Sunday, February 14, 2021

Thoughts on 2020

45 days into 2021 here goes on how I think 2020 shook out.


Who would have thunk this time last year we would have had the year we did. Yeah definitely didn’t see that coming.

I think 2020 forced me and Lee to dig deeper and be more flexible and more present for each other and our kids.

We tag teamed parented from mid- March until May that looked like us working six days and working from home and facilitating school work while keeping A, C and J at bay. It was no small feat but I’m quite sure other families had it way more difficult than us.

A and C probably had the best, dirtiest, free-est time of their lives 

Lee master planned and executed a garden - which seemed small considering the one we had at our old house. I think it’s going to be an herb garden this year and we FINALLY may have convinced him to till a few rows in the way back so we can have a proper garden - I’m looking at you broccoli and okra.

Pascha weekend we finally saw family for more than a honk and a wave. All the uncertainty - I have come to loathe that word - and distancing was just so weird. We also had some outdoor dinners with neighbors. Our kids who are used to being busy with swim, school, soccer and scouts were definitely going through withdrawal since all those things ended in an instant. We definitely leaned into our neighbors for socializing and our kids were even caught exercising together too.

Summer came along and our sitter came back - PRAISE. They didn’t have the summer that imagined but there was lots of crafting and activity and visiting the pool. We survived a full day at the pool just to prove to ourselves we could hack a whole day there - that was fun and hopefully a tradition. There was swim team - kinda. A and C took lessons. C went from chatting her way out of doing anything because she was scared to belly flopping in the shallow end - success!

The Y swim team also started back in June - PRAISE!!!! It was smack dab in the middle of rest but I knew we needed to make it work. So we did. A and C and J and me spent may afternoons at the parks within walking distance of the Y. At first they didn’t love it but they we discovered the pond and the heron and the secret museum playground - the one that’s further away. We got our exercise in daily and patronized the hot roped off playgrounds. A usually could be found with his shirt off running ahead to check out any wildlife. Sometimes we’d hit Nash Rec after Y practice and other times we’d just come home and anxiously wait for Papa who couldn’t have been busier. It is a blessing for him to be busy, no doubt, but it is definitely something our whole family feels the weight of.

My tan-legged boy

Speaking of work, we sent E to work with Papa a few Saturdays to clean pools. I think she just enjoyed the lunches but she did manage to make a few dollars. She took a dip in one pool by accident... ehem - a little dog was out. Lee built a pool close to our house so that was great because I got to take him to visit on more than several occasions. A brought his own digger just for good measure.

E and R got to go to sleep away camp twice. It was a shortened version but I think they were ready to do just about anything. They had a great time and are hoping to go back this year. 

We trekked to the beach with my family for a few days and got really sandy and tired and lots of sun and good food and great memories - including Grammy and J having bonding time at 2 am on the porch because the kid would not go to sleep and with a house full of sleepers a screaming J just wasn’t an option.

Summer came to a slow close - sometimes it’s more like a screeching halt. School and preschool started back - PRAISE. Obviously it was way different from year past but at this point everyone was thrilled to go back. Since school has started there have been 2 of 6 kids who have had to quarantine because of exposures but at this point we will take them for the sense of normalcy that is gained.

There was a shortened fall soccer season that we let the big girls do concurrently with swim. Not something we typically do but it was worth it. A and C had a blast. It will go down as one of my more interesting coaching seasons. Coaching a team that only wins a few games is tough. Also, forever known as the season we didn’t lose a game but weren’t winners - with M and Rs team. Par the course 2020, par the course.

As for some personal reflection maybe my single biggest (I jest) accomplishment would be camping with the big girls. I can now check camping off my list of things I haven’t done. I can say it wasn’t bad and I’d probably be caught doing it again.

Also a ran two half marathons in 2020. One before covid changed everything and one virtually. The pre covid run was a great race and it would be one I’d do again. The virtual run was awesome. A friend and I decided to form the mom- running-once-a-week club and we ‘trained’ for our half marathon by only running once a week. Not because that’s something we wanted to tout but because we really only had one day a week to give. We only almost got hit by a few cars running on the country roads and jumped over a few dead animals. It was the best running plan ever and I’d totally do it again and the $50 entry fee may have gotten us a hoodie but really kept us honest - especially on the 10+ mile runs.

Pretty prerace sun rise pic

Post race beverages. It was neat our girls cheered us on a few times 

Not going to church on a regular basis had been bizarre. Especially  since growing up we went to Mass every single week rain or shine. Covid started right in the middle of Lent so that meant no presanctified liturgies - which might be one of my favorite things. We did do stations of the cross in our chapel. I think I have grown increasing grateful that we have a dedicated prayer space in our house. It probably could and should be patronized more often but when we have done church at home on more occasions than we’d all like - it is great.

Looking to this year or the eleven months that are left of it, I’d like to be hopeful that things will go back to some sort of normal. I’d like to hope that I don’t completely lose it when A starts Kindergarten in the fall. There are so many things that were different about 2020 but so many more things we all learned about each other. I imagine we will continue to learn and cling to hope knowing that God has got our backs.

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