go ahead and give me another pat on the back for my awesome parenting.)

The kids and I don’t understand what it means to be really frugal. Even on a limited budget, we don’t consider living without certain things. As I walked through the grocery store, I realized that I am a natural preparer. I don’t like to run out of “stuff” so I always pick up some of the same things: flour, bread, milk, butter (I have at least 10 boxes of butter in my fridge and freezer), hairspray (heaven knows, I am not going to live without fixin’ my hair), toothpaste, etc. This isn’t the panic buying that many people have done…this is just a woman who likes to have a fully stocked pantry. We didn’t need much, so I bought a gazillion goldfish and cheez-its, because I didn’t want my kids to have to never eat another cheese cracker…an honest to God food staple they have never lived without.
(And like the normal, privileged children that they are, one of them even pouted that the others might eat most of them.) I did the “good mom” thing again and sat down with my picky eater and told him that he might just have to adapt his eating habits. I didn’t know, but he might even have to eat soup…you know, if this whole thing gets really crazy.

I think that this season of withdrawing might actually benefit the kids and me, although I really hope that it is a relatively short period of time. I honestly don’t want too many hard lessons.

So for now, I am taking it seriously and pausing our lives. But I am also going to laugh a bit, because I am pretty appalled at how much the kids and I have taken for granted.

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