Elie woke up a bit off on Monday. His arm felt weak. Then his leg. I realized he might not know the word achy yet (we learned that he didn't know "hip" and considered thigh to be hip a few months ago). Took his temp. It was 99.7. Below 100, which is considered a fever and the temp at which he must stay home from school. But...since he was off enough for me to take his temp, I kept him home.
Then I realized that my other two kids are potential lethal weapons in a pandemic. Do I send them to school if Elie MAYBE could possibly have COVID? Elie does absolutely nothing inside/with people other than school and playing with friends with masks outside, so it seemed unlikely, but...Shit. Decisions that could be absolutely no big deal but could also maybe kill someone's grandma. Shit. Called the school nurse, and she said to send the other two to school. I walked them there and reminded them that distance from friends today was even more important than usual. "Mom, I'm not real good at that." - Koby
I called the pediatrician. I'm not an alarmist kind of mom about sick stuff. I'm usually a "wait five days with a fever" kind of mom, and I definitely don't jump to diagnose and treat - though we have been very lucky to have nothing serious yet. But it's a fricken pandemic. And it turns out that Pandemics are NOT MY STRENGTH, as I'm sure I wrote about previously. Pediatrician said they can do a rapid molecular test. Elie said his head hurt. Another symptom. Ok - why not bring him in - other than the fact that we were traipsing through the hospital for a COVID test, with lots of other people...Sitting in a car with your seven year old, when there is even a small chance that they have a disease that could make you super sick is actually awful. I asked him to sit in the very back row. We put on masks. I didn't hug him, but I did hold his hand to walk through the parking lot. Crazy that your kid can be a risk to you - what a bad feeling I never want to feel again. Rapid test was negative. Nurse practitioner said he's fine. Got home. Temp up to 100.5. Realized that's still really BARELY a fever. But again - it's a fricken pandemic!!!
We kept Elie in his room. Koby moved out. Elie's temp was just around 100 for two days. He said he felt fine as of Tuesday afternoon, but temp was still above normal and seemed a little weird. Notable is that he had been alone in his room for three days, so yes - perhaps that makes you act a tiny bit weird. We brought him meals. I wore a mask in there. I set up facetimes for him and a game of settlers with my brother. Damn is he a good sport. Yesterday I realized it is so easy to get a PCR test so why not. We did a drive through in Framingham and got the results this am. Negative. and his temp is normal today. We are fine, but boy did I think about a lot of things in the last few days. Sick kid (BARELY SICK) in a pandemic is stressful, and man am I out of practice. NO ONE HAS BEEN SICK IN OUR HOUSE IN A WHOLE YEAR.
At the same time that all of this was in the "I can't control" bucket, I cut off my hair! Because I CAN control that! I don't think I need salons anymore. It's expensive, and it turns out I can do it just well enough!
Other than this, we are genuinely doing fine. Since my last update, the kids are still in school two days a week - Samara has two half days and the boys have two full-ish days. Koby has a hard time (read: really can't) sitting still during zoom, but that's ok. He is learning, growing, active and happy. Elie is not loving school, but remember - he's a good sport, so he's fine. Samara is doing great. And as I wrote before, their teachers are ABSOLUTELY unbelievable at making them self-sufficient and feel good about their work. We just found out that they're bringing back elementary kids full time in just a few weeks (we don't know when - but we know it's in the next 3-4 weeks). They are doubling the kids in the room and halving the distance between them, just as these new variants are taking off. I'm not super excited about this, as it has been going totally fine for us (and I have sort of written off this year), but I understand that it is NOT GOING OK for so so many kids. Let's see how it goes.
I stopped working in November. This has decreased the stress in our house by a million. Matt can work his 70 thousand hours per week and he doesn't have to worry about being "on" when I'm on calls. I don't have to sit inside all weekend to get my work accomplished while the family goes outside to play. I feel wayyyy less resentful towards everyone. But. But. But - I have no idea what I'm going to do professionally after this. I had imagined I would figure it out in the fall, and I have grossly under-programmed the summer, assuming I would be with the kids full time. But now it looks like I will have three months of kids in school full time, and I definitely need to be productive. My identity and brain could use it. Meanwhile I'm spending some time on PTO activities, but there's so much more time and energy to figure out.
Rainey is doing great. She loves us much more than she did. She is still iffy with other dogs, if the dogs are interested in me, but overall she's super sweet and lovely. And she is a great destination for all of the kids' love and cuddles that I am not prepared to absorb.
Through the winter we have continued to hike every weekend, hang out with friends outside, play a shit ton of games (Matt and I are fairly obsessed with Lost Cities if you're looking for a great 2-player game - thanks, Alli and Jon!), build loads of lego and watch a bunch of things we never knew existed before. We have been reading so many books. Elie and Koby started reading. For the last two days we have been reading all of our Dr Seuss and looking for racism and stereotypes. Fascinating. Lots of Louis Sachar. Lots of Roald Dahl. Samara is flying through the Babysitters' Club, which I also devoured in fourth grade.
I have actively worked to cut out things that stress me out. I have blocked newton facebook groups from my facebook feed. If I am looking for info on something, I can seek it out. I talk to people less and change the subject when it's becoming lots of complaining about things we can do nothing about. I am trying to get rid of negativity, and it makes a huge difference to me. I take on other people's stress, and usually that's fine. But in this pandemic, it's too much for me. It's hard to balance that with being a good friend, but I realize I can't really be a friend at all if I'm not emotionally healthy. I am doing yoga a few times a week, and the teacher is a good friend from our time in Singapore. I love seeing her often (though it's weird that she doesn't see me! It's all on youtube!). I'm really really enjoying walks in the woods. Man, New England is really pretty. We did not grow up in Michigan with random glacial rocks jutting out of a park five minutes from our house.
Other than that we are just waiting. Parents are all vaccinated, thank god. We see a light at the end of this. We understand that normal is not 2021, but we are hoping that it is 2022. We still have major disappointments like the inevitable news about Michigania being so different (though we will take option 1 - please!), no Ramah in Canada this summer for Samara, fewer visits with family, lost gymnastics, very challenging Hebrew school online, no exploring the world...but we are really enjoying time together. We are enjoying no commitments and no obligations. The kids are on facetime with our parents everyday - often for hours. Life is slow. It's ok. We're ok.
Too lazy to re-arrange photos, so they're not in any particular order.