A Magazine about the Hudson Valley’s local economy, published by Hudson Valley Current.

Daddy Debrief: Contem’play’tion

As an artist, I’ve been wondering how other artists have fared during the pandemic.

Personally, I haven’t found it a very creative time, though I’ve always felt contemplation was the most important part of creativity and if there’s a time for contemplation this is it.

If it’s true, then the world should be on the brink of a major artistic explosion.

But I’ve felt too unsettled to be creative.

I’ve tried. Really tried. To paint, to write, to sing. It has not come easily.

I’ve been consumed by thoughts of what the pandemic means for our children’s future. The rest of us too, but mostly the children.

I don’t know if this is a time of contemplation at all for Finn. It seems more likely that it’s a time of play in overdrive.

We’ve been quarantining with the family next door and when those parents asked their boys how this time was going for them, one of them said: “It just feels like one long playdate.”

The playtime does seem to be truly endless. Thank goodness for that.

At the end of each very long day of play, Finn is choking back the tears as they must part to be in their separate houses, acting as though they won’t see each other for another month. And then the next day they pick up where they left off.

We have continued our homeschool everyday, but play commences immediately afterwards.

We’ve also continued our charcoal drawing class every week. 

And they all practice their musical instruments everyday.

Erin arranged a couple of pieces for their very special grouping of trumpet and violins. It’s not the first combination you’d think of, but they love playing together.

Finn first became interested in the trumpet years ago when he heard the 20th Century Fox fanfare at the beginning of a movie. And now some of his favorite pieces have very strong fanfare like endings.

The boys have been doing a little music share with other friends online and that gives them something real to work toward each week. At times they practice and discuss their music as if they’re prepping for a big album. Maybe they are.

But they’ve also been extremely busy outdoors building forts and fairy villages along the banks of the stream.

For them this time has definitely encompassed creativity.

I know when this time is past we will all look back and be thankful for a great many things. Good health will be first on the list.

I will be most grateful if Finn remembers this time as an extended summer or seemingly endless play time.

We’ve had Internet visits with parents of some of Finn’s other friends and all the kids seem great. Rested, playful, happy. They are all at home with their families 24/7. For a child, how much more safe and secure can you get?

Something is being heralded in for these kids. It’s a future world of challenges for sure. But from what I’ve witnessed, they’re ready for it.

Cue the trumpet fanfare.