It got a little too close to home the last few weeks. I mean, I will admit, we got a little comfy. Whether it was the warmth of the summer months or just the desire to be doing anything but quarantining, we expanded our circles a little bit.
Then, BOOM. In one night, I got two different messages from two different people in two different circles that they were either exposed to COVID-19 or not feeling well. Talk about a punch in the gut.
Per the health department (from my understanding), they only contact trace back two days before symptoms. We were with them three days before symptoms, so we were not mandated to quarantine. But let me tell you something, I am still not sure how bad this virus really is, and the last thing I want to do is spread it!
So, Mama Bear made the call that we would go back into hibernation to make sure we were all clear. I mean, I would much rather risk whiny kids who can’t play with their friends and a few weeks together at home as a family than the possibility of getting a lot of people sick.
At first, it was pretty brutal. Remember when this all started and every time someone sneezed we were sure it was COVID-19? Then, we kind of loosened up a bit — you know, people do have allergies. But, when you know you have been around someone three days before they found out they were carrying the virus, this just ups that fear a million times. It was like just sitting there in the darkness waiting on something to sneak up behind you.
Thankfully, 12 days in (almost there) and no one is sick. Some of those close to us are still fighting it. (Prayers, please.)
Another crummy part about locking us up was a couple of big things that Reagan missed out on. She didn’t get to do her kindergarten screening. She doesn’t know she missed it; ignorance is bliss. But I know she missed it. And my heart hurts that she didn’t get to go. I just didn’t want to be the family bringing it into the school before school even started. She also missed her first soccer game and soccer camp (Mom of the year “forgot” to tell her about those as well).
However, once we got past the fear of symptoms starting any second and got over the fact that we missed some big firsts, our voluntary quarantine actually was kind of a nice break again from the world. I really do not want to do it for months at a time again, but these two weeks have given us a chance to really soak up some family time before all the commotion of school and fall activities start up.
As a family, we did all the fun end-of-summer things we could think of around the house. By far the most disgusting adventure — to Maylie and I at least — was the collecting of cicada shells. Yuck! Of course, Reagan could not get enough of them, pulling every single one off the trees, sticking them to her shirt and even making Daddy jump for the high ones.
Then, the same bug-loving kid (after she washed her hands) was sitting by my make-up ready for me to doll up her face. Hey, what can I say? She is well-rounded.
The girls got some swim time in our kiddie pool, played board games with Paul and I, practiced letters and math and made drawings on our outside glass table with washable markers, helped prepare dinner many nights, had some fires out back complete with roasting marshmallows, and even got to watch a movie outside on a projector. One of my favorite activities that we did was a family spa night — including foot and back massages and fingernail painting.
No, being away from all our family and friends for two weeks was not initially ideal (and judging by the fact that we were all symptom free probably not necessary). But maybe it was just what we as a family needed.
I hate to say it, but getting that dreaded message from a friend, school or work is probably going to be our new normal. And symptoms or not, it’s going to be up to us to keep from spreading it. This time, we were lucky and bypassed the sickness.
And while we missed out on some fun things out in the world these last two weeks, not only can I sleep better knowing we did not pass on the virus, but on top of that, we also made some magical memories as a family at home.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.