Oberon's Perch

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

When the pandemic first began, I was unaware of the deep connections I would make with my family. Leading up to March 2020, I was overwhelmed with our busy lives. Each day was a balancing act of work and home---volleyball, basketball, and softball, commuting to and fro for it all AND trying to remain hydrated, exercise, and be a good friend. Oberon, silently observed all of it, but his favorite is to observe the outside world. 

In March, I'd just returned from a 5-day whirlwind business trip that had me visiting Manhattan, Jersey City, and Houston before we embarked on our Spring Break road trip to Colorado. MariJul had an out of state volleyball tournament and we elected to remain a few days afterward to ski--a dream of Don's since before we were married, to ski with his children on the same mountains he enjoyed in his younger days. Because of the early days of the pandemic, we were allowed ignorance of what would come. Rigorous handwashing, aside, face masks and social distancing were not yet the norm. We completed the tournament on a high, eager to conquer the slopes and enjoy our time as a family. Unfortunately, within hours of arriving to our rented home, I fell ill: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste and smell, tummy troubles...sound familiar? During the days that would ensue, I remained in our rented home while my family went skiing. Oberon remained by my side during those blurred hours, occasionally taking a break to glance out the windows to the mountains and the big horn sheep. It was all a haze of soup, blankets, and comfort...I braved the slopes for a couple of hours, insisting that the fresh air and sun would help me, and they did! Upon returning, dutiful Oberon, curled up with me while I continued my regimen of essential oils, chicken soup, ibuprofen, breathing treatments (kiddo and I have asthma and we had the machine with us) Tylenol, and Mucinex. Tests at that time were not readily available, so we returned home and quarantined for 14 days just in case. 


Not long into working from home, I made the decision to move into my favorite room: the dining room. Every element in this room was chosen intentionally, the light is bright, not to mention the incredible memories made in this room: family dinners, birthday parties, holiday meals, tamaladas, and even a rehearsal dinner. Oberon claimed his typical position, firmly planted at my feet, especially because I have a standing desk. 

As the family fell into routine, so too, did Oberon. The girls' enjoy a mid-day break to swing or decorate the sidewalk with their art, their joyful noise background to the many meetings I take each day. My meetings begin while the home slumbers and will last until the chopping of vegetables begins for dinner. In those days when I worked in the dining room, I caught Obi staring out the window and as such, moved his bed to make him more comfortable. Since then, each day, when I commute from my bedroom to the dining room, he will do an early morning stretch in his egg (a bean bag that he's claimed as his own) and move to his perch by the front window. He checks in for his work day, supporting me from his position, carefully watching over our girls during their break and protecting the home from menacing squirrels. 

While these past nine months have been challenging in many negative ways, it has also introduced the idea of new challenges to the system that I'd been so comfortable: too harried and busy to enjoy simple moments. I've learned that my eldest daughter is not a morning person. Even in utero to her now 12.5 years of life, mornings are a struggle. But when she awakes, I marvel at the way her ideas manifest onto the screen or paper, her growing curiosity to know more about my life and the work I do. My youngest very much determined to complete all of the things, organized and insistent that her classmates focus, as well. We share stories. We online shop. They hear the power in my vulnerability at work. They witness transformational shifts, and moments of regression. They both are secure in the ability to begin again. They understand and hold steadfast to my motto: Make it Better. 

Oberon, a witness to it all, an extension of me in all of the best observer of the world.

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