My alarm went off at 6:30am this morning. After months of waking up when the kids wake up, it still hurts my heart a bit. I’ve seen memes promising wine for those mothers tasked with waking angry teenagers for school, but there hasn’t been a meme for those moms who have to get themselves up. I see you though. Or maybe it’s just my reflection. It’s too dark to tell the difference, and I’m reluctant to open my eyes this early. I’m going to miss rolling out of bed and collecting my son on my way to breakfast on the couch in front of the TV. I’m going to miss waking to the early morning sun instead of darkness. I’m going to miss waking up after a full 8 hours of sleep, because what else are you supposed to do at night during a pandemic besides sleep? I’m going to miss those sleepy mornings of COVID.
My husband got dressed for work this morning. His alarm went off at 7:15am, and an hour later, he was kissing us goodbye as he headed out the door with his briefcase. There are no more lazy mornings, no more lunches together around the kitchen table, no more surprise trips to the park, the playground, or the pool with Daddy. Now it’s just me and the kids during the day, and as much as we all love each other, we all live for weekends. We will miss the joy and convenience of having Daddy work from home. We will miss having him just downstairs in his office, where we could visit him to show off new artwork, completed school assignments, and new songs. I’m going to miss having my husband around during those long days of COVID.
I did my hair and makeup this morning. It was 6:30 in the morning, but we had a play date. Outside of the house. With someone other then Grandma and Grandpa (We love you, Grandma and Grandpa.). I put real pants on, and a top that was not a t-shirt, and that touch of make-up did wonders at hiding the bags under my eyes from waking up so early this morning. I will miss my quarantine wardrobe of tanks, tees, and shorts. I will miss my quarantine-approved messy bun. I will miss the days of going make-up free (Okay, yeah, there are still a lot of those). I will miss having nowhere to go and no one to impress. I will miss the laidback vibe of COVID.
My husband dropped our son off at school today. He’s back to in-person teaching once a week, and every time he heads out that door with his big backpack hanging off his tiny shoulders, a piece of my heart goes with him. His teachers are all wearing masks, but he can see their smiles in their eyes. It’s a weird world that we are living in, but my son is so happy to be back in the classroom. And I’m happy for him. But I will miss our leisurely mornings and our regular nature walks. I will miss un-rushed breakfasts in pajamas. I would say that I will miss learning around the kitchen table, but as a mostly homeschooling mom, we get to do that four days a week. But I will miss those leisurely breakfasts of COVID.
We went to the playground this afternoon. Our sense of community is strong here, and for parents, the playground is the local watering hole. It always has been. I won’t miss wearing masks (Who will?), but I will miss the strong sense of community that was born in the wake of COVID. I will miss neighbors supporting neighbors as we all struggled to find toilet paper and pasta. I will miss the town market, where you could purchase meats, nonperishable foods, and other household goods that were out of stock in the supermarket. I will miss the long afternoons of kids playing on their front lawns for hours because there was nowhere to go and nothing to do. I will miss those long afternoons spent at home during COVID.
My schedule for the week is packed. The museums are open. The mall is open. The playgrounds and pools are open. The local beaches are open. And we’ve done it all. In a last ditch effort to enjoy all the perks of summer, we have packed our schedules full. Our days are filled with fun, but I go to bed so much more tired. We don’t spend hours playing with Legos or dressing up dolls. We have start times and end times, and we are almost always late. We are constantly on the move, but after being deprived of much human interaction for so long, we desperately need our friends. But I will miss our empty schedule. I will miss our long days with nothing to do. I will miss never needing to worry about being late or getting home in time for meals or sleep. I will miss the quiet boredom of COVID.
I missed bedtime tonight. I had an evening activity at our local church, so my husband put our kids to bed by himself. I haven’t missed bedtime in more than six months. There has been nothing to do in the evenings for so long. I enjoyed getting out of the house by myself for a few hours, but I will miss the simple routine of quarantine life. I will miss being able to do bedtime together with my husband every night. I will miss knowing that I can kiss my kids goodbye as they lie in bed sleepy-eyed every night. I will miss those quiet evenings of COVID.
I am so grateful that the world is opening up again. I am so grateful to be able to see friends, to have places to go and things to do, to have as much toilet paper as I want. I am so grateful that my son can go back to school, and my husband can go back to work, and our lives can go back to normal. But COVID life was also a blessing in disguise. It made us stronger as a family, and better, more patient people. I will always be grateful for the abundance of family time we had, for lunches with Daddy every day, and for the extra time gained without commutes, activities, and school. Now that life is returning to normal, I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for the days of quarantine. I would never want to go through this experience again, but I will miss our days of COVID.