Almost a year into Covid and the things that I thought I’d miss – meeting friends, trips to the market, haircuts – I can now affirmatively say, “Meh, I can live without.
The workarounds were simple: dress warm, wear a mask and come sit on my porch. I live in farm country and signed up for a local vegetable box, fresh eggs and cheese. No contact, barn pick-up, and Sunday drives along bucolic country roads. Yet, not getting a haircut brought on early misery. You’d have to know me, or read my book, to understand why not tending to my locks was a fleck of frustration. Split ends multiplied as months turned into a year. But, as with other things I miss, I’ve found letting go is the new self-care.
These are virus annoyances, inconveniences really, that put a stark spotlight on a much more insidious virus, a systemic one that continues to pervade and infect our country. As Covid has further exposed and exacerbated the inequities of racism, for the health of our nation, this is not a virus Dr. Fauci can vaccinate against. Our beloved infectious disease doctor called out “decades of inequity and limited access to health care,” as unacceptable. “We’ve got to do things societally to change that,” Fauci says. “Maybe it will be a wake-up call for society to change.”
We, the people, must inject shots of humanity into our daily lives. As we vow to eradicate what we can remedy, and ponder what we miss, Covid rages on.
Talking to friends and colleagues, I’m aware that we all have our things we miss.
There is one thing I can’t bypass. I am a new grandmother. No thing comes close to the craving of getting to know my grandson, and him knowing me.
When he was born, I pulled out all the Covid stops – testing, quarantining – to make sure we held each other in his first days of life. I couldn’t be by my daughter’s side within moments of when she gave birth, as my mother had been with me. But when I finally got to meet my beautiful grandson a few days later, it was delicious to connect to what we share: an inscription inscribed in our genes that binds us for life.
Now I share an equally powerful connection with my daughter. Motherhood. I know that she’ll show up for her little boy like I did for her and her brother. Splashing in the ocean, scrambling up mountains, and making sure he has clean air to fill his lungs with health.
She’s one of us now. Teacher of Life. Protector. Warrior Mom.
I hate to keep missing out on the thing I want most. But, as moms, we hold onto hope. How can we not? So, after being moved to tears watching President Biden’s inaugural, it feels as if we can imagine a country where my new grandson and all American children will live with cleaner water, protected land and healthier air. And we’ll be together soon.