In an effort to stick to my posting schedule after finishing up some work tonight, I peeked at my drafts folder to see if there was anything that was close to ready. I have 12 posts sitting there, ranging from a list of my favorite Catholic books that doesn’t feel long enough to be worth publishing yet, to a list of spring activities to do in Raleigh (LOL), to an essay I wrote two weeks into quarantine that made Dave say “umm, it’s a little intense…” when I asked for his honest opinion.
So instead, let’s just chat. My favorite way to catch up with friends is grabbing two iced coffees to go and heading out for a walk. Kids strapped into strollers if needed, at home with our husbands preferred. The last time I did exactly this was in January, which feels about a lifetime ago.
If someone had told me back then that this is what our spring/my maternity leave/Charlie’s second semester of school was going to look like, I think I would’ve been sick. Heck, we’re doing it, and if I think about it too much instead of just buckling down and doing it, it makes me a little queasy.
Charlie had his last preschool Zoom circle time this morning and I sat just outside the frame with tears streaming down my face. He loves school. There was not ONE single day when drop-off was difficult for him–on the good days, I burst with pride for his independent and joyful spirit; on the bad days, I wondered if he liked his teachers and friends more than me. Either way, I was…I am…so proud of him. I hate that he missed out on two months of something that made him so happy. I hate that it happened right after Azelie was born and confused him about what was baby sister-related and what was germ-related. I hate that he burst into tears one day because “coronavirus is taking too long.” He asked me about summer camp the other day and I seriously contemplated buying a moonbounce for the backyard, in case it might be the next best thing. I don’t want to wish away the precious gift of summer with him. I also want to get to the part when we all applaud ourselves for making it through this really hard season and trade memories and say “can you believe we did that?”
I call Azelie my sunshine girl. I certainly didn’t expect that her newborn days would look the way they did, but God knew, and He was exceedingly merciful to me. I actually hesitate to admit how wonderful she is because I know how unusual it is. I remember–vividly–what it feels like to have a “hard” baby. I remember the fog, the tears, the frustration, the guilt, the defeat, and the slivers of joy and relief that made it all worth it. But Azelie is just a dream. A REM sleep-induced dream, actually, because baby girl has been sleeping ten-hour stretches for weeks. She rarely cries, frequently smiles, and is just all things glorious about babyhood in one sweet little blue-eyed package. She has been the brightest thing about the Kirk family quarantine and we are all completely head over heels for her.
We’ve spent the last two Saturdays at our favorite park. It’s right down the road from our house and I love the way you can see the Raleigh skyline when you look one way and the dome of our cathedral when you look the other way. The park holds the tree where we did our first look and the field where we took some of our maternity photos when I was pregnant with Charlie. And now, it’s the place where our world is finally beginning to look a little more normal, even though I don’t want to get my hopes up by saying that. A good Saturday to us always consists of packing a picnic and heading to the park, no matter what else is going on in the world. With the sun on my face and my legs stretched out over the grass, I almost forget that there are masks for the whole family in the glove compartment.
I have an SEO plug-in installed that I can see just below where I’m typing. It’s giving me a red sad face for this post’s readability. Apparently, 39.5% of the sentences I’ve typed so far contain more than 20 words, which Google does not approve of. Too bad I love long sentences and I don’t write for Google’s sake anyway.
If we were on a walk, I’d probably be feeling a little exhausted by now, especially if it was a stroller walk day and we had picked a route with hills. But I’d also be feeling refreshed…a little due to the iced coffee I’d be taking the last sips of, but mostly due to the chance to chat. To catch up. To listen. Since writing/reading a blog is about as socially distant as we can get, I hope you’ll share too.
Masks off, guards down.
What’s on your heart lately?