R.M., 33, a marketer in North Bergen, NJ

First of all, when the quarantine started, I saw a lot of posts of people talking about getting the commute time to read, to get online courses. They clearly don’t have kids, I work, my wife works, and we have a two and a four year old boys in an apartment in NJ. The idea of this testimonial is not to describe how life is insane (yes, it’s insane where we never worked so many hours with two kids that need and deserve attention and, mainly, don’t understand that their parents are at home but can’t build blocks, paint, get water and in some calls we need to turn off the camera to take care of some physiological needs of them… LOL), the idea of this testimonial is to describe what I decided to do in this Pandemic time.

I’m pretty sure that my kids will study the Covid-19 in High School, maybe it will have a name that will remember everyone about how chaotic this time was like Wall Street Crash, Black Death but the studies will describe technicalities of that, why it happened, who discover the vaccine but it will not describe how we were feeling, how was the life in our (as my son would say) “teeny-tiny universe”. My first step was to write a letter to be read on May 14th 2040, how we were handing, how we were feeling and the minor accomplishments that we will not remember. My youngest boy is potty training, trying to draw his first letters, know how to do jumping jacks and can count to ten while the oldest one can count to one hundred, can add and subtract with Khan Academy, just finished the kindergarten content in Math, is reading and writing and this are the things that we need to celebrate.

Besides that, we already had four different stages in this six weeks inside our house, in the first week they were happy to stay at home with us, in the second and third they were asking to leave the house, in the fourth they were with no patience, to eat, to play, to express their feelings and since the fifth one they are getting used with the new routine, studying after the breakfast and lunch, time to connect, time to play and everything else.

Now, we just started a time capsule together, to track more information for us to remember in the future but I guess that the best part will be to ask them to write a letter for them to read in the future.

If you have kids, maybe it’s an idea for you to do. If you don’t want to do it, I totally understand you, no judgement here. We know what and how you are feeling and just wish you the best, we are trying to create an even better bonding with them and establishing a connection that will make us even more connected in the future!

[submitted on 4/28/2020]

Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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