This is Susan’s latest newsletter. Subscribe to receive it directly in your email box once a month.
I hope this newsletter finds you mostly sane. With Emily’s summer camps cancelled, I’ve been super busy putting on Mommy’s Special Summer Camp, which basically involves arts & crafts, swimming (Em can finally swim by herself!), cartwheel lessons (more success!), coding with Scratch & Scratch Junior, lots of board games (I can still win at Memory and Connect-Four on occasion! Woo hoo!), watching movies (“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Frozen 2” are faves), and seeing the adorable Carolina wren raise her baby in the hanging plant nest on the front porch (he flew away already! Boo hoo!).
Have I worked on the new book? Oh, boy, I wish I could say that I’ve been sweating buckets over it. But there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I’d like to do. Ed’s been working from home since mid-March, and I feel like his laptop is fused to his hands at this point. So, Emily and I spend loads of time together, whenever she’s not Zooming with her BFFs. We’re still self-quarantining, so no play-dates with pals. I miss my friends as much as she misses hers. We see my mom through the porch screen. We used to see Ed’s folks on walks—from across the street—but it’s been too hot for those.
School starts in a month, but it won’t be what Emily or I were hoping for. I’ve enrolled her in the virtual learning option, and I feel good about that with COVID still raging in Missouri and no end in sight. I’m hoping the district’s plan involves more teaching by teachers this time. If that’s the case, I figure I’ll steal an hour here and there to resume writing Wasps. (Please, please, please!) But Emily comes first. My family comes first. So, I’ll do whatever it takes.
I have found ways to make life seem more normal in these atypical times. My friend Teresa, who’s a personal trainer, comes by weekly to train me outside in the mornings so I don’t get heatstroke. I still do Mommy Boot Camp on Zoom whenever available on Saturdays. We get grocery deliveries twice a week, and I only order what we really need so I actually spend less, even with tips and fees! (So many of the shoppers are guys, and they do a fantastic job! Maybe when life is back to normal, they could teach Ed their tricks, and I’ll start sending him to the store with our list!) Emily routinely Zooms with her buddies, and they’ve found lots of fun ways to connect: writing stories on Chat, “Would You Rather?” questions, drawing, made-up games, anything their imaginations can cook up to keep them talking and laughing.
We celebrated Emily’s 8th birthday in June with two Zoom parties: the first with her besties and the second with cousins! It was actually exhausting!!! And I think everyone had fun. Emily seemed very happy, which made me feel great.
Honestly, we have settled in pretty well with our new schedule. Life is different, yes. But I feel very fortunate to be in my house with my family, enjoying all this time together and staying well. I have survived plenty of scary things in my 55 years, and I know we will get through this, too. (If you want to read about my excursion to get a mammogram in May, check out this article by Bethany Kandel.)
Please be safe. Please stay well. Please know that you are all precious and cannot be replaced.