Here we are – Memorial Day weekend. It’s been ten weeks since we started practicing Safer at Home. It’s been enough weeks that we’ve kind of gotten used to some of it. And for many of us, we still do feel safer at home. As the calendar moves forward, sooner or later we are likely to have to ask ourselves what we are ready to do outside of our homes. Some of our families are moving faster than others; some of my friends and family are too. Me? I am the Queen of Caution. I walk every day. I walk every day really, really, early and if anyone else but the birds are around, I cross the street and say good morning under the cover of my city endorsed mask protection. Recently, I went into a grocery for the first time in seven weeks. I wore my sunglasses (didn’t know how to take them off and it felt a little safer anyway), huge rubber kitchen gloves, and a painter’s gift of an N95 mask. I arrived when they opened and was in and out in 15 minutes. On Mother’s Day, I saw two of my grandchildren at a safe distance for the first time in 8 weeks. Huge gift for me, but it wasn’t exactly a warm and cuddly time for any of us.
Parents in our parenting groups are beginning to ask about play dates with small groups of families who practice the same quarantining, we have some friends who are hosting cocktail parties where they keep their distance on the front lawn, and the specter of opening schools begs the questions of how do we step out, how much do we step out, and when do we step out? I’m guessing many of you are asking the same things. We are not all on the same page, and we don’t have to be. No one has to do something they are not ready to do. Of course, it’s best if we can make decisions with our partners and agree on a plan. Best if we aren’t sure, that we seek guidance from experts too. For Piper, the CDC offered lots of guidance, as did other school’s plans, and articles about the thinking in other countries who are also challenged with the careful care of young children. Piper parent’s questions and thoughts were also part of the mix we considered. And when the coast feels safe enough, we will start working our way back to what life offers us now, in our loving environment with carefully thought out plans and the best of intentions.
With three children quarantining in three different cities, I am holding my breath a little as they point their toes slowly into the world at large. New Yorker child is walking outside again, and Oakland child took her baby to the pediatrician and had a 6 feet distance picnic last weekend with friends, while LA child has ventured to grocery stores regularly and on occasion a doctor’s office too. I’m going to take a few steps. Not today, but soon. I’ll be wearing my mask, smiling to see familiar places and soon faces. Deep breath. No pressure. But boy will it be good to see the ocean again.
Some articles to read:
Answering your child’s questions about masks
And for fun!