One year. It has been one year since I was clearing out my desk with the items I would need for our two weeks at home. I remember being with my coworkers thinking how crazy this was. What would it be like to be home for two weeks with my toddler twins while I work? I remember the day before Rach,and I took the day off. We went to lunch, had a few cocktails, went to a few stores in hopes we would grab the things we needed for Easter and the boy’s 4th birthday: Just in Case….
I remember the feeling of being so scared, knowing I could see my family but soon cutting that off too. The first couple of months seem like such a blur. I went from getting up and dressed like an adult like I was going in to the office. Jeans, make up, nice blouse etc. I remember dressing up for Zoom and Teams meetings. One year later and leggings are my dress pants.
Then we got to spend the boys 4th birthday with just them. We had a super fun Car Parade for them and blew kisses to our friends and family. We had a zoom Easter and waited for the Easter Bunny to do a town wide drive by. I was starting to feel the fatigue within weeks. That feeling of sadness. The feeling of needing hugs. Lots of them.
Mother’s Day was the first time we decided to “break the rules” and spend some time outside with my mom and one of my sisters. I remember the feel of those Masked hugs. The tears, the fears and the joy of seeing the boys with their big cousins. Then we went back to lockdown mode.
May 17th, a hard day for us that we usually spend with the most important people in our life came…. What was this going to be like? Our tribe showed up. Surprised us with a parade for Delaney. The people that celebrate her life with us, did. They stood outside of their cars and played the song we always play for her. We cried. We purged our emotions. Later that night I have planned a live candle lighting for her for all the people that wanted to join…. My family surprised us again and showed up in the backyard with the cupcake we had dropped off to them earlier for them to celebrate with us via Live FB.
This was the day we shifted. We, I, could no longer stay separate from them. This is when we opened our world to have our Pandemic Pod. I remember the sense of relief I had knowing that I would see some of the most I needed to. I was now months in to having the boys and working from home. Rach was still in the office. They ended up shutting down for a total of 5 weeks. And two of those were because we were exposed to Covid.
Mid-Late June I eased up on allowing the grandparents to start helping with the kids. For all of our sakes. For all of us to have a “Sense of Normalcy”. I wish I kept track of how many times that phrase has been used by us over the past year.
Summer. Outside. Weather. BBQs. Pool time. Park time. Hikes. Longer days. SUN. SUN. SUN. Tractors. Bikes. Bubbles. Chalk, Scooters. Walks. Beach. Anniversary Trip. 20/40 Party. Memories. Cookouts. Campfires. S’mores. Sunday Dinners. “Sense of Normalcy”
Summer was a breath of fresh air. All the things we needed. We made some amazing memories as a family. The boys learned how to ride bikes with training wheels, they were swimming without floaties (with help) We were outside and, in our backyard, more than we had been in the past few years we had lived here. It was the best part of the entire year.
The stress of working from home was taking its toll. Not having an escape at the end of each day. The clocking in/out was blurred but the mixing of my home office and my dining room. I moved my workspace about 8 times to try and find a comfortable area. There was talk around my company that layoffs were coming and we were all convincing each other that it wouldn’t be us.
August came. Rach and I had cancelled our 10-year anniversary trip to NOLA but did take a trip to the Cape. Three days away together. Was amazing. A much-needed breather for us both.
A few days later, I remember my friends, coworkers and I receiving an email of a mandatory meeting that we all needed to be on later that day. We weren’t all in the same one. Which of course, turned into us all freaking out. My friend Jamie came over to sit across the table from me while we took our separate calls. On her end of the line she was being told that there were changes being made but that the people on her call were safe. Looking across the table to me, as I received the news that 40+ other people on the line were being told that our positions were no longer needed, and we would be unemployed a month from then. I spent the first two weeks of that limbo month freaking out about what I would do to provide for my family. How would we get through this? So deep into the pandemic and I was just now losing my job. I was joining the millions of people looking for employment. The first time in my working career that I had lost my job. I applied to everything. And I mean everything. I didn’t care what it was if it was something. We were also waiting to hear about school for the boys.
Maybe me losing my job would be ok for a little bit with the boys not returning to school like planned. I remember the tears. Lots of them. A company I loved, a career that I worked so hard for, was gone. I remember the bitter feelings of “why me” but quickly shifted to why not me. I wasn’t untouchable. I must admit that this has now been a blessing in disguise. After 6 weeks of being unemployed, I have a new Career, with a new company that I like even more! And those 6 weeks, I was able to regain my strength as a Mama. Those months, a full half year with the boys home most of the time, took a toll. I never realized how quickly I could lose patience. But, those unemployed weeks. That was me and the boys. We had so much fun. We explored together. We did so many projects. And I started to gain self-respect back. (and all the weight I had lost the year before)
November, we had our first Covid Scare. The boys had a virus that we learned Pediatricians aren’t taking appointments and thus the first of the Miller Covid tests happened. Luckily, no Covid. The holidays we did our best to make the most out of them. My youngest sister couldn’t be with us for Thanksgiving. Our Aunt, Uncle and Cousin in NY, couldn’t come due to them having Covid. They always spend the holidays with us. It was a smaller family gathering. But our Boys kept saying “it was the best day ever”.
New year, new “Sense of Normalcy”, boys went back to school for hybrid learning. They were so excited to see other kids. They wanted so much of the school they remembered. They had grown so much over that past year. It has truly been amazing to see all the changes. Now, here we are, ONE YEAR LATER…
So, what do we do next? I must tell you, that I don’t even know. I never knew I could be a work from home person. I definitely have my struggles. I miss having co workers to banter with. GOD I MISS DRIVING TO AND FROM WORK. I miss ordering lunch with my friends and just chatting. I miss my friends. I miss not seeing all my tribe. I MISS HUGS!!!!!!!! There are so many people I can not wait to hug. Even that ones that are uncomfortable with hugs.
We are taking the boys on our rescheduled trip to Florida next month. I AM FREAKING, but we are going. We have a private house we are staying at. We will take all the precautions we need to, but I really really NEED a new “Sense of Normalcy”.
I love you all. I miss you.