I was very very uncomfortable and hesitant about the plan for the kids to return to school. I'm still not convinced that it was a good idea. But it's done, the kids are back, and so far we're doing ok.
Today was the first day of full-time in-person school for this year, and the first time my kids have been in a classroom in over a year. They were excited and nervous. My daughter was worried about having to wear a mask all day, and my son was worried about safety. They were both pretty excited about seeing their friends, having non-remote gym class and recess, and finally meeting their teachers.
For me it was pretty great. With the kids at school and my wife at her office (she goes in twice a week,) I realized that today was the first time I've been alone in the house in over a year. I got to play music while working for the first time in forever, eat my lunch without any screaming children, and I was able to use my exercise machine.
When I picked the kids up at school they were pretty exhausted. They were tired of wearing their masks and worn out from their first full day of school in what feels like an eternity. They reported that school had been extremely boring, which is pretty much what they always say. In a lot of ways it was comforting to have them have so little to report. It seems like school was fairly normal for them despite the masks, the distancing, the weird desks, and the silent lunches. If school can be boring, then it can also be normal, and I think that's great.
Of course there were some bumps in the road. School had only been in session for a few hours when the email about a new COVID case at our school appeared in my inbox. They say the infected person had no close contacts within the school so I'm hoping this won't affect us, but it was a kinda grim reminder that we are a long ways from being truly back to normal.
Meanwhile my wife has been hunting for a vaccine appointment since midnight last night without any success. It's tremendously stressful and frustrating. I'm cautiously optimistic that she'll find one before too long, but in the meantime it is really aggravating for both of us.
Still, it was a good day. The kids were happy to be back, I was happy to have some quiet work-time, and now one is asleep and the other will soon be getting ready for bed. If every day could be like today, we'd be a long way towards normalcy.