The Apogee Of Coronavirus

There are magical moments every morning these days. This is one.

The girls are seated and still (for now) in their makeshift classrooms: plastic folding tables and antique chairs salvaged from the basement. They’re tapping away at their Chromebooks. Elsie is smiling through the blank spot filled, until yesterday, with her canine.

All is silent, save for the birds, tweeting from the newly sprung leaves.

One small part of our new, uncertain routine, is “Half Hour Happy Hour” (aka Hx4), a show Christofer and I have been hacking together for the last few weeks. It’s been a great excuse to connect with friends, play a few songs, talk about stuff — and work together with Chris on something new.

This week, I asked our old friend, “I’m Proud of You: My Friendship With Fred Rogers” author, Tim Madigan, to join. Tim’s segment in “Mister Rogers & Me” is a major emotional beat; his vulnerability is palpable. Still, for no particularly good reason, it had somehow been over six years since we’d spoken.

We picked up right where we’d left off, and spoke for nearly an hour (18 minutes made the edit). Mostly, he encouraged me (and all of us), to be present through this experience, to pay attention to and really honor my feelings, and be intentional about the wonder of it all.

“The whole world suffering together,” he said. “Can you imagine?”

It was nice to have permission to feel; there are so many feels. Including and especially wonder and awe.

The big Hx4 news, though, was Elsie’s new pogo record. Last year, she somehow cracked 627 pogos. Tuesday night, as the sun finally broke through a day of downpour straight out of “All Summer In A Day”, she decided to beat that record. Twenty minutes later, as the whole family all gathered to cheer her on, she had pogo’d 1706 times.

I can’t help replay the footage in my mind; it really is breathtaking.

Elsie grins, floating near-weightless at the apogee of each bounce, braces and grimaces through the jarring rebound, then catapults back into into the blue sky — up and down, up and down, over and over and over again.