Spring Break 2020 kicked itself off with canceled flights and suitcases we were too depressed to unpack when we called off our trip to Puerto Rico because of the pandemic. Things were odd, to say the least.
We wavered between being grateful to be together … doing art projects, riding bikes, taking walks, and splashing puddles … and hesitantly hopeful. Maybe things will calm down, and we can just push our trip to next month or this summer? And as the weeks turned into months, and more trips, concerts, and events were canceled, we settled into a slump. My husband continued the grind, an essential worker, in and out of multiple houses every day, undressing in the basement and immediately showering— doing what he could to not bring the plague upon our house.
I stayed at home with the kids and tried to stay positive. Except for the days I came completely unglued. Crying. Not getting out of bed. If I remember correctly, at my lowest point, I literally screamed at my husband, “I don’t care if the three of you go PLAY IN TRAFFIC! I just need to be by myself.” Yeah. Not my finest moment.
So if you had told me a year ago we would CHOOSE to spend Spring Break 2021 the exact same way, I would have told you you were crazy. And given my mental state a year ago, I may have punched you in the lip. Sorry, not sorry.
And yet, HERE WE ARE! In our home.
Our son is lavishing in multiple sleepovers with his beloved PawPaw, superhero movies with Daddy, staying in jammies well into the afternoon, and Legos on the front porch. He is also an avid Amazon Delivery watcher. You can not get a box past him! And if we don’t get a delivery that day? Rest assured, he will pack up something in the house and put it on the front porch.
Our daughter is thrilled to have unlimited tablet time, staying up late into the night chatting with her two besties and playing Roblox until who knows what time (Momma is asleep!). Then, riding bikes and scooters during the day with the same two besties she spent all evening chatting with. And she is finally old enough to ride on the parking lot behind our house (somewhat) unsupervised. It is possible I am more excited about it than she is!
Last spring, there was a time when all I could think about was everything opening back up and getting “back to normal.” It has been so eye-opening and refreshing to find our new, back-to-basics, normal. One could definitely argue that I am too much of a homebody and should get the kids out of the house more often (one of them is going to the Magic House with a friend tomorrow, okay? Get off my back.). What I feel, though, is proud, seeing my children relish in the same activities my husband and I did growing up. Our own little 2021 version of “Don’t come home until the street lights come on.”
Full disclosure: I have been back at work for months. We rebooked Puerto Rico for May. Alicia Keyes appears to be keeping her 2021 summer concert dates. My husband and I are going on our very first all-inclusive to the Dominican Republic for my 40th birthday in July.
There are things on the horizon to look forward to again, and it is not lost on me how that changes the current environment in our home.
There is ALSO the social anxiety I rediscovered when I couldn’t go anywhere or see anyone. Now I don’t want to and can’t remember how.
But in the words of Scarlet O’Hara, I will think about that tomorrow. Today we will open the windows, play some music, dance in the kitchen, run barefoot in the backyard, keep watch for our favorite Amazon delivery driver, and embrace the simple.
It feels good to choose it this year.