On March 13th, it will be two years since our school shut down and the whole world went haywire. I remember that day so well. I thought we would be shutting down for a couple of weeks to protect the older people in this country. I was optimistic. I was naïve. I was wrong.
My kids lost months of school, and that’s better than most kids.
My kids lost birthday parties and field trips they will never get to make up.
My kids lost camp, sleepovers, trips to the local pool, ice skating, theater, dance assembly, playdates, indoor soccer, and carpools.
My kids lost years of seeing their cousins because they live an airplane ride away.
Zoey hasn’t been able to choose where she sits for lunch, which seems tiny, but really it’s a big deal when you’re in junior high and your friendships are constantly changing.
Holden’s had to eat his lunch sitting at a desk with a clear partition around him, which is fine, but not nearly as fun as the crazy loud lunchroom he deserves.
They’ve lost movie theaters, sporting events, shopping trips, amusement parks, even friends.
My kids have lost a lot. But I know many families have lost more. I know there are people who are high risk who live in constant fear. I know there are families who’ve lost irreplaceable loved ones to this horrible virus—parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, babies. I know there are moms and dads who worry about their little children because they can’t get the vaccine yet. I know there are plenty of people who have lost more than my kids. Which is why I’ve tried to protect as many people as I can. By getting my whole family vaccinated and boosted. By staying home when they told us to stay home. By testing when they told us to test. By wearing a mask. By buying more effective, more expensive masks. And countless other things. I can’t tell you how bad I feel for the people who have lost more than me.
But I have to look out for my children. And they need a little normalcy.
Completely back to normal? I doubt it. Normal-ish. But the numbers in our area are super low right now which gives us a window. And I have to let my children put their head out that window and enjoy the fresh air, the breeze, the sunshine, for as long as it lasts. I hope it’s not just a window. I hope it’s a long tunnel of normal that goes on and on and on. But I need to take advantage of this moment in case it doesn’t last. In case another variant pops up to make things go haywire again. My kids need this window.
I know there are plenty of people who can’t put their head out that window yet. People who have good reason to be scared. I wish everyone could go back to normal-ish with us. But for now I need to give my children a little normalcy. They’ve lost so much already. They need it.
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