It’s the second day back to school–back to “normal,” I guess?–after the winter holiday break. Saoirse and Cian are in school but Quinlan is lying on the couch next to me in the living room, watching Netflix (Alexa & Katie is really cute, by the way). She’s home with a stomachache. Nothing major, but it is Covid Times, so we play it safe. This morning she joked with us. “Jeez, Mom,” she said. “Any other year, you’d send us into school if we only had an upset stomach. Or sniffles. Or anything! It’s so different now.”
Oh, yes it is. David just drove to a big box store that’s a half hour away to hunt down Covid-19 home tests. They’re sold out everywhere else. We don’t think Quinn has Covid, but you know. They’re good to have around. Cases are rising at our kids’ small Catholic school, but the administration is trying to stay open.
(Meanwhile, our huge local public school district just lifted their mask mandate. Makes sense. Sure.)
At home, I frequently pepper Quinlan with questions about how how she’s feeling, chase her around with a thermometer, listen for coughing. (She’s fine, temp is normal, no cough. It’s just…different now. As you know.) She’s switched from the zombie-watching the TV to playing her Nintendo, which is a good sign. Not that I’m worried.
I ran into a mom I know last night. She’s a physician, and she is tired. “Schools will be shut down next week,” she said. “It’s everywhere.” At the grocery store after that, I talked with a friend who teaches in a neighboring school district (not the one that’s decided masks are optional). She said her students are all sniffling and coughing. She said the teachers say now feels worse than last year–sickness is so prevalent. It doesn’t seem to end. They’re scared and they’re tired, too.
(You know who was also scared and tired after that conversation? Yes, yes. It was me.)
Meanwhile, as I type this, Quinlan has turned her empty bottle of ginger ale into a musical instrument. She’s fine.
Our Christmas tree is still up (it’ll shed needles like dog hair until we take it down on the 6th). Cian forgot the homework he was supposed to do. David is going to go for a run outside with the dog while I try to come up with another excuse to not get on the basement treadmill.
Things are different now, yes. But they’re also very, very much still normal.
And Quinlan just asked for yet another snack. She’s totally fine.