While under normal circumstances, it is only so often that we really consider what it means to be together. For holidays and gatherings there is often buildup, excitement, concern. We celebrate it, anticipate it and depending on the circumstances, we occasionally even worry about it. All the while, we have taken it for granted.
Thanksgiving. Weddings. The Holidays.
Maybe if we are lucky and we have family nearby, an occasional Sunday dinner. We never really knew how lucky we were.
In this highly unusual time of isolation and distancing, we have stepped away from the togetherness of even immediate family life. In stepping away we have lost so much. Even the most informed among us could not have imagined how long this period of social isolation would seem. It has been more than two months where I live. And, oh what we would give for a hug from a friend or a warm handshake. We are social creatures. We need each other.
The boys having been doing their best to come up with ways to see their friends. Like virtually everyone else they have been looking to Zoom or FaceTime but recently our state has opened up to limited outdoor activity. W and his friend thought they could organize a lawn mowing business. They reasoned that it would allow them to spend time together outside and make money. I love these little entrepreneurs. It’s the American dream, adapted for a pandemic.
They will have more time for these endeavors since it is also the boys’ last week of school. They have each had the same teacher for at least two years. This would be W’s sixth year of the same teacher, a man who has poured his heart and soul into teaching his charges.
Our boys have always been reticent. I wonder though, even if that were not the case, if there could ever be enough words to describe our gratitude, our heartbreak, our love. I can’t think it’s even possible to describe the depths of these things. W thought he might mow his teacher’s lawn ‘this summer, on the house. “That’s a good start,” I told him.
I overheard one of the boys’ teachers saying he cannot say goodbye this year. It’s emotional. We cannot hug or shake the hand or pat the shoulder of those with whom we have walked through life. We will just have to say “until we meet again”. And maybe assess their lawn for weeds.
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