Pandemic Week 27: Back to School

Transitioning back to Seattle was overflowing with emotions. There was tremendous excitement, a whole lot of frustration, nervousness, and adjustment to a whole new life.

One of our greatest challenges wast the lack of easy outdoor access for the kids. We have a very small yard, but a yard nonetheless, so we’re working on making the most of the space we do have.

I felt like I backtracked to early March when everyone was floundering around, trying to figure out how to cope with the pandemic. We were so isolated in Leavenworth that my adjustment period was very different. There’s a whole new set of norms in Seattle I’ve had to work through.

Our poor dog took everything the hardest, it seemed. Jackson suffers from severe anxiety and it rears its head more in Seattle than anywhere else. He was a complete and total wreck all week long.

Both kids went to the doctor at the beginning of the week. The appointment itself was not easy. This was literally the first time either child was in a building in six months. The parking garage was terrifying, the medical assistant trying to get Hannah’s height and ultimately give Ben vaccines had no patience, grace or empathy and it’s just a scary place to be right now. We survived and the kids are healthy and growing and up-to-date on their vaccines.

Navigating play dates out here last week was quite an exercise. Ben did awesome wearing his mask, giving kids space and making new friends.

We have a little play pod going with a few of the other kids in Ben’s cohort – conveniently, half of them live in our neighborhood. We got together last week so that the kids could get to know each other and have some social time and get to know each other before the Zoom chats began.

Ben started school on Tuesday, which meant he had a short Zoom meeting with his class. The remote meetings were really sweet and provided a lovely way to meet classmates and engage with his teacher and also to see everyone without their mask on.

We all got to go into Ben’s school to meet his teacher in person and visit his classroom. Ben is completely smitten with his teacher.

Later in the week it felt like we were settling into our transition. Far from any sort of routine, but an adjustment to the house, our limitations and the space. We celebrated with a trip to the beach near us!

And I celebrated the success with a coffee from my absolute favorite spot, Madison Kitchen. Lucky for me, they’re doing online ordering and quick and easy pickup.

Ben’s school week concluded mid-day Thursday with a virtual ice cream social. He had been looking forward to it all week long.

While Alex finished his workday in Seattle, the kids, Jackson and I piled in the car and headed east! Our first drive to the mountain house together, just like we did every week all winter and most weeks last fall. I have come to love those drives, just as long as it’s not snowing too much. The kids slept for a bit and I was able to get in a podcast – I’ve been loving the Michelle Obama Podcast.

We savored the last unofficial weekend of summer at The Lodge. Alex’s parents were still there and the kids had a blast with their grandparents.

Alex and I stepped away for a morning and went into Leavenworth for a mountain bike ride/run, followed by a coffee date. It was a very, very lovely day.

A hike we’d had on our list for a while was to walk the irrigation ditch. Exciting, I know! Actually, it really is and it’s really beautiful.

Ben has been all about throwing parties lately. We’ll happily indulge him in that as long as he keeps the guest list at family only. One party he threw last weekend was a popcorn & movie party. We watched “Kiki’s Delivery Service” together. It is such a lovely movie!

Alex humored me and made his famous cinnamon rolls one morning.

Ben got to help Grammy make Nana’s famous sausage rolls, which is something Nana {Alex’s maternal grandmother} is known for making for her grandchildren.

One of the highlights from the weekend for me was our trek at Stevens Pass. There were still wildflowers everywhere and we had the pleasure of checking out the mountain bike trails and exploring the mountain without skis on.

We had such a lovely Labor Day weekend and were grateful for the bonus day together. It made the weekend feel extra long.