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  • Writer's picture Jana

Trading in my Roses for Succulents (Kids that is). Coronavirus Update - Day 55 and Counting...

Today was hotter than yesterday. It topped out at just under 100. Unless you live in the West Valley, you probably don't care or keep track of the incremental temperature changes, as I do. When I lived in West LA, I complained when it was 85. I now see how spoiled I was. 

I decided to combat the heat by not stepping outside (except for my early morning walk and pizza run in the evening) and by staying clear of my children, as much as possible. In toddler terminology, we did what is referred to as, "parallel play." We were all in the same sandbox, but I was building sandcastles while they were playing with their dump trucks. Sort of like social distancing with your own family in your own house. Together, yet apart, as the pro-quarantine ads say.

I know that may unkind, but it's not. When you're hot and tired, keeping your distance is the more human approach to motherhood. All mothers know that. 

I have been locked in this house for two months with four kids. Other than seeing to their every need; constantly cooking and cleaning; and paying the obligatory bills, I don't think I have gotten another thing done. I hit a wall last night and decided this cannot continue. I know that the circumstances we find ourselves in are out of our control and we are all doing our best, but I am having serious resentment issues. That's just the plain and simple truth. 

Our recent forays into gardening provided me with a revelation. I decided that rather than treating my kids as fragile roses, I need to start treating them (except for Miles I suppose) as hearty succulents. I think they need far less watering, trimming, and fertilizing than I have been supplying them with, at least on a moment-by-moment basis. If we are going to be stuck in this house together, for as long as I fear we might be, I have to reclaim at least a small slice of my peaceful and productive life, before COVID-19. I cannot live out the remainder of my waking hours locked in my kitchen and family room, watching over Zoom meetings and school work. 

After I arrived back from my walk this morning, I checked on everyone and then headed upstairs to take a shower. While I was getting ready, I had a little-heart-heart with myself. That's it. Today is the day I am going to organize these bathroom drawers that have been plaguing me for....three years? This is the end of the road, Jana. That's all it took to light the fire in me. So out came countless bottles, brushes, and make-up containers, onto the bathroom floor. The entire floor was covered in toiletries. I was off and running!  

All the kids were downstairs on Zoom meetings, so it seemed like a good time to get started. Miles had two Zoom meetings today, in a row, so I was in luck. Granted, this project was probably going to take at least 3-4 hours,, but at least I could get started. That would surely help me feel liberated and on the road to reclaiming my life. 

Before I knew it, Miles' Zoom meetings were over and he had wandered up looking for his new favorite playmate, me. He had a serious girlfriend in preschool, which he even proclaimed he was going to marry, but the distance thing has torn that relationship apart. I am the rebound relationship because let's face it, in quarantine, there aren't many choices.  

As soon as he appeared, I tried to sell him on the virtues of organizing bathroom drawers, but he would have none of that. Instead, he decided to do inappropriate things with the vacuum, which I shall refrain from mentioning on this family-friendly blog. So the organizing came to an abrupt halt.

It is closing in on dinnertime as I write this post and my bathroom floor is filled with the contents of 12 drawers and 2 cabinets of toiletries. I managed to get 2 or 3 drawers done and I must say, they look great! I have confidence that with my new emboldened attitude I will get back to and complete my project tomorrow....or the next day.

The kids did well with the new parallel play/succulent plant model I am attempting to implement. Miles watched a bit more TV than I would have liked, but I'll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day, as Scarlett so aptly put it.  

After all, even if I have only one rose bush and three succulents, I would say things are looking up in the Lieblich Garden. 

Miles' attempt at helping me with my organizing project.

This is what happens when you put off an organizing project for three years.

Miles trimming his own nails while I organized. I'd say he's working his way toward becoming a succulent.

More gardening. We're making lots of progress with our new shovels!

Catherine is proving to be quite the strong and talented gardener.

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