05 May 2020

not quite there

this is from last year but it did look the same this year

Today is one of these days when I tell myself over and over and over that it'll be ok, that we will be ok, that I'll be ok, Eventually. Not today. Not quite. But eventually. Again. A year maybe, two years.


I attempt to explain to my daughter the differences in our mothering. I tell her how glad I am that she doesn't need to constantly fear that her child may turn away from her if she says or asks for something that may not immediately be pleasant, something that could demand an effort, an understanding, a challenge. I tell her that she comes from a different place, that she grew up with a mother who most of all and always wanted her to never feel rejected, who never ever wanted her to feel abandoned the way I did and that this resulted in her occasionally getting away with stuff for reasons . . . I know, Mum,  she responds calmly.

I attempt to explain to my father that just because numbers are down thanks to weeks of social distancing, the virus hasn't disappeared, that risk persons like him - and me - are still at risk. I keep my voice down reiterating the need to wash hands, yes even after getting cash from an ATM where you punch in numbers because someone else may have touched that key pad, and yes even if only one person was there before you . . . and I think how in an ideal world, many years ago, a father may have explained this to his daughter.

. . . the human condition today—an extraordinary and complex level of global interdependence unseen in the story of our species—will magnify the pandemic's effects on a profoundly disproportionate scale. One way or another, this pandemic will touch everyone alive today, thanks to globalization. Much of the result will be tragic. But I try to take heart that with massive trauma comes a new alertness—perhaps in this case, a heightened awareness that our lives are truly interlinked, and therefore must be valued everywhere.

Paul Salopek


  1. I raised my children the same way you did. I think they know why too.

  2. middle child here, add to that a mother that did not especially like children and didn't like to be touched, would tell us to move over if we sat too close but thought the sun rose and set on the youngest and only boy. my report cards through 3rd grade always noted how needy for affection and attention I was. I raised my children with love and constant affection though they were denied a lot of material things their friends got because we simply couldn't afford them. they are in their early 40s now and still like us. I consider that a great accomplishment as I was never close to either of my parents and in fact and refused to see or talk to them for a number of years.

    but we will be OK. I hope. either they figure out a vaccine or this is a human extermination event much like the ones that have come before.

  3. Each year I feel delight when I see your garden.

    Thank you for bringing Paul Salopek into the picture again and for the link to his current thoughts. I try to take heart, too.

  4. Yes, being apart has really brought home to me how connected I want us to be again...though it will be different. I ache to have touch, since I'm single, and at risk also. Not lonely, because I do see friends at a distance...and many technological contacts. But I remember hearing a gerontologist say that elders really need touch. Boy was he right! A massage would suffice...mmm, just thinking about it!

  5. Your daughter knows how loved she is. And she’s carrying it forward.

  6. these are trying times, and I fear they won't soon be over. I live alone and mostly this is okay, but I miss my family a mile up the road. I miss those grand kids. Facetime will have to suffice for now. My daughter would KILL me if I got sick! Forget the virus!

  7. I tried but all I managed was to alienate my daughter. She sees me as too much. Too much of everything. I am what I am. My biggest fear has always been rejection, perhaps everybody's biggest fear, and that's just what she did. I hope we can repair our relationship one day but I won't be stepped on anymore. I'm done with being a doormat.

    Your garden is so beautiful. Are those forget me nots?

  8. Anonymous07 May, 2020

    I read somewhere a long time ago that not all women are mothers and not all women are sisters, but all women are daughters. This awareness we bring to our relationships with our loved ones.
    The quote is poignant. I don't have hope for a heightened awareness. I once did a long time ago...and this is where we are now.
    I do hope all is well for you and your loved ones, Sabine, and may it stay so.

  9. I raised my kids in a similar way for similar reasons. It's tough.

    And oh my god, so many people don't get how serious this virus is.