Unfortunately, though predictably, our lockdown has been extended another two weeks (at least) and now includes the entire province. I keep re-writing this post to make it sound less dreary and depressing because really (honestly!) we’re doing fine. We are healthy, we are safe, we are together. I will just say that I am finding this lockdown harder than the one in the spring. A huge part of this is simply the weather. In March and April we had plenty of sunshine and the hope of warm weather and we spent tons of time outdoors. In November that’s a lot harder and it’s cold and rainy and blah. Another big difference is that in the spring Peter was working at home and so even though that was strange and difficult at times, all four of us were together. This time Peter continues to go to work and Pearl is in school (and I’m super thankful that both are possible) so it’s just Rose and I for a lot of the time. For me, it feels a lot more lonely.
But, again, rather than complaining, I want to focus on what I’m thankful for. Several blogs I follow have started doing weekly check-ins to share what’s making them happy and what they’re grateful for and I love hearing these glimmers of hope and joy from around the world. Here’s some of mine:
- The library! Pretty much the only place I can go with Rose these days. I’m so grateful that we can go and feel safe doing so. I’m so grateful for the abundance of books to choose from and enjoy with my girls.
- Games! Every few months it seems like we realize that Pearl can do things she couldn’t before. Recently we’ve started playing Labyrinth and Carcassonne as a family (Rose is usually on an adult’s team) and Pearl loves it! It’s so fun to see her grow and develop.
- Our friends had a baby! While it’s sad not to be able to celebrate in person or hold their new little guy, it’s still absolutely something to celebrate. And it felt even more special somehow to make them food and put together a little care package to help them through the early weeks.
- Related: the subsequent group text between four moms where we swapped post-birth recovery tips. It got real honest!
- The province making masks mandatory in all public interior spaces. No, nobody likes wearing them but if it helps even a little bit then it’s worth it.
- Pearl’s signs of early reading. It might be a while yet until she’s really reading but she’s making some amazing first steps. She’s sounding out words and recognizing sight words and, best of all, she’s so eager and motivated. I’ve felt a lot of emotions about sending her to school this year but seeing the progress she’s making and how comfortable she feels there is a huge answer to prayer.
- The routine of school drop-off and pick-up. Okay, sometimes this one is hard. Some days it’s hard to get everyone out the door and sometimes I am not patient with the girls. We have about a 20 minute walk to school so a decent portion of my day revolves around taking Pearl to school, coming home, going back to school to pick Pearl up, and then returning home. But I also love the routine and the rhythm it gives to our days. I love seeing a new routine of our neighbourhood. The other parents taking their kids to school. The dog walkers. The postal workers. Waving to our friend around the corner as he heads off to work or stopping to say good morning to the friendly older lady out for her daily walk. I love the opportunity it creates to talk to Pearl about her day at school. I love the chance it gives to take in the natural world around us. We’ve stopped to look at spiders, observe eagles, watch some workers felling a big tree, or simply collecting colourful leaves.
- Crazy hair day! Thankful that my girl gets to experience some of these school traditions and fun. She was so excited about this! Yes, I was toasting marshmallows with a lighter the night before. Her hair is supposed to be a bonfire!
The best thing I’ve done during this lockdown though has been to make a concerted effort to reach out to a different friend every day. I decided to do this at the beginning when we were looking at a 2 week lockdown and I’m continuing it for as long as this lasts. (I’m probably going to have to start repeating friends but that’s ok.) I’ve sent texts and e-mails and cards. It’s nothing fancy, a simple hello. I also make sure to pray for that friend as I think of them throughout the day. It’s been a great way to focus on positive things as well as enabling me to feel connected to friends even now.
Are you in lockdown where you live? What are your best tips for getting through this winter? What are you thankful for this week?