Shapechanger Relief

Relief takes different forms. There’s mine, of course–working on a story nobody but me will ever read, as well as planting a million seeds and finally having the energy to weed again.

Then there’s the Princess, who has celebrated the household’s second-vaccine-shot-accomplished status by painting her room. My little girl just…up and bought paint, masked everything, cut in, and is giving the first coat a chance to dry while she’s at work today before getting the second coat on this afternoon.

“Adulthood,” she says somewhat smugly, “is pretty sweet.”

The Prince’s relief has taken the form of sleeping a lot (some of it could be fatigue from his body learning how to fight off the plague afresh) and swearing at the Captain Tsubasa game on his Switch between distance-learning sessions to finish up his last year of high school. We’re still not sure if we’re going to attend the graduation ceremony.

Sure, we’re vaccinated and will mask…but is, or will, everyone else? *sigh*

The relief is palpable, though. Not a single dinner goes by that we don’t count down the days to full immunity for everyone in the house (ten, including today) and mention just how happy we are that everyone’s gotten the poke.

Last night there was chicken-garlic soup, with homemade stock and the remains of the chicken roasted in fennel I did the other day. Dessert was cinnamon rolls the Prince made, and in honor of his newfound baking achievement the Princess taught him how to make her special cream-cheese frosting, which is kind of a big deal in these-here parts.

It’s funny. The kids are still tiny toddlers inside my head sometimes, but here they are painting rooms, running the oven, graduating from high school, getting Real Adult Jobs. It’s like time is a gat-damn river ever flowing on or something.

Today it’s back to work, and I have a newsletter as well as subscription stuff to get out the door. But of course, coffee must be absorbed first, and the dogs are celebrating the prospect of walkies. The weather report has thunderstorms today, but we can’t possibly be that lucky and in any case, the dogs hate them.

I don’t want to think about how bad it still is outside our door. For at least one day I want to be relieved that inside these walls things are looking a little brighter than they have for years.

Of course some-damn-thing-else could happen. But right now, at this moment, I’m grabbing all the solace I can find and hugging it close. A single incidence of not being kicked in the teeth when I dared to hope has infected me all over again with the idea that maybe, just possibly, things might turn out okay in a limited fashion, somewhere on earth.

I’m sure by tomorrow I’ll be my usual pessimistic self again. But…tomorrow’s soon enough, and today is for that tiny sliver of hope which managed to survive 2020 when so much else didn’t.

See you around, beloveds.