The pandemic keeps us up at night.

When it affects me, I try to sort my thoughts into constructive sequences. I think about all the others out there who are probably awake, and I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone.

Yet I am alone. We are all alone in this. Perspective helps us when we remind ourselves that we haven’t lived through WWII and never experienced The Holocaust. The Great Depression was what our parents or grandparents knew. Most of us escaped polio. I myself escaped/survived two serious cancers, one of which required three surgeries to rebuild my face. Perspective and privilege. I have the privilege to wait out this pandemic in comfort.

Perspective is hard to come by, though, at three in the morning.

So I think about the two children in the photo above, and though I haven’t seen them in months, and may not see them for months more, they are part of me; and I am so thankful that in these days of technology, I can have face to face (almost) conversations with them often, and I can write them stories and record myself reading those stories to them.

I think about them racing down the halls of our apartment building, throwing their stuffed animals to see which one can throw farther. I think of them shouting off the balcony, and riding the elevator down to the club room to get hot chocolate out of the machine. And I laugh to myself remembering the time Birdie pushed the emergency button and two fire trucks arrived in full regalia.

They will be back. They will be older. It might not be so fun to run down the halls. But they will be back. Families will reunite. Turkeys will be roasted. Presents will be opened. It may not be in 2021, but it will happen again for all of us.

In the meantime, in the darkness, I think of those two faces as I finally drift off to sleep.

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