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Summer in lockdown

Published: Thursday 24 Sep 2020 | Edited: Thursday 24 Sep 2020

Susie crouching over a delivery table sipping from a can of juice with nurses behind her

Susie gave birth to a healthy little girl in August. Susie once again proved herself a badass, this time refusing anesthesia.

My one-month-old daughter Olive wrapped in a fleece blanket and wearing a little baby hoodie

My six-week-old daughter Olive stretching her arms above her head, wearing pink footie pajamas

Olive is sweet as heck and changing every day. Anyone who knows about babies knows how they change and grow so much in the early weeks and months, but seeing it up close makes you forget how regular it is, and forces you to see it as the freshest and newest thing, the way it is for the baby.

My two-year-old daughter Maggie on the couch, holding here six-week-old sister Olive. Maggie is watching TV off camera, looking over the baby's head

Two-year-old Maggie loved Olive from the second we brought her home. We had been telling Maggie for several months that the bump in Mom's belly was holding a baby sister who would come meet her after she came out. Sometimes after we told her about her sister, Maggie would get a worried look on her face, stare at Susie, and ask, "Momma push?" She intuited that babies, like many other things inside our bodies, have to get pushed out in order to come out. We were making a first stab at potty training during this time, so she was crafting her own analogies.

An image of my two-year-old daughter Maggie standing against a background of coniferous and leafinf trees and tall grasses

Maggie loves life and people. A couple days ago we visited the 17-mile cave outside Idaho Falls. Maggie pressed into the darkness, urging us further and further in, against our insistence that we were far from the mouth and we might run out our flashlight batteries if we didn't turn back. Maggie DGAF.

Susie and Maggie, sitting to lunch at the kitchen table, looking at each other, talking about the food

Meal times are my favorite. I once heard someone say, "Your food is always there for you. Be there for your food." We're not perfect about it, but I love when it's the three of us at the table and no other distractions, with the baby either tagging along in our arms, or napping in the swing.

Susie with the baby in a sling, and crouching to put her arm around Maggie, who is unhappy. All standing on a metal platform, overlooking Mesa Falls

We've been able to spend lots of time outdoors.

Me, Susie, and Maggie, smiling at the camera with a sage desert landscape behind us. Olive asleep in Susie's arms with her head turned away from the camera and the light

Maggie is an adventurer. So far, Olive doesn't seem to mind being drug along.

Me, Susie, and Maggie, making wild faces at one another. Maggie laughing

I'm so sorry this lockdown happened to everyone and how it has crushed dreams and killed loved ones and seems to be pushing American society closer to the brink. I recognize that I'm extremely lucky to have been spared the devastation of the pandemic. But I'm so glad I've had this summer with my little family. I'm grateful we've been shut in together. It makes me happy to be there for my people and to be there for my food.