There’s a messy wad of unknowns right about now. Super messy. Like yarn mixed with sticks and chicken poop and hundreds of paper scraps and socks. Those are items I find myself cleaning up inside my zone of quarantine. You? It’s far too easy to focus on my racing heartbeat as all the unknowns rise to the surface, so instead I’m shifting my efforts to zeroing in on what I know for sure. My accuracy with this new perspective is hovering at around 10% right now, but we have nothing but time to raise that percentage, so here we go. Here are 10 things I know for sure.

1.My closet is big enough to hold me, a bottle of wine, a good book and sound blocking headphones for unlimited amounts of time. SUPER grateful for my closet. I lovingly refer to it as my COVID Panic Room. Do you have a closet that could offer the same? Doesn’t need be a huge closet. Just a closet where you can hide in and take lots of breaths. Go on an adult only closet hunt. Your kids might find a closet to call their own while you’re at it. It’ll be worth it. Quarantine within your quarantine. I talk to you from my Panic Room HERE.

2. Mo Willems is a artsy dream and his organized, color coded studio brings me joy. Who knew the ability to draw a pigeon would be so satisfying? A whole bunch of authors/illustrators are getting on the bandwagon and it’s HOURS of entertainment for young and old. These creative humans have provided a consistent “break time” routine for my kids and me. I might have even ordered a set of calligraphy pens and a “how to draw things adults should already know how to draw” book.

3. Routine is gold. Raising a kiddo on the spectrum, this isn’t a news flash, but it has never been more front and center than right. this. moment. We got our home school asses in gear day #1 and the schedule is proving to be what’s keeping me out of my afore-mentioned closet. Our schedule is my sanity and includes daily doses of some sort of chicken activity and time in our woods.

4. Nature cares not about Corona Virus and neither does the onset of Spring. She’s arriving friends and THAT is beautiful news. She’s out there, inviting us to investigate her and soak in her steadfast friendship. She might be the one presence who is 100% benefiting from this virus. Her air is cleaner, her waterways less polluted, her animal residents less disturbed….she’s living her best life and wants us to enjoy her. She’s saving my mama marbles, without a doubt. Some days Rylan even chooses to enjoy her.

5. Jimmy Fallon and Jen Hatmaker are real funny humans. Always have been, always will be. Thank you Jimmy and Jennifer. Laughing is universal peeps. It’s on our family’s “Must Do Every Day List” and without it, we’d crash and burn.

6. Being crabby is inevitable and allowed. Staying in a constant state of crab won’t work, but moments of crab? Absolutely acceptable. Crying for no apparent reason is also acceptable. My kids no longer worry when my eyes well up. They just pat me on the back and walk away.

7. It’s Autism Awareness Month and we have a whole lot of time to celebrate the complex beauty that is Autism. In fact, Rylan would like to sell a mere 10,000 books this month, so I’m finding myself hard at work flexing my marketing muscles. A special Autism Month message from Rylan is HERE.

8. There is good in all of this. Joy even some days. We can learn to love our reality for what it is without longing for it to be over. We are being invited to usher in weird new ways of existing in these simple, de-frazzled days (unless you’re an essential worker I would add) and there are golden nuggets to be found. Scrounged up perhaps, but they are THERE. It’ll be years worth of unpacking all this wacky business, but the gems will be so incredibly evident when we’re out of the weeds.

9. Each and every one of us are included in this universal cloud of witnesses through this COVIDness. It might look different for everyone, but the wide wide world is doing this thing together, at the same time, with similar fears and curiosities. We’re feeling similar feels and becoming lack luster, against our will home school teachers TOGETHER.

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10. Zoom etc. These digital therapist have allowed us the opportunity to “fill our social calendars” once again. We now look forward to virtual happy hours with friends living 1,000 miles away (why on EARTH haven’t we done this before now????), online Sader dinners with 700+ people we wouldn’t normally join with, book clubs, virtual family game nights, birthday parties, sing offs….the creativity coming to light through our ability to gather virtually is inspiring and will change the way we think, act, and gather in the future. Is it better than face to face community? No. But it’s community and we NEED community. Thank you sweet Jesus that we’re living in a time where it’s still at our fingertips.