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Wipe It Clean

Early this morning, without any warning, James bolted out of bed, in a mad hurry to leave the house. For a minute, I thought, 'This is it. He's lost it. He can no longer bear the confinement and he's going to the loony bin.' But, as he grabbed his keys he explained that a local hardware store reportedly had toilet paper, and off he went (check out the gem he came home with below). This explanation made perfect sense to me and I rolled over relishing the fact that my kids still hadn't banged on the door demanding breakfast.

This is just one of many incidents that have occurred recently that would have seemed laughable just a few weeks ago, but now seem pretty normal. There's also the grocery store ritual. BCV I would never have described myself as a (drink) germaphobe. I was more the "if it lands on the floor you can still eat it," kind of mom. I honestly never wiped down a shopping cart and only occasionally did I remember to wash produce. I know this is really cringy to many of you, but it's just the way I rolled and for the record, I rarely get sick nor do my kids. But NOW...germs are an entirely different story. I'm not only washing my produce (now multiple times), but I'm wiping down pasta boxes (what the hell?), and as soon as I walk in the house, I beeline it for the sink to wash my hands. (Drink) Part of me has even considered showering and washing everything I was wearing in an effort to disinfect. (Drink) Maybe I should get a hazmat suit.

As someone who never gave a second thought to germs, this new mindset is disturbing. And I can only imagine the measures actual BCV germaphobes are taking to ward off infection. If you think about it, given the length of time these germs (drink) can live on surfaces, we really all should be walking around (drink) in hazmat suits, or gloves at the very least.

But what happens when this all ends? Do I go back to snacking on grapes in the car before I make it home to wash them (IF I wash them)? Something tells me this new mindset is going to be tough to shake. And what about the kids? I have 42 years of practice not being paranoid about germs. But kids are more impressionable. This might be the new standard for them. In some ways it's great that sneezing and coughing into elbows has become second nature and we are being more mindful of personal hygiene. But at the same time, kids need to eat a little dirt now and then. (Drink) They need to eat apples off trees and roast marshmallows on sticks they find in the woods. They don't need to cloud their minds with paranoia about getting sick if they touch a door handle.

Just yesterday, I took Kaleb and the twins to the beach. Cynthia asked to bring a stuffie and I agreed, but at the last minute, she had second thoughts. "Will my little guy catch Corona Virus?" she asked. My heart nearly broke.

It was a logical question, of course. But this is exactly what I hope does not stick when we emerge on the other side. There are many things I hope remain - family jigsaw puzzles and lazy afternoons watching movies; morning walks and randomly baking a batch of cookies; pajama days, coloring, board games, handwritten letters and gifts to people we don't know...overhearing make believe games. (Drink) But not fear. Not worry. Not the inability to take risks, embrace life, and every once in awhile, forget to wash your hands.

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