Sunday was a very exciting day for the kids. After we’d made initial contact with Grandma and Pop Pop a little over a week ago, discussions began about the possibility of a sleepover. Like many people out there, Erin and I have been struggling with how to handle quarantine. It was in some ways easier at the beginning when the lines were stark and the idea was just to stay home and keep away from everyone.

That was also at a time when there was sort of a nebulous, undiscussed idea that somehow this whole thing would blow over in a few weeks. Then maybe a few months. Now, the reality is setting in that we are going to be living with COVID for some time. I think we’re all trying to figure out what that means.

Of course we hear plenty of loud noise from those on the polar ends of the spectrum, as is usually the case. Most of us fall more into a fuzzy middle ground. I personally am at a point on the scale where I think we absolutely cannot just go back to the way things were, nor do I think it’s sustainable to live in full lockdown forever.

I’ll opine more on this in another post, but the point here is that we are starting to explore small baby steps, one of those being letting the kids have a sleepover at their grandparents’ house. We still take concerns of spread of the virus for our family and for theirs very seriously. So before getting together initially, we had an open and honest conversation about how to go about it. We agreed to the same quarantine and safety rules, and after an isolation period, got together.

So after some more discussion, we gave the OK for them to spend their first night out of the house since quarantine began. For days they talked about it and asked if it was time to go to Grandma and Pop-Pop’s yet. We were able to focus Amelia’s attention away for a little while by asking her to pack for the trip.

I found her suitcase by the stairs, and she said she was all set to go. I opened it up and it was 6-year-old packing perfection.

What she figured she needed for a two day stay was a pair of pants, a dress, a T-shirt, a pair of pajamas, two belts, one pair of mismatched Wonder Woman socks and three stuffed animals. Credit where credit is due, she did remember her toothbrush.

I was able to distract Henry for a bit by taking him on a run.

It was a little drizzly out, and he wanted us to head home as quickly as possible. Not because he cared about being rained on, I should note. He didn’t care at all about that. He just really wanted to get home and tell his sister it was raining.

Before we took the kids to their grandparents’ house, we had another fun activity to get to here in the neighborhood. Amelia’s friend Hannah turned seven on Sunday, and her parents organized a surprise parade for her. So we got in the car and joined the line of cars, driving by, honking horns and shouting birthday tidings. I even heard someone in a car behind us playing “Happy Birthday” on the trumpet, which was a very nice touch. Not many of us get live music on our birthdays. So we hope Hannah enjoyed the parade and had a great birthday.

After that, we dropped the kids off and their grandparents’ house. It was the first time any of us had been in anyone else’s house in a few months, and that alone was pretty surreal. We chatted for a few minutes, and then Henry literally opened the door and told us to get going. Suffice to say, they were pretty excited for some time away, too.

Before we left, they were already having a tons of fun, engaged in an epic lightsaber battle.

The kids safely away, Erin and I got home and got right to our big plans, which was to do a lot of nothing. As I mentioned in previous blog posts, it felt like the last week weighed extra heavy on us and we were thoroughly exhausted. We got home around 2:30 and flopped down in bed to watch TV. It is not much of an exaggeration to say we barely moved from that spot for the rest of the day.

We ordered delivery Italian, and watched the entire series of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Yes, the entire series. Erin had seen it before, but I hadn’t, and I did get a kick out of it. It’s a fun concept and something a little different.

I did take a break from my epic sloth to jump in on a Zoom call with some friends out West to wish my good friend Dave a happy birthday. There were some dear friends on the call that I hadn’t seen in years, and it was good to connect and talk with everyone for a little while. We raised a toast and had a few laughs and then I went right back to bed.

Quite a wild time, I know. I try to keep a daily journal that includes an element of gratitude, listing some things I am thankful for. I never have any problem filling out that list, but today I was definitely thankful for the break and a little rest.