I found these things in Naomi’s bag the other day. There’s a metaphor for life somewhere in there. She’s 2, almost 3, and I feel like she is perhaps better prepared for surviving an apocalypse than I am. Naomi is always following and copying her big brother, Caleb, who has been packing his backpack for school for a while now. I’m not at all hurt by the fact that she apparently doesn’t even need a pencil, despite years of evidently failed stationery training. I mean, what good is a fountain pen when you’re being chased by the zombies of life? Keep your feet dry and your soy milk close.
I guess the real metaphor is how unprepared I was for all of this. All I needed were some extra books from the library to get us through three weeks of March Break instead of two, right? Good thing I had all those bottles of special edition inks hoarded in my drawers, instead of hand sanitizer, masks, spare funds to keep a stationery shop afloat, the fortitude to homeschool two feral children, hoisin sauce. Didn’t you used to be a teacher? Everyone asks. Well—yes.
I visited the library the other day. It’s been re-opened for some time now for in-branch browsing, along with picking up your holds. It was empty! Even the computers, usually a very popular if tense area at our local branch. It wasn’t the same, trying to browse through the books without touching them, admiring the spines longingly.
In any case, we are weathering our storm, clinging onto the mast as forty days of rain loom. There are some unpleasant forecasts for what the season ahead holds, the normal flu, kids inside classrooms, a retail Christmas season with a maximum of 5 people in the shop at a time and Canada Post hobbling along with delays ho ho ho, a studio shop that has yet to re-open, Amazon opening up two warehouses just outside of Toronto, really taking advantage of the way the wind is blowing. Stocking up on picture books for the kids, stationery for long letter writing nights, warm socks.