Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Getting on the Water and Fire

I cannot believe it has been a month since my last post. Time in quarantine blurs and starts becoming abstract. The only things that keeps me semi-rooted are the days I have meetings. The long days are not helping either - not that I would prefer short days; they would be as disorienting and miserable.

The last month has had some nice highs.
The biking has gotten more frequent and easier. The high intensity cardio creates a great high and makes sleeping better. Is it just me or has the months of staying home screwed up sleep schedules?
I even got out on the mountain bike once. One of Bug's friends wanted to do a physically distant play activity and her Dad thought trail riding would be fun. Bug jumped at the idea. It was a nice day and she misses actually seeing her friends without a screen. I was less than thrilled since it triggered all my anxieties: How do I get Bug to wear her mask all the time? What if someone falls? What if the trails were jammed full of the unmasked? For the sake of the child's mental health, I did what I felt was a realistic accounting of the risks and decided it was within a rational person's risk profile: the other family has been following all the guidelines, our network of peeps has not had an active case, none of us are high risk, we would be outdoors, biking forces some distance, and I was mostly certain the other parent wouldn't pick trails that were technical or likely to be busy. It turned out to be fun even though I got a flat tire as we were heading home. It still felt like I had to reset my two week clock...
We started having physically distant play dates with gymnastics friends before the bike ride. We limited it to two other girls who bring their own equipment. The yard was measured to mark off space.
Now we are letting Bug back into the gym for practices. There were meetings and forms and discussions and more reviews of policies and skipping a week to let other parents be lab rats before we decided that the risks were with in tolerable limits. She still has to bring a raft load of her own equipment and shower immediately upon returning. The kids are kept distant, the coaches are all masked, and there are no skills that requiring spotting. Still it is better than nothing.
Some people think we are crazy for taking any kind of risk, but at what point does the mental health risks outweigh the viral risk? I guess if it were just me, I would stay locked in the house most days except for the occasional bike ride. Fortunately for the world, most people are not me.
Another highlight was our new fire pit. We got a BioLight fire pit. So far it has been awesome!!! It has a battery powered fan to increase airflow. It keeps the smoke down and makes lighting it super easy. The other cool thing is that its sides are all mesh, so it looks like the fire is floating in the air. Sitting by a fire with a cool cider or two is living.
I also, finally, got the boat on the water.
I was hoping to go on Sunday, but some food poisoning got in the way. That was less than fun. H spent an hour or so expelling food from both ends. Bug, who normally freaks out when people are sick, went to the edge. She refused to even come in the house until there was no other option. It was pouring rain and sitting in the truck was getting hot. Once in the house. she hid in the basement. To mollify child, and some of my own, anxiety I sanitized the whole house while also trying to take care of H and Bug. Fortunately, once whatever food that needed out was out, H recovered quickly. Again, I feel like the two week clock has reset.
Anyway, since it was so nice out today and the boat was on the truck already, I decided to head out to the Charles and go for a paddle. The put in was pretty empty, so there were no issues with distancing even though I still wore a mask. Being on the water was nice. It was different too. I still need to acclimate to the new paddle. I still think it was a great purchase and it feels great- just different. There were other people on the river and instead of being glad to see each other, we all did our best to stay out of each others way. I was also paddling kayak designed for playing on the ocean on a flat, calm river in the midst of a half urban landscape. I think I had my expectations ramped up to 11 and only got an 8. An eight is great and I am definitely going again, but this time with more realistic expectations.
I will paddle on the sea before the summer is out!!!