As of Friday, Arizona's "stay at home" orders will be lifted, and just like that the state will be returning to normal. Whatever that new normal is anyway. I am on the ledge with my feelings, I have been from the very beginning. On the one hand, the entire 4 years 11 months and 22 days of Sonzee's life we spent in a sort of quarantine. We were extra diligent about who we allowed in the house and where we went. Anyone close to us was aware that our restrictions followed Pheonix Children's Hospital, and that meant between December and May you weren't allowed in our house and we weren't going into yours. We did our best to protect her, and if I push any potential "mom guilt" aside, we did a pretty damn good job of it. Pre-covid19 times were for us, spent as if the virus was around because Sonzee was around, and now, now we are told to return to normal, yet I don't have the slightest idea what that even means because this was our normal.
Today, for the first time in 5 years we are packing up the car with four children for a weekend getaway that we booked yesterday. A spontaneous trip to the cooler weather for us to go to be in a different location, to continue to do what is familiar to us yet completely unknown because there was no need for preparation. There are no deliveries to work around, no fear of being 3-4 hours away from the nearest children's hospital, and no nurses to convince that they too need a weekend getaway. There are no pressures to return to the normalcy of stores, sports, activities, or even socialization because we are going to hide away in the woods, and seclude ourselves even further. The only decisions I anticipate to make this weekend are whether to sit outdoors or go for a walk.
I can't lie, the entire quarantine period has been a significant relief for us not having to figure out what our new normal is going to look like. The fear of having to start to face that reality as soon as Friday is making me feel completely suffocated. I don't know what is best for our family because we aren't the same family we once were. The horribly sad reality is that we don't have to make all of the sacrifices we once used to make (without even thinking twice), yet that brings on its own form of heaviness. I don't know what normal is, or what it is supposed to be. I don't know if I am even ready for any new anything, much less a normal that doesn't revolve around a medically complex child. What I do know, is that since I am not ready to deal with whatever normal might be, we are going to head over to Sonzee, tell her I will be back to see her Monday and let her know that she can come to join us in 20-degree cooler weather. All the while I am going to be reminding myself that this weekend getaway is not going to give me any concrete answers or feelings of normalcy no matter how much I would love to fool myself into thinking that it could or would.