When I look back on this time I know that my memories of navigating the covid19 pandemic will be intertwined with those of welcoming Maeve and newborn life. Maybe it will make her newborn days even more memorable. Funny enough, the hardest part of having an infant (lack of sleep) has loosely tracked along with the rise and fall of coronavirus cases in Arizona. What a correlation!
It might be the additional and increasingly dependable sleep that I'm getting but I'm coming to you with this stay at home check in with some cautious optimism (!). New case numbers of coronavirus are down significantly in Arizona. It feels good not to be in the headlines as a hot spot any more. Also significant in my life is that within the last two weeks Maeve's sleep has transitioned from feeling out of sorts, which left me exhausted and out of sorts, to manageable and predictable. I'm feeling better rested which directly translates to feeling like my optimistic self. That feels good.
In terms of coronavirus, I do worry about what will happen when gyms, bars, and schools reopen. Will our numbers just surge right back? Currently all K-12 students are online but some schools will begin offering in-person options next week. Plus students at Arizona State University, one of the largest universities in the country, have returned to campus. As an ASU employee, Chris has been informed of all the measures ASU is taking to make the fall semester safe and it does seem like they are doing all the right things. But there are also reports of student parties. What will happen?
My cautious optimist also extends to my outlook on our school experience. Last Monday we began our year-long adventure of online school with ASU Prep Digital. And so far...it's okay! What we like so far: that the boys' schedules are synched, how much time they are expected to be online each day (about three hours at the most but less some days), that the boys still have lots of breaks and generally free afternoons, all of us being together. The challenges so far: learning to navigate the software and all the learning apps, a little bit of grumbling from the boys although really it's been minimal. I'm keeping expectations for the year low both in terms of how much the boys will like online school and how much they'll learn. Not because I doubt the quality of education being offered by our school but just because online school doesn't seem like the ideal way for my boys to learn at their current ages. I have to keep reminding myself: we're doing online school because of a global pandemic! And given those circumstances I think our school situation is great.
With the start of school I've found that I have an ever deeper well of patience towards the boys. I bet it has to do with the sleep but I think it's also watching them navigate this very different school year so resiliently. They don't fully realize how different it is or how much is being asked of them. And yet they're doing it. I feel so proud of them and want to stay as positive as I can about school so they have the best experience possible.
Putting coronavirus aside, beyond our home recent events (the shooting of Jacob Blake, protesters being shot in Wisconsin) leave me outraged and heartbroken. I'm also sad about what the Republican National Convention looked like (preying on people's fears, lacking diversity in the speaker lineup) and that what our president presents as his vision for our country is one that so many people are on board with. It feels very heavy. I remind myself that the work of antiracism and moving our country forward towards being a better place for everyone is lifelong work. I'm eager and nervous for the election in November. Chris says he's preparing himself to be disappointed. I can't decide yet whether I feel optimistic or pessimistic about it.
I'm going to wrap up there. I've had little time to write lately and miss it dearly. I found the time to tap this out during one of Maeve's naps when the boys didn't have to be on the computers and in a few moments in the 5 o'clock hour after putting Maeve back down after nursing. But now everyone is up at my house (it's 6:05 am) so the day has started. Chris has a full day of meetings so I have a full day of managing a baby and online school. Here we go...!
Hope you are doing well, friends.