A dispatch from Abby Adams, mom to a 7-year-old daughter; librarian at Platt Memorial Library in Shoreham.
MiniBury: In one word, describe how you’re feeling today.
MiniBury: When are you doing the bulk of your work?
Abby: 1/2 at home, 1/2 in a closed, darkened library building
MiniBury: What is your kid’s relationship with screens these days?
Abby: Increased, but awesomely, I’m seeing new skills, competence, and independence. It’s like she’s more able to use it as a tool, rather than passively experiencing it.
MiniBury: Tell us about a non-screen activity that your kid has enjoyed lately.
Abby: My kid has been exploring more outside, creating pretend friends and imaginary worlds in a way she’s never done before.
MiniBury: Has your family celebrated a special occasion during isolation?
Abby: We celebrated a 7th birthday. When I asked my daughter what would make the day feel special, she said, “Ice cream for breakfast!” So we had chocolate chip waffles with her favorite ice cream (mint chocolate chip) for breakfast. It was a lovely, low-key day. But I think she felt it was really special. We also have promised 2 birthday parties at some point in the future…
MiniBury: What has been the hardest part of this new way of life?
Abby: Finding a workable schedule for 2 adults and 1 child who all have different things to accomplish. Personally, I really struggled with getting into my new rhythm for the week. My mood is dependent on feeling like I know what’s coming next. Now that the rolling changes have settled, I feel like we have a good weekly routine. There are still challenges week to week and day to day, but I feel more settled.
MiniBury: Any small victories lately?
Abby: I have been recording how-to videos for the teachers I support and it’s felt really positive. Almost as good as helping them do something elbow to elbow.
MiniBury: What song do you have on repeat these days?
Abby: The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” album
MiniBury: What are you reading/watching?
Abby: Hubs and I are watching “Community.” Kiddo and I are reading My Side of the Mountain. I haven’t really had the bandwidth to do pleasure reading for a while, but I’m slowly picking my way through The Overstory.
MiniBury: What’s your favorite thing you’ve cooked, eaten or imbibed in the last month?
Abby: I made a really good orzo salad with “clean-out-the pantry goods.” And I made homemade french onion dip (a perennial favorite) to eat with my weekly bag of potato chips. We’ve been drinking Shacksbury Rosé cider, with a spash of lime, and a splash of gin at home on the weekends. It’s delicious.
MiniBury: How have you explained the current situation to your kid?
Abby: We’ve been very upfront with our 7-year-old kid about the illness, how it spreads, why things are closed, and most difficult to understand: why we can’t play with friends. We had to explain that it’s not just because she could get sick from her friends, it’s that she could make her friends sick. That has made the “we’re not playing with friends right now” mantra stick a little harder. She’s taken to saying, when someone suggests something in a TV show or a book, “Well, you certainly couldn’t do that right now! What with all the stuff that’s going on!”