11 June, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

By Anonymous

For the first time since March, we ventured out of our house to visit someone.  We took a five hour drive from our house in Baltimore to my sister’s house in Virginia Beach. Along the way we found hidden outdoor spaces to go “mountain-girl” pee.  We ate tuna salad sandwiches in the car.   When we arrived, we let down our entire guard for three straight days.  We let my daughter and her cousins go hog wild with hugs and kisses. We got take out from the Kolache Factory and Southern Fried Chicken from BoBo’s. It was restorative. The part that was most fantastic was that I felt the burdensome blessing of entertaining my seven year old daughter lift. I could finally relax and just enjoy the company of other adults – my sister, husband and brother-in-law.

It was also fascinating to see up close, how the pandemic has affected someone else, someone I have known so long and so deeply.  My sister used to make plans, back to back, to the point that her kids would take naps on random picnic tables. She did everything she could to simplify motherhood, to the point that it sometimes made me feel icky inside to watch.  This has all changed.  She has embraced her role as a mom and wife with a new vengeance.  I learned that since the pandemic, she has taught both of her kids how to ride bikes.  She makes them dinner every night. This is a person that I have known her entire life, and I have never ever seen her make her own bed. Now her bed was made every morning and I could see the floor in her room, which I hadn’t seen since she moved in 11 years ago, because she now puts her clothing in drawers or in the closet.

The pandemic is traumatic and yet has changed us.  I know my story of how it has changed me.  I am more appreciative of things and have used the extra time to garden and find new spiritual awareness that I was craving. I have spent every second with my daughter, sleeping next to her, at the office, and at the house. But to take a step back and see inside someone else’s window, is to also see inside of their soul.  To watch someone else grow and to be witness to that was such a gift, especially someone I love so dearly.