How are you, friends? Cities and states are starting to open up. Some people, in masks and not, feel comfortable venturing out while others are staying home.
In our house, for now, we’re planning to stay the at-home course. For us this includes having only Chris go to stores and only going when we really need to although we’re still on a weekly grocery shopping schedule. In terms of socializing we have been getting together with Chris’s sister and her family. We started this a few weeks ago after we had all been self-isolating for several weeks. We’re taking turns hosting kids for sleepovers and Chris takes the boys to swim at her house a couple times a week. We’ve also had a recent visit with Chris’s mom. We continue to not see friends with the exception of a socially distanced happy hour that Chris attended.
We continue to get takeout occasionally but minimize time in restaurants. I was notified that my Orange Theory gym will open next week but I’m planning to freeze my membership even though I am so eager to go back. I wonder when I'll feel comfortable going back? I hope they’ll continue to offer at-home workouts through the app.
Quarantine creativity: one day the boys decided to "mail" Cedric. They stamped him with our return address stamp and then he went to wait for the mail truck. Before the mail truck could pick him up I was instructed to deliver him to our house where we discovered he was a robot named Bee-Bye. Then the boys played robots for an hour. Conveniently I was able to program Bee-Bye to tidy up and even to make his own lunch.
Right now I’m wondering a lot about next school year. I think everyone with kids is. I am expecting that our district will open in August with some modifications unless covid cases continue to rise (which they very well could). I wonder about the situation in which the schools open but we don’t feel comfortable sending the boys to school. What Chris and I have talked about is that we want to see a consistent decline in cases for several weeks before we would be ready to send the boys to school. We also have concerns about the “second wave” of coronavirus that some health experts predict. To be honest I do not feel excited about the prospect of homeschooling for the foreseeable future. I will do it and hopefully make the best of it if need be but I would certainly prefer to be part of our school community in-person. I'll also feel heartbroken for Cedric if he misses out on the traditional kindergarten year experience. He is so ready and has been so excited for kindergarten. At the same time I'm also cognizant of how privileged we are that we would even be able to homeschool the boys.
Lately I’m also wondering when I’ll see my parents again and when we'll feel comfortable visiting Austin. My parents were supposed to visit in late June but now most likely will not. It would all be easier to endure if we knew when it would be safe to do these things. Three months? Six months? Two years?
A recent episode of The Mom Hour hit on something that I’ve been thinking about and that is how we are all navigating this differently. In my personal opinion I feel that we should all be continuing to minimize our time out in the world. At the same time I also want the hardship of shuttered businesses to end so that people can get back to work. I also empathize with the feelings of being cooped up and isolated. Therefore I actively look upon the people venturing out more than we are with understanding. We are all navigating an unprecedented time and arriving at different conclusions and comfort levels.
Although I don’t feel judgment towards others I feel...maybe a little envious? I know Orange Theory will be full next week (although at half capacity due to safety measures). I want to be there. I don’t feel comfortable yet going to stores but I want to go back to Trader Joe’s. I would love to take the boys to the public pool when it opens (or anywhere they can burn off energy!) but as of right now I don’t plan to. I’d love to get a haircut. I’m tired of being home too even as this time has had benefits (lots of time together, not feeling busy). It’s unclear what the “rules” really are because it we get conflicting messages between our government and health experts, state to state, and sometimes week to week. I really do think that most people are carefully considering the information and are doing what they think is in the best interest of their family and the community. It looks different for each family. I don’t mean to sound like a martyr and I don’t feel that I am better than anyone else who isn’t staying home. In sharing these thoughts my intention is to be honest about how I’m processing all of this.
I’m grateful that Chris and I are on the same page about staying home. We maintain the mindset that we will not regret taking a more conservative path. We'll consider new information as it's available and modify our behavior accordingly. In looking ahead we are still anticipating the possibility that Chris’s salary will be reduced temporarily. To plan for that we’re saving as much as we can and saving into a savings account instead of an investment account so the money is easy to access. We’re also unsure if Chris will need to return to the office at the end of his parental leave in five weeks or if university employees will still be working virtually. Hopefully he can work from home a few days a week if he is due back in the office.
It’s been interesting that for me being stuck at home is also tied to the fact that I recently had a baby and that I’m breastfeeding. Even without a pandemic I would have been spending a lot of time at home lately. Just last week I was able to go out for a couple hours by myself because I started pumping the week before. In the morning I nursed Maeve, got dressed, and hit the open road so to speak. I got takeout coffee and breakfast, listened to a new podcast, and drove to my parents' house in Chandler to check on a couple things for them. It was so nice to have somewhere to go and a purpose for going there!
We’re heading into summer which looks pretty much the same as the final weeks of the school year. I plan to keep the boys on a flexible structure of daily learning, or perhaps just Monday through Thursday. I plan to sign each of them up for an online summer class through our school district (I'm going to call it summer camp though; it's all about how you sell it!) and supplement with some workbooks. I have a beautiful plan and structure in my head. I wonder how likely it is that it will all go as I’m envisioning...? Since so many things are going according to plan lately. Oof!
I'd love to hear how you are feeling about venturing out and, if you're a parent with kids still in school, what you've heard from your school district if anything. I hope you are finding ways to keep your spirits lifted and to stay connected with others.