Far back in my woods, in the grove of hemlock and beech, the fiddleheads have appeared. Each little clump looks like a family of aliens, huddled together, keeping their distance from any other clump.
That's what my extended family feels like right now. Nine households, all within fifteen miles of each other, but each little group being forced to keep to themselves. We wave through front windows and talk from porches. We chat over computers and smart phones. My husband and I have several times driven to my oldest son's house, just to talk to Totoro Grandson through the glass window. What a weird impression of the world that six-month-old is getting. Maybe he thinks his grandparents are characters on a television show.
Yesterday, the weather was sunny. Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter and Sailor Boy found out that a local Italian bakery had takeout service, so they picked up boxes of treats and delivered them to family members. My daughter wanted to paint the shelves in the baby's room, so I found some leftover paint in my basement and put it out on the front porch for her to pick up. They chatted with me through the front window for a few minutes before heading to the Cottage (With-a-Why's house) and then to the Kitchen, where Boy in Black and Blonde Chef live. Later, when I was making meatballs and sauce for my parents, I drove to my daughter's house to get the egg she'd left out on her porch. She gave me a keyboard to deliver to Shaggy Hair Boy, so I drove out the Farm before going to my parents' house to drop off the sauce for their dinner.
It's really like a game of musical chairs, except with the chairs spread really far apart. We're always calling and texting, and someone is always delivering something, but the only time we are all together is on zoom.