A bit over a month or so ago, things seemed to be looking good on the COVID front. We decided that it finally might be time to get our Mexican-plated car back to Mexico–and do a few more important things, like see The Hub’s parents, spend a few days in our house, see friends, etc.
A week after we bought our return tickets, news of the omicron variant started.
But we’re all vaccinated, so what more can we do? We did buy travel insurance.
The Hubs got his booster as soon as he could. The Girl isn’t eligible for a booster yet. The Boys just got fully vaccinated. I was going to get boosted when they got their second dose, but I was fighting off a migraine that day, so I did not. Thanks to all the wackiness that Christmas brings, I finally got my booster on Sunday, December 26th.
On Monday and Tuesday, I was feeling a little off. I chalked it up to a reaction to the vaccine. That, and my tendency to think the worst.
On Wednesday, I was cold and had a headache and an eyeache. It wasn’t cold outside. So I took a COVID test and–sure enough–I have COVID.
I can’t explain how bummed I am that we’ve been foiled–yet again–from going home.
However, that isn’t even the point of writing this!
As disappointed as we all are, my husband and kids have been exceptionally awesome about this. The Girl doesn’t show her feelings much, so I’m not 100% sure about what I think of her reaction, or if she has even reacted yet. Sunnyjim asked again this afternoon, “So we’re not going to Mexico?”, more confused than anything. I expected at least a few tears on his part, but so far, he’s been his usual happy-go-lucky self. (Then again, tears may come later . . . and that’s OK. We all have reason to grieve yet another COVID setback.) I feared The Boy’s reaction most, because his reactions tend to be either at the top or the bottom of the emotional scale. There’s never been much middle ground with that kid and his emotions.
He has blown me away.
When I first mentioned that I wasn’t feeling well on Wednesday, he has been very concerned and attentive, bending over backwards trying to help me, bringing me breakfast and tea. Who is this kid? I might have to get sick more often! (Just kidding.)
The Hubs has been equally awesome, quickly rearranging our plans. Ever the engineer, he stoically pointed out, “I solve problems.” (This is the exact reaction and response
he displays whenever anything doesn’t go to plan.)
Although The Hub’s reaction was expected, given how long I’ve known him, I’m still not prepared for it. While he’s busy fixing things, I’m busy running through my list of “I could have done this . . . We should have done that.”
Could Have, Should Have
“I should have tested myself earlier.”
“We could have quarantined before vacation better.”
“I should have gotten that booster shot earlier.”
Yes, that’s all true. It would have been a good idea to have done all those things. However, we didn’t. Since time travel isn’t possible, how do we best move forward?
This is what is impressing me most about my family’s reactions–there’s no blame at all. Out of the five of us, I’m the only one bemoaning the “could haves” and “should haves”. But as my family has so lovingly demonstrated to me, those don’t exist, so let’s deal with reality.
Tonight I was reading “Rewilding Motherhood” by Shannon K. Evans, and she really spoke to me:
“For some reason we humans have internalized the belief that self-criticism actually does something. It’s almost as though by punishing ourselves for not getting it right we feel we are making up for whatever error we committed. Of course, we’re not making up for anything at all. Our self-beratement accomplishes nothing but wasting our energy and making us think less of ourselves.”
-from a chapter of Rewilding Motherhood, aptly titled, “Becoming Gentle”
If we’re surrounded by people who are also constantly looking out for the “should haves” and “could haves”, it’s hard to know how to stop those thoughts and just deal with what IS.
I’m so grateful for my family for showing me a better way.
May you all have people in your life who can remind you to live without constantly reproaching yourself. Even if you don’t, do your best to remind yourself that we can’t change the past, but we can change our actions going forward. Then you can be equally awesomesauce as my husband and kids, reminding those around you to be more gentle to themselves, too.
PS: for those concerned about my health, I’m feeling shockingly decent. If this is the omicron variant, it’s not a bad one to get, if one has to get COVID. (As long as it doesn’t get any worse.) But, better not to get COVID in the first place, so we’ll be laying low for awhile, so we’ll do our best to stop spreading it. And I’m speaking as a fully vaccinated person, so my reaction to the virus is bound to be a lot milder than an unvaccinated person. However, there are people around us who are all vaccinated, but have much more precarious health concerns than I do, who will not be able to pass off this variant as “the not-so-bad one to get”.
I am also grateful that I’ve been in the habit of wearing a mask in public, just in case I was infected and passing on a virus that I didn’t know I had. (As unfortunately, that was true this past week.)
So, once again, please get vaccinated (and boosted), and please wear a mask.
Featured photo by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash.
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