I’m flying with a kid, and I’m kind of nervous about it. We are heading off to sunny California this fall to visit my in-laws, and I am freaking out. A little. Not a lot, but definitely a little.
Let me tell you about my experience being a COVID parent – which I have found to be vastly different from other parents.
I stay at home to run my business. I am my own boss, so I make the rules. The number one rule has always been: work from home. It’s been this way for seven years, and I love it.
When the stay-at-home orders happened in March 2020, I thought, “Dang, this is going to be eeeeaaaassssy.” Even though most people would suggest that I am a social butterfly, I have always loved my at-home-alone time, too.
Well, after a few weeks of holing up, I realized I didn’t love it that much.
My husband has an auto-immune disorder. It’s not something I talk about in regular life very often, and it’s something I almost never mention to clients. I don’t know why. I know that we are people, like everyone else, and we have difficulties. Even still, I never wanted to be seen in a different light or look to be making excuses. We struggle sometimes, but we always get through.
Anyway, because of his C- immune system, we made the choice as a family to be extra cautious. You can ask all my friends, and they will tell you honestly: we were sometimes incredibly obnoxious about it. “You guys went to an indoor gathering? Okay, we will see you and your kiddo in a few weeks.” It was what it was. No one got mad or had hurt feelings, and we would see each other again down the road.
I have seen no evidence of this ruining Coraline’s social abilities. She smiles and waves at everyone on our evening walks. She talks to our neighbor, Mr. Frank, about the flowers. She talks with our other neighbors, Bill and Jill, about the frogs and the fish in our pond. Coraline seems to be a perfectly well-adjusted kid. (We, of course, will find out as she gets older.)
You know the wildest thing, to me? There is so much divisiveness that I see online, but there is NO divisiveness within my personal community. Maybe that’s because I have surrounded myself with caring, loving genuine people. Maybe that’s because my friends and family are able to put themselves in other people’s shoes.
Whatever the reason, I feel very lucky to have the people that I do in my life. No judgement, no guilt, and no unnecessary stress. We all have navigated this last year and a half differently, and we all have continued loving each other and have remained respectful of each other’s choices.
Well, now we are flying, and after a year and a half of being a recluse, I’m starting to become a little anxious about it. Kevin (AKA “the Smart One”) has told me in all the ways that flying is safer than I would have thought. He’s educated me about air circulation. He’s explained the virus in ways that my tiny (but efficient) brain can comprehend. Even still, I can’t shake this feeling.
I think the only way through it is to do it. Pack our bags and leave on that jet plane, so to speak. Interestingly enough, I am not even remotely worried about traveling with a toddler. Then again, I’ll just make Kevin carry the car seat.