Just The Notes

Parenting Note #722 – This Is Nothing Like ‘Groundhog Day’

parenting note #722

The article headline claims that people won’t remember being stuck in self-isolation.

I’m guilty of not reading past the headline.

In a few years, we’ll all remember this happened, but won’t recall much about the particulars.

I’ll remember quitting a job, homeschooling the kids, gearing up like I’m playing paintball to go grocery shopping, avoiding the news and the body count, and the overall Groundhog Day feeling that hangs over each day and…

Ok, I need to stop and discuss the Groundhog Day analogy.

The reference to the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, feels wrong for a few reasons.

In the film, Murray’s character Phil keeps waking up to the same day, over and over again.

Phil spends each day losing his mind, finding himself, falling in love, learning to play piano, and killing a groundhog.

Phil’s purgatory existence is much different than life in 2020.

Phil’s actions have no consequences. Once the alarm hits, Sonny and Cher sing, erasing everything from the previous day.

If I left my house right now and murdered a groundhog, or a person, or drove off a cliff, there are consequences and repercussions to each action.

“I Got You Babe” isn’t saving my ass.

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“Do you think we’ll go back to school this year?”⁣ ⁣ He’s asked a few times. I’ve answered the same way I respond to requests to play LEGOs, watching him play video games, or let him have soda with dinner.⁣ ⁣ “We’ll see.”⁣ ⁣ He knows what “we’ll see” means.⁣ ⁣ It’s a no without saying no.⁣ ⁣ It’s a shitty answer.⁣ ⁣ I’m done lying to the kid.⁣ ⁣ “No, I don’t think you’ll go back. I think school is over for the year.”⁣ ⁣ His expression changes to shear disappointment.⁣ ⁣ He had hope.⁣ ⁣ I should have let him hang onto the feeling a little while longer.⁣ ⁣ He’s sitting on a bike going nowhere, staring at his sister doing figure eights in an empty parking lot on a two-wheeler she learned to ride in one day.⁣ ⁣ He’s disappointed for several reasons. They’re all personal and not one I’m open to discussing in a public forum.⁣ ⁣ I’ll only share that the next school year will bring significant changes.⁣ ⁣ He wasn’t ready to let go of this year yet.⁣ ⁣ He didn’t get to say goodbye to a teacher he loves and new friends he’s made.⁣ ⁣ The absence of daily traffic makes the ordinarily busy side street even quieter.⁣ ⁣ “I could be wrong.”⁣ ⁣ That’s not a lie.⁣ ⁣ I could be wrong.⁣ ⁣ Let’s hope.⁣ ⁣ –⁣ ⁣ #parenting #quarantinelife #kids #dadsofinstagram #fatherhood

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Life in 2020 isn’t Groundhog Day or a boring computer simulation. We’re just living a life with incredibly limited options.

Think of an all-you-can-eat buffet. There are thousands of buffet restaurants in the world.

The restaurants that are the most popular are the joints with the most food options.

If a buffet offers only ten items, and all are delicious, it still won’t be as popular as the place with a hundred average food items.

Humans crave variety even if 9 out of 10 of those items tastes like shit.

Our options for entertainment are low right now.

I don’t mean on television or movies or video games because those choices are limitless.

The meme is funny but false. It’s impossible to “finish Netflix.”

Last weekend, I pulled my bike out of the storage shed and went on a ride.

Any other time this happens – pre-quarantine – I’ll make up my mind on destination based on the first street I turn down.

I return to the house after 15 minutes. I have nowhere to go.

All of the trails are closed, per the governor’s orders, and the destinations at the end of those trails are also shut down.

This rant isn’t about reopening America.

I feel bad for small business owners, but I’m glad all those places are closed. I don’t want people dying because people are pissed they can’t go to Baskin Robbins.

States should reopen on a case by case basis.

My state is currently ranked second in corona cases and deaths. It should remain shut down until testing is available to all, a vaccine is available, and people stop seriously considering Lysol as a home remedy.

I might not remember every single moment, every day, or the world standing still for months, but I’ll remember a period in time when there’s wasn’t shit to do.

And I’ll be glad I stayed inside and alive and can reflect on a time I can’t quite remember.

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