The Season


My friend Lindsey and I were recently chatting through our masks at a local ice cream shop. She said that her younger son refers to what we're all going through right now with COVID as "the season". I like looking at it that way because it means that it will pass. In this moment, it feels like this big question mark with no end date and with endless battles still left to be waged.

I started to write myself a note on my phone. I haven't felt inspired to write or journal for, well, years (I mean, look at the last time I updated this blog!).

I wrote:

Weekends aren't weekends.
Nothing feels like a break.
Life is beyond hard.
And it gets harder when you realize you aren't appreciating any of it anymore.
I dreamed for years of being a mom.
And I'm not appreciating my children.
This time is fleeting.
Now it all feels like work.
Work that I resent.
I want my life back.
I want their lives back.
I'm sick with indecision and uncertainty.
I can't do this anymore.
I want this to end.
When will this end?

It sounds like a dramatic cry for help. It's really not. I'm mentally fine -- chugging along -- but I'll get these moments where it feels like . . . A LOT. Because LIFE IS HARD normally. Right now? It's just not something I ever imagined.

I was hit by a car while walking in November. that was very difficult both physically and emotionally for me. I'm still dealing with issues on both sides. Beyond that (and like many of you), we have had basically no breaks from our kids since COVID started. We love them, but it's too much togetherness for all of us. On top of it, we canceled summer vacations. We now agonize over trips to the store. We have worn deep paths at local parks and trails. We are running out of steam. We're . . . over it.

Yet we're not anxious to return to normal life. We dutifully wear our masks everywhere we go, and we believe it's a small thing we can do to help. Still, we have trouble with the idea of going to in-person dining at restaurants. We have sheepishly ducked out of playdates and social invites.

Maybe we're too strict? I don't know. If you aren't, don't feel too judged. While I don't agree, I understand the desire to just get back what we have lost on some level. And I fully acknowledge and appreciate our privilege to lay so very low. What we're up against is invisible. What we know about the disease and how to deal with it seems to change on the daily. Our numbers here in NY state are low. It's easy to think we crossed some hurdle or milestone. In reality, it's just not so.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am considering homeschooling. I wish I could tell you I'm a homeschool mom who is LIVING for the idea of teaching my children from home. In the past, it was a fantasy of mine. I've written posts about it or shared some things I was doing with my kids to teach them. Like many bloggers, I was trying on a persona. One that just doesn't fit who I really am. I can admit that now that I'm weeks away from turning 37 and have given up trying to be someone I'm not.

So, while I wish I could tell you I have confidence in my ability to be that kind of mom -- I'm not. But my desire to homeschool now more out of necessity. I also feel like taking more kids out of the schools might help those people who don't have it as an option. Fewer kids will lower risks. At least that's my hope.

My own mom knows me quite well, and she has asked me: "What would it take for you NOT to homeschool (because she knows it would drive me bonkers)?"

And, honestly, I couldn't think of a scenario.

That said, we value public education. It's our livelihood. I was planning to start freelance work at a higher level this year with two kids in school. (Eloise is slated to start pre-kindergarten!) We wonder if Stephen will be forced to teach in-person classes and to coach. Or will he be forced to gather together an online curriculum at the very last minute? And will we lose coaching income we depend on -- especially now that our grocery bills are out of control with being home 100% of the time?

I wonder if homeschooling will redirect funds from our school district. Funds they desperately need to operate, especially in these times. We have every intention of returning to public school . . . and there's also this feeling of sadness for leaving a community. We just moved in March to a new district and Ada never had the opportunity to start at her new school. It has felt odd to be in a new neighborhood with people we don't know. We've had some waves here and some short conversations there. I can't tell if I am mourning leaving our old community or mourning the life we used to have before this all began.

In the end, I don't know what we'll end up doing. In the immediate future, we're just anxiously awaiting the state guidelines. From there, we wait for Cuomo's decision in early August as to whether or not the physical buildings will open.

If you made it this far. Hi! It's been a long while. I felt compelled to come on here and just say hello. I hope you are faring well in the season. If you aren't, I assure you that you're not alone. This morning, in fact, I chatted online with three different real life friends of mine who cried (me too!) mulling over all the possibilities in the coming year. I'm sure those won't be the last tears we'll all have over these matters.

BTW: This photo was taken of us in the first days of the shutdown for the Front Porch Project. It feels like an eternity ago. But, hello!

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