Day 52: Relaxation Anxiety

Today, for the girls, was probably a little like being drunk. The way we open up to the deep colors of life in the few minutes right after the first drink. Everything so rich and silky. So delicious and light, so full of possibility.

This morning around 9am we spun another ice cream flavor and then around 10 had a small sample. Ice cream for second breakfast?! Then the playgrounds opened for the first time in 7 weeks so we spent the morning at one and the afternoon at another.

The day was gorgeous for it. The sky so blue, the light so sunny, the white clouds perfectly placed to allow the sun to recede and reappear so that it was never too warm.

Each time the sun went behind a cloud, Little Bean would say, Uh oh, it’s getting dark. Concerned that either evening had come or that the sun had disappeared.

What an amazing moment. Who remembers the first time they noticed how much darker it gets when the sun goes behind a cloud? Im pretty sure none of us remember that. Getting to be the person reassuring her that the sun was still there was near close to experiencing it again myself. Maybe I was the one feeling a little drunk.

Anyway, one of the playgrounds is about 1.5 km away. That’s really close, right? Right. It’s about a 15 minute stroll. But add walking or riding bikes with a 2 year old –even a two year old who wants to go to the play ground–and suddenly it can take an hour to get there. Going anywhere with a child this age is like herding a cat. Not. A. Joke.

When I’m being honest I can say that I don’t love going to the play ground. You just have to stand around a lot. You have to let them play without helicoptering while at the same time trying to prevent them from falling to their death.

I’m actually feeling a weird sense of anxiety about the relaxation of the quarantine rules. It’s nothing to do with the virus itself. It’s the fact that I have loved what quarantine has done for our family rhythm. It’s also that reduced access to playgrounds and playdates reduced my stress level considerably. The pressure to take them to a play ground daily and provide playdates too is something I have not missed.

As fun as it is to see them running toward the playground and getting their energy out, I learned from this quarantine that they can have fun at home. I know now that I don’t need to cave to the pressure to take them to a playground every single day. Now I just have to believe it and carve out a schedule for us accordingly.

There were other golden moments today that I want to hold on to. Quieter ones that only I saw–Pastel hued snapshots compared to brightly pigmented portraits. For example: I needed to vacuum. I asked them if they could stay occupied with coloring downstairs while I vacuumed upstairs. No. They said flatly. So they came with me. I mentioned that they couldn’t get stuff out to play with because I would be cleaning-up. But you won’t be vacumming the bed, Big Sister said. And they literally sat on the bed looking at books together the entire time.

Then in a precious moment that I very nearly missed, (because I wanted to vacuum downstairs as well–What?) they asked if I would read some of the books to them. Luckily I said Yes, and we snuggled up in the bright sunshine of our bedroom, reading and postponing the vacuuming session indefinitely.

As the quarantine rules slowly dissolve it feels like our little staycation is coming to an end. It was the first time since Little Bean’s birth that we’ve spent significant time together just with our family. Although it’s been a time of term-oil and uncertainty for the whole world, in some very special ways I have cherished it and I am not in a rush to go back to spending less time together. Does anyone else feel this way?

That sneaky full moon is out there shining its brightest tonight. The little ladies didn’t sleep that well last night so I don’t have a ton of hope. But they surely exhausted themselves riding bikes to two playgrounds so there is a distinct possibility that we’ll all sleep through the night.

Until tomorrow,

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