Part II.

Continuing my year in review. Enjoy!

J’s first ride in an ambulance (mine, too).

In February, my son had to have an emergency appendectomy (is there any other kind?). That was exciting. Back when we were able to be there in the hospital to support and comfort our family members in distress. He made it through without issue, but it certainly wasn’t as fun as he makes it appear in the picture from the ambulance. Our house is down to one appendix. Unless animals have them? I don’t think so. Anyway.

We spent January and February worrying about if and when the virus would reach us. But, ever the intrepid (or perhaps not very bright) travelers, my son and I traveled to New York City over spring break. We saw the last show of Hamilton on Broadway. We took the subway and the Staten Island Ferry and touched things that other people had touched. A lot. We used hand sanitizer when we could, but it hadn’t become a staple yet. I was concerned, especially because we were staying with a friend and I didn’t want our actions to jeopardize her or her partner’s lives, and at the time upstate New York was dealing with the virus pretty heavily and it was making its way to the City. It still seemed a little unrealistic then that we as a nation would be where we are today, so we made the best choices we could at the time. We chose fun. I introduced my teenager to Indian food. We didn’t hit the “best places” in the city for it, but we had a great meal that afternoon, and now the boy asks for Indian food often. Score. The day we flew home was the day they shut down Manhattan for all intents and purposes. But, the four days we spent there are still with me. As expected, really.

J tries Indian food!

Just one more anchor in my life holding me to New York. We moved there just under twenty years ago. If you had told me then that I would one day have all that is New York coursing through my veins, all the grit, all the glamour, all the noise and busyness, all the adventure and fear and natural and manmade beauty, and art and joy and love, and food, so much food, and the people, from everywhere and right there, with different views and ways of expressing themselves all cohabitating with relative ease, I would’ve scoffed. I had been excited to move there, but I wasn’t convinced I’d love it. Now, it lives in me. We went through Hell. We came out the other side. We got married there. I threw roots down that I didn’t know I had. They’re still there, waiting for me to come back. I hope.

No, really, we did. Just from the Staten Island Ferry.
We saw the Statue of Liberty.

Annnyyyyway, enough about my love for New York.

After that we learned all about virtual learning. New terms and ideas seeped into our vocabulary and daily lives: synchronous, asynchronous, virtual learning vs homeschooling (they’re not the same), proper mask etiquette and protocols, how long to wash your hands so that it actually counts, social distancing, face-to-face vs virtual academies, grab-n-gos, virtual learning platforms (and all the headaches associated with those), navigating not only learning subject content but how to find it and upload it and show your teachers you’ve understood it. Zoom took over our lives. And we went through so much printer ink.

Then summer hit and we were all bored. We made the most of it, seeing friends outside when we could, or over zooms or gaming and social media platforms when we couldn’t. Our family took a short trip and wore masks and kept our distance and washed our hands. Doing our best to balance living our lives with the protocols of the new normal all while keeping the safety of ourselves and others ever-present in our thoughts and actions.

And of course, I played tennis. When the pandemic first hit our area I stopped playing with other people. I trained on my driveway – my sloped driveway – and hit balls against the not-at-all flat brick walls of my house. I learned how to react quickly when the ball doesn’t go where you’re expecting it to. Silver linings abound.

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