Raising Babies in End of Days

Published on March 25th, 2020 | by Jade Sanchez-Ventura


Raising Babies in End of Days: Full New York City Shutdown Day 1—A List

1. Mo Willems  is hot.

2. …And also a lovely and talented artist whose Lunch Doodles have held my household down this week.

3. Hoop earrings help.

4. My parenting is now the opposite of my usual values: Engage through screens and don’t play with other kids…

5. …Though I am happy to teach that we’ve changed our lives to be in care of the vulnerable in our community.

6. My anxiety is like groundwater seeping slow and steady. Yesterday I could feel it in my ears.

7. My kid is going to have a really weird understanding of what homeschool is.

8. Why the hell are America’s political leaders acting like they’d never heard of the corona virus until two weeks ago? (Oh right, except for the ones who sold their stock in advance and held onto their money while telling everyone not to worry.)

9. Cleithrophobia: Fear of being trapped. Aka, “shelter in place” is kind of my worst nightmare.

9. Obviously the least of my concerns, but my hands are so f-in dry from the constant washing.

10. I’m grateful for the freezing rain today. It makes being inside feel like a cozy choice.

11. A hint of danger really does make sex extra.

12. There is a fancy house across the backyard from my house. They have obviously left town and I have nothing against my friends who have left (who wouldn’t, if you could) but the house has timed lights that go on every evening at the same time and every time I see their low-lit empty living room it pisses me off.

13. I’d like to bike through this strange and silent city for hours in the middle of the night.

14. There was this woman in the park, it was around 5 o’clock, the sun low enough to cast sideways light. She was dancing to her own speaker, wearing black leggings and a black t-shirt and white sneakers. The field was full of people, spaced their six feet apart, but she was dancing like she was by herself in her room. A toddler went and stood about twenty feet away from her and just watched. My baby was on my knees smiling in the shade cast by the rebozo draped over my big kid’s scooter. My big kid was digging beside me in the dirt. For a few minutes being outside did not require vigilance.

15. The reason to watch Contagion is that there’s a plot arc, there’s a resolution, you get to live through the crisis and make it to the other side.

16. My baby just smiles and smiles and smiles.

17. Being in anxiety again is reminding me that I used to feel this way all the time. The adrenaline and familiar charge of it. I used to “manage” it by chain smoking, drinking coffee, under eating, walking for hours, and not getting enough sleep. I appreciate that this morning I did a twenty minute meditation (a small miracle).

18. The flood of online meditation, art, teaching, wellness, etc. zoom options are giving me digital fomo.

19. I hope my body unlearns the requirements of social distancing. I don’t want my muscles to remember how to step in a wide arc around every human I see or to avoid hugging or kissing those I love.

20. I’ll never be able to count to twenty again without thinking of this season of Covid.

 Raising Babies in End of Days is an ongoing series of dispatches from Jade Sanchez-Ventura. Follow MUTHA on social media, or via our newsletter, for updates

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About the Author

Jade Sanchez-Ventura is a writer and radical educator. She works in memoir and her personal essays have been published across an array of online literary journals, and in print with Slice Magazine and Seal Press. She’s been awarded the Slice Literary Conference Bridging the Gap award, a Disquiet Literary Conference fellowship, and she is a Hertog Fellow. As an educator, she is very good at being continually wowed by her students and their words on the page. Though she has ties to many countries, she has always made her home in Brooklyn, New York. Find her on Instagram @jade_m_sv.

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