Your Last Normal Photo

There was a thing going around on Facebook asking you to post your the last photo on your phone before you went into lockdown.

This is mine:

We had friends over to play Smart Ass the first Sunday of March Break. It was supposed to be after we all saw Cats, but the rest of the performances had just been cancelled, so we were already wondering if we should have people over, but things were still very uncertain. We all washed our hands a lot but didn't exactly social distance, as you can see (we did hug a bit less than we usually do). We were supposed to go over to their house for a hot tub Tuesday night, two nights later, but by then recommendations were coming down and we decided not to go.

Ontario just announced that schools are closed for the rest of the year. We knew it was coming, but it still has a sobering finality. Eve is okay with it, and I'm okay with it for her. I'm pretty sad for myself. I only work a couple of days a week at two different schools, so chances of getting the kids I really like two years in a row are slim. When the kids come up for me to scan their books out, their patron record has their school picture with it. One boy at my Wednesday school is smiling like this in his photo:

When I told him how much I love seeing that smile every time I scan his books out, he started smiling the smile when he came up to my desk. It was a bright, lovely spot in every shift. There's also a boy named Stanley Cramp (I know I shouldn't be sharing his name, but when you google Stanley Cramp you just get some old British civil servant and ornithologist, who for all I know my Stanley is named after, but I don't feel like I'm endangering my Stanley) who has an adorable British accent and was astonished that I remembered his name so quickly, so then I would pretend not to know it - "Walter? Ernest? Plantagenet?" and he would howl with laughter and say "You're winding me up, you are" and guys, WHAT IF STANLEY CRAMP ISN'T IN MY LIBRARY PERIOD NEXT YEAR THIS IS BULLSHIT.

Okay, let's focus on some good stuff. We had no plans for the long week-end, mainly because we completely forgot it was a long week-end, who the frig knows anymore, am I right? We ended up seeing people (from a social distance, MAN I can't wait until I don't have to add that phrase to every second sentence, "I went and saw my BFF and SAT RIGHT BESIDE HER AND NIBBLED HER EAR A LITTLE" every day - my parents for a barbecue on Saturday, our neighbours and their friends that we love on Sunday, and the Smart Ass people and another couple on Monday. Sunday was impromptu banana daiquiris and wine and then someone got the munchies so someone did a McDonald's run. Matt said "did they ask you how much you smoked up before ordering this?"

First time I'd had McDonalds in years. It was better than I remembered, can't imagine why.

My neighbour's dog being adorable and totally not begging for a fry.

Lucy and her big sister.

Our neighbours are amazing and I love them. I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't love their neighbours, especially now when even in lockdown rules - no more than five people, six feet apart - we could go sit in their back yard, drink a bottle of wine or five (that was only once), let the dogs run around and use our own washrooms. There have been no issues with our family being locked in together for two months - due as much to the kids' ages and the amount of space we have as to how much we like each other, which is a lot - but sometimes you just want to see another human other than on your computer screen.
I try really hard not to compare myself to other people, but I have been feeling kind of lame about my quarantine accomplishments - I haven't even baked bread, although I've baked innumerable biscuits, a buttload of maple oatmeal scones and some soft pretzels. So tonight we're making grilled naan. As ever when trying a new recipe, I figure it will either be a good meal or a good story. 


Ernie said…
You make me laugh. I think you have baked plenty. Can't wait to hear the story of naan or the delicious outcome.

I will take that sorry feeling for bad neighbors- right over here please. My neighbors are literally the worst. We are on the corner and three of the families who are our age and could be cool to hang out with suck the big one. So many stories, but trust me here. Even other friends/acquaintances cringe when they find out who I live near. As in - different people who know all three families from various walks of life, so I swear it is NOT us, just in case you thought we had an unfriendly vibe going. I even told the kids recently, imagine how nice it would be to hang with cool neighbors right now. Dare to dream.

My last normal photo is probably Curly snuggling one of the babies I sit for.

Sorry about your Stanley and the smiley kid. That really does suck. I used to come home with some hilarious stories from subbing. My kids: 'Do you have any stories?' The answer always: YES! One kid got ticked off that I let a kid off the hook for having to move his clip down. I didn't move it. Another teacher did during an assembly. The kid was INCONSOLABLE. Me: Behave till lunch and after lunch we will move the clip up. After lunch another kid felt I was breaking the 'clip moving' rules and told me he knew why I was bad and it was because of my last name. (so my last name is not actually Shenanigan, but it is in fact a real word that can mean monster). I almost died laughing.

Busy Bee Suz said…
Sadly for me, one of my last photos is probably of a butterfly. But maybe I'll check.

Our kids are out of school for the rest of the year too. I feel bad for parents who are trying to work. My hairdresser is taking an indefinite leave because she has no one to watch her kids.
Now, I'm taking this pandemic personally.


I sure as hell hope you get Stanley next year; he sounds like a hoot. That's probably a phrase he uses....are you sure he isn't 62?
How sweet to see a kid who smiles all the time too; your job sounds just perfectly wonderful.

I don't have close neighbors because our property is large....but when I do see them, they're nice.
Not wine and pot nice, but nice.

I have not had McDonald's in almost five years; I'm guessing the fries still taste like angels wings?

Coach has made Naan bread twice now on the grill since we've been on lockdown; I kept meaning to share that on the blog. IT WAS DELISH!
StephLove said…
I just got sucked into looking at the photos in my phone and deciding what "last normal photo" really meant. If normal in spirit, it would be a photo I took when Beth and North and I went to Roosevelt Island and Georgetown (both in DC) the last weekend of February. We went out for ice cream! With other people in line and at tables really close to us! If literally the last photo before the stay-at-home directive, it would be some daffodils in my yard, but I took so many nature photos in the early days of this, there's no poignant contrast so I prefer the Georgetown pictures.

Possibly I am thinking too hard about this.
I regularly delete my photos after uploading them, so who knows. I'll have to go look. I know what you mean, by the time I'm actually teaching in a studio - and my fave studio is actually closed, forever, so who knows when that will be - many of my senior students will be "no longer with us."

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