• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley in sits in woods with friend
    Things That Suck

    I Can’t Do This Anymore

    You know that feeling you had last week? Or maybe it was yesterday? Or even right now? I’m talking about the feeling that says, “I can’t do this anymore!” I mean, maybe you haven’t had this feeling yet. Maybe you actually like this quarantine. Maybe you have a secure, well-paying job and a stockpile of food and no medical issues and no young children and a big backyard and a partner who is quarantining with you. I mean, there are ways that people could enjoy this time period. But for most people, it sucks. And for many of my friends, last week was when I started hearing people say, “I…

  • Groceries like that delivered to DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    A Genuine Offer, Freely Given, With Gladness

    Okay, here’s a little secret about widowed parenting (or at least my version of widowed parenting): sometimes I leave my kids home alone. I try not to. Claire is old enough to watch her brothers, yes, but Tommy is still little and I don’t want to put such a burden on her. That first summer after Shawn died, I actually looked up what the rules were about leaving kids home alone. My dad was gone and I wanted to be able to run around the block or pop out to get some milk without taking all three of them every single time. I was dismayed to learn that they needed…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley plays with son while sitting in a chair at park
    Things That Suck

    Breaking Point

    Monday was a beautiful day here in Washington, and after a very frustrating session of trying to help Tommy read, I decided that we should spend a little time laying in the hammock. I got in and he sat in my lap. Then he laid his head on my stomach and we swung back and forth and I thought, “this is a bit of perfection.” Austin snapped a photo and when he showed it to me, I thought it was so cute that I sent it to a friend. My friend texted me back something sweet, but then added, “did you see the stay-at-home order?” I immediately went to my…

  • Steaming tea kettle used by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    Sore Throat

    I woke up with a sore throat this morning.* I’m writing this at 5:30 in the morning. A few minutes ago, I woke up with a slight headache and a sore throat. It’s the kind of thing that I would have totally dismissed a month ago. I would have pulled myself together, taken an Advil, gone running with Purva and taught a day’s worth of lessons, never thinking about the sore throat again. But these are not normal times, are they? So I’m sitting in my living room drinking honey and lemon tea, trying not to freak out. I can already hear what my dad and sister are going to…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley teaches students remotely surrounded by her kids

    This Is Not a Referendum

    I cannot do 5th grade math. I’m not saying this to be dramatic. I simply don’t understand it. I never have, so the role of helping Claire with her math homework fell to my dad when he was here. But now that he’s gone, she just has me. And now that school has been cancelled, I’m her teacher as well as her mom. You’d think I would do okay with this new role. I mean, I am a teacher, so home school should be easy for me, right? Wrong. First of all, I don’t teach elementary school and I never have. So my content knowledge of things like 3rd grade…

  • Black and white image of family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Our Safe Space

    Like many other parents in DC, I went to pick up my children after school on Friday, bracing myself for what was to come. It felt like the end of the year, in a way. We knew the kids would be out for at least two and a half weeks, and the uncertainty about the future was palpable. Still, the children seemed excited, more than anything else. Austin and Tommy ran around on the field, and I let them, knowing that once we left the school I wasn’t going to let them play much with anyone else. I figured they could have one last game of tag, since they’d been…