Here’s a thought from someone who’s 75, a teacher till last week, an artist but lazy about marketing my work, a mother and grandmother: it seems I am expendable. And that makes me sad because I still have important things to do. Seeing so many people under 60 being cavalier about taking strict steps re the virus is depressing. It may be too late for them to learn the value of having “seniors” in society.
So I’ll stay inside, wash my hands, and clean out closets in case I don’t make it. But I really hope I do.
I called her the second I read it. She was sitting on her back porch, enjoying a break in the rain and the yard she’d just raked. I told her to check her email when she went inside. To give her a smile, I’d sent her a picture of her 14-year-old granddaughter sitting in our driveway. She’d found a Ziploc bag of beach sand that she’d brought back from a spring break trip to Port Aransas four years ago. My daughter decided it was time to use it, so she spread a beach towel on the concrete, put on sunglasses, and poured a little pile of sand into which she could poke her bare toes.
We had big plans for spring break this year. My daughter’s break started yesterday. Either skiing in New Mexico or an overnight train trip to St. Louis. You know how those plans turned out. Her school has gone online only through the end of the year. She asked me when I put her to bed Sunday night how high school seniors can graduate online only.
I’d show you the picture of my daughter spring-breaking in our driveway, but she thinks she looks weird in it and has banned the photo from all social media platforms. Here’s a cute anecdote in lieu of the pic:
Before dinner yesterday, we sent our daughter off to walk Katie, our Australian shepherd mix. Both girls had been cooped up in the house too long. They returned with a story about one of our two neighborhood Hollands.
I live on the best block in America, mostly because there are two girls on it named Holland. One you might know. Until she had her second child, she was a D Magazine staffer. The other Holland, the one you probably don’t know, is about 6 years old and lives five doors down the hill from the older Holland. Her mom and her brother were out yesterday evening, walking their dog and riding bikes and shaking off the doldrums. My kiddo said hello to them. In response, little Holland said matter of factly: “I’m not allowed to touch people.”
When our daughter told my wife and me this story, my wife pulled out the neighborhood directory so she could call Holland’s parents and tell them how funny we think their daughter is. And how they are clearly doing a great job as parents.
People, teach your children. Soon enough we’ll all be able to hug again. Even 75-year-old ex-teachers who still rake their own yards.