It has been months since last I last wrote. In May of 2022, the four of us got Covid, and our lives were turned inside out. Our tests eventually were negative and we were ready to leave our collective diagnoses behind, but it wasn’t quite ready to leave me specifically. I wasn’t sure what hit me, but after some research, I learned about the symptoms of long covid and the side effects it can leave in its wake. I got brain fog, anxiety, depression, and dealt with a hormone imbalance. I was hit pretty hard and was not myself for quite some time. My children and husband seemed to bounce back a bit more gracefully than I did, but what I went through took its toll on all of us.
I received treatment for what I was going through, but it took some time to find what worked. It was a challenging time and one that shook me to my core. I could not have gotten through it without the help of my husband, my family, and my closest friends. I am so grateful for the gems of people that I have. They fill me up daily and I treasure them. Today I am much closer to being on the other side of all that illness. I am shaky and not so trusting that it is over. I struggle with having faith that it is all behind me, but I am taking one moment at a time, and enjoying each of those moments so much. I love my life and the people in it, so I am doing what I can to take that all in every single day.
My children had a tough summer right along with me, as my availability to attend to them diminished. Everything they knew about their day-to-day changed quickly. My husband stepped up and helped take over. It was a big change for all of us and it was not an easy adjustment. As a family, we found our way eventually. We shielded the kids from my hardest moments as best as we could. As an individual, I fought my battle and in time found myself again.
My daughter started high school and it has been quite the experience so far. She goes to our local public school, and it is not without its flaws. It is very big with over 2,000 students and it felt like she was so little to be heading into such a big school. The classes are fairly large and I think we all felt a little vulnerable sending her off that first day. There are many parts of her experience that haven’t been great, but there are also many parts that have been fantastic. She has a few supportive teachers that she loves. She has been meeting a lot of new people, and she adores the arts program that the school has.
The school musical is Les Miserables, which is quite ambitious for a high school. Many students came out to audition and she was hoping she would just get to be in the cast. She got the part of Young Cosette and was so happy. She loves being part of such a talented company of students. The quality of the production is so high that it is quite difficult to believe that it is a school production. The cast and crew came together and worked hard on this production. The experience has been such a gift that I think many of them, including my daughter, will be quite sad when it is over.
In addition to doing the play, she gets to participate in the fantastic arts program the school has to offer. She is learning filmmaking, scriptwriting, and takes theatre classes. Given that high school is still a group of adolescents trying to find their ways, there is often more drama off-stage than on. She has dealt with a fair share of difficulty with “friends” and friend groups. She has fallen out with someone she thought was her best friend, and with that comes feeling quite misplaced within what she thought was her friend group. I have my own opinions on what she should do, and when she should move on, but it is not my place to advise her on all of that unless she comes to me. Even when she does ask for advice though, it is her experience and in her time will handle it the way that feels best to her. As sucky as it all is, it is spot on developmentally and completely age appropriate. It pisses me off and I am often hurt for her, but she is definitely handling it all better than I ever could.
My son is ten right now and in his last year of elementary school. He and his friends are loving being the big fish as fifth graders. He has a big group of about ten friends that played together on a flag football team for a few months. He loved being part of a team, especially since it was made up of his favorite crew. He went to practices and games weekly. The whole season they played they only lost one game early on to this team that was slightly older and very strong. This did not deter or discourage any of them. In fact, they got up early every day before school and practiced flag football in the park together before the school bell rang. The team grew so tight and so strong that their game scores were often so high, while the opposing team would have zero points. When it came time for the final game, the Superbowl, they were faced once again to play the one team that beat them. The teams were very well-matched skill-wise, but the other team was older and much bigger than them. For a while, no one was scoring and the only thing going up was the tension of all the parents on the sidelines. Finally after what felt like so long, my son’s team scored a point. It was a remarkable game and a fantastic win for our boys!
He felt successful and accomplished being on that team. It built up his self-esteem, and his friendships with all of his teammates, and I believed it helped him navigate his anxiety as well. He learned that it is okay to be afraid and that you can still do what you need to do despite your fears. Even if he was scared before a game at times, he still played well and gave it his all. He is at times moody and stubborn as all boys his age can be, but despite that, he is also so affectionate and loving. He still skateboards which results in me being both extremely impressed and terrified simultaneously. He is a good boy and still feels like a little kid to me. His cheeks are still round, soft, and kissable. He is still easy to please between playing ball with him or gifting him something sweet. He still has such innocence that comes out in the questions he asks. I am holding still and tight to these moments with him as I know soon enough he will grow, and likely to be much taller than me.
My husband is remarkable these days. He is juggling managing artists, maintaining the investments we have made, as well as finishing up his masters degree in psychology. He has been a solid A student and writes these incredible papers that impress not only me but also his professors. He has not had an easy year either, and I am so grateful to him for holding my hand through the darkest of times.
We are both very active in our community. We step in with politics and get involved when we think it’s necessary. We share that passion and I am proud of some of the actions we take together. We both very much value our family time, whether it is with our extended family or our own. Our family is a priority. I appreciate the relationship that he has with his three sisters. Their parents have been gone for a few years now, and they stuck by one another not only to get through their loss but to be loving and supportive of one another day-to-day, every day. He is close with my family as well and that means a lot to me. He is also a dedicated father to our two kids and goes above and beyond to show them just how loved they are. He and I are both quite communicative with our kids and even with a teenager in the house, we hope the sharing they do with us doesn’t go away.