A hot summer day in the heart of California’s valley, the sun beaming freely, not a cloud in sight, makes my arms feel the sizzle of the sun’s invisible tendrils. A young girl playing in her family’s front yard, searching for tiny pond frogs to hide in a shoebox, wonders what the rest of the day has in store. The sound of peach milkshakes being made in a blender just inside the doorway. As the blender shuts off, all thoughts of being a frog mama have left, my sights set on a sweet treat instead. My sisters and I would play outside, all around the house, riding our bikes up and down the street. We would meet friends down by the park, not far from where we lived, always alive with the sound of the neighborhood kids at play until the streetlights came on.
Flash forward to my own child playing in the front yard, claiming to save the potato bugs from my car tires’ path in the driveway. She sits in the springtime sun, oblivious to my many calls for her to start a homework assignment. I tell myself she is young, it’s been a long day of learning for her already, let her be eight. Let her play.
Three weeks ago, our days looked so routine. I went to work in the Artizara office, my husband to his job. Our daughter to school. I would gripe about the early hour at school drop off with the other moms who agreed. I would exchange a knowing look with the teacher when we could sense the children were going to have an energetic day in the classroom. I would make small talk with friends on my walk to the car, comforted, knowing my daughter was safely inside the gates of learning. Arriving at the office, I would happily greet my coworkers, ask about the kids and roommates and plans for the weekend. The trivial worries of my workload- how best to communicate to our email audience, determining what our viewers wanted to see on steadily growing social media channels, sharing input on design styles and arranging the calendar for style roll-out, now seem so small in comparison.
My, how things have shaken up since.
Long before there was the presence of a virus and the effects of home life under quarantine, our little family of three has been adjusting to new surroundings for a couple of years. A little over two to be exact.
I grew up in a small town just outside of California’s capital, when it was mostly made up of farmers and commuters. Everything I’ve known has been in Northern California. In my childhood, we would take frequent trips to visit family in Nevada, I’ve been to Florida once without my parents, and took the trip of a lifetime to see my maternal grandmother’s hometown in rural Japan while she was still with us. Most of my family still resides in Northern California, including my husband’s family as well.
We made the decision to relocate from all that was familiar to us at the start of 2018. We have spent our time exploring San Diego since we moved just east of the big beachy city. Even now, still getting our bearings for what “local” looks like, we moved again in January 2020 to a different eastern town and are settling still.
Throw in a global pandemic and social quarantine and this is just another shift in, settling in. I am lucky enough to have a marketing position with Artizara that allows me to work anywhere, including at home, especially now with all the children out of school and the mandatory order to shelter in place.
I try my best to think about the stories of my past to share with my daughter’s growing mind. Stories that will enrich her thinking and awaken a thirst for travel, for exploring, for personal growth.
I want to nourish her body with what good food we can find while teaching her important and practical life skills for when she is grown and running a household of her own.
Some days we work on keeping her math skills sharp. Thankfully I can get her to read daily without complaint. Getting lost in a book is one of my greatest hopes for her. I want her to know what it’s like to be cocooned in between the pages of a great adventure without ever leaving her room.
On days where a break is appreciated, we snuggle together and find a short series of movies to keep us entertained for the afternoon. Or we take the dog for a walk around our quaint neighborhood knowing the fresh air is just what we all need.
The uncertainty of what our future looks like after this quarantine is over is enough to keep a mother awake at night. But in our household, we are actively choosing to stay calm, informed, composed, and prepared.
Hope keeps us moving forward. Determination reminds us to take it day by day. Perseverance will prove that we will overcome this kink in our routine and our new normal isn’t so bad.
Every day I think about all of you out there, wondering if you’re all feeling the same way being home for long periods of time. Every day I work hard to infuse positivity and uplifting messages to our Artizara community. We, as a family team, strive to make you smile, quarantine or not.
Still settling into what each day will bring, I can promise one thing that won’t change: Artizara is here for you.