Social Distancing Week 47…Simpler Celebrations

Friday, February 5, 2021…12:05pm

The end of week 47. Also my daughter’s 14h birthday.

We have now officially celebrated all of the things possible in the altered reality of pandemic life….a full year’s worth of holidays and all of our birthdays. When Easter arrived during week 5 of social distancing, I naively thought it would be the only celebration we’d have to adjust to fit the reality of life in COVID-19 times. When my birthday came around in the middle of week 7, I remember being thankful that the kids would have a shot at birthday celebrations that felt more celebratory. So naive, so wishful, so wrong in my ability to predict the future.

As with many things in the past year, this day is not what I would choose for my daughter, but we can choose to make the most of what we have. Her phone has been dinging constantly since midnight with birthday wishes. I reached out to her friends for help in putting together a video of birthday greetings to fill the space that would have been occupied by their hugs at the start of an in person school day. I stopped at the expensive doughnut shop yesterday to pick up an extra special breakfast treat. The new fancy markers and expensive sketch pads she opened before breakfast were already being used before her school day began. The massive internet upgrades we made early on in pandemic life mean she will be able to sit on a FaceTime call with a friend tonight while they both watch an anime show in their own homes but together and she will be able to enjoy a movie night together/apart with a large group of friends on Sunday. We will get takeout ramen from her favorite place for dinner and later in the evening order boba to be delivered because she loves boba and isn’t a fan of cake. There won’t be a party, or a trip, or any people in person beyond our family of four. But she will be celebrated and she will feel loved – and in the end that’s really all that matters.

While I definitely miss the excitement and joy of bigger holidays and celebrations, I have not missed the stress and the busy-ness that was part of the preparation for the bigger holidays and celebrations. I have come to realize that we still don’t know what “the other side” of this pandemic life will look like. (we don’t even know when we will reach the other side), but I want it to include the feeling of ease that accompanies our pandemic-era celebrations. The reminder that things don’t always have to be to spectacularly over-planned to be simply spectacular has been a gift of this strange time.

Be well my friends.

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