Since Wednesday, I’ve been sleeping here in my brother’s room, eating, working, even singing and dancing. I have a water jug in the room, so I can keep hydrated. My family brings me food and whatever else I might need from the rest of the house, and when I interact with them, we all wear masks, and maintain distance.
It feels like an odd sort of vacation. I’m in a room not my own. I have my work, my clothes, and most of the comforts of home. My meals are brought to me, my dirty dishes taken away. Every time my husband knocks on the door, he calls out, “Room service!” or “Housekeeping!”
It’s so easy to lose track of time. Here, I see neither sun nor sky. I do not go to the kitchen to prepare meals, nor do I check on the laundry. I do not have my son coming to me after school for a hug and to show me his drawing. I do not see my mom or my brother between their work appointments.
Perhaps the loss of the bedtime routine is the most jarring change. We have such a lovely routine, almost unchanged since Lucas was born. If it’s a weekend, he gets playtime in the bathtub. On weekdays, it’s just a shower. After he brushes his teeth and gets dressed, he goes out to say good night to my mom and my brother. Then we pick a book to read, we laugh and play, then he kisses us good night and plops down in his bed, right beside ours. “Sleep snuggle!” he says, and he asks me to scratch his tummy or rub his back as I sing the sleepy song. Sometimes he’ll ask for another story, or he’ll ask for water. He’ll sit up and say, “I need to wiwi!”
Eventually he’ll settle down, and turn around a few times, roll over, until finally the yawns take over, and his eyes close, and there is peace.
I complain about being stuck under my sleeping son, especially when I’m hungry, or I need to work, but there is lovely, peaceful joy in watching him sleep, his little arm thrown over me, his mouth open, his breathing even.
This I miss the most.
But as I said, it feels like an odd sort of vacation. I finally finished Emily in Paris, and I saw two episodes of The History of Swear Words. I think I’ll finish season two of Outlander over the weekend. Maybe I’ll even–gasp!–watch a movie!