I was not a good mom today. It’s only now, sitting in the dark listening to Tarma slurp her dinner (I feed it wet to avoid choke) that I’ve figured out why. Kade hasn’t been doing anything differently than he has all summer, although I did give him the last two weeks of summer “off” from camps or activities and just let him play Xbox with his friends. He was just a lot louder and less considerate than normal, as ten year old’s can sometimes be.
The reasons I find myself with a nasty headache and on the verge of tears in my horse’s stall, instead of fitting in a ride ahead of our weekly lesson tomorrow, are complex and universal right now. I’ve been managing my company’s COVID quarantine team since December, and we had a few months where we are only seeing a handful of cases each week, among the five sites over three states we have US based facilities in. The past three weeks have been a meat grinder, eerily similar to last year. It seems everyone and their kids and roommates are sick, and not enough folks are vaccinated. My team has been putting in 9 hour days and more to keep up. I have urgent “day job” projects I can’t touch now, as my days are filled with calling folks, suggesting testing and endless emails. I know it’s not a drop in the bucket to what our healthcare workers are going through, and that’s depressing.
On top of that, I’m desperately worried and already defeated about this school year, like every other parent with half a brain. Tom and I are vaccinated, but Kade is still too young. Oregon is requiring masking and teachers and staff be vaccinated, but there’s strong pushback and vitriol in my small town, as in most every place. It’s hard to be optimistic or feel safe about staying in person school, which both Kade and I need. Its horrible and defeating to feel like I’m gambling with my kids health like this, caught between two requirements, a healthy, alive kid and one in a safe, healthy learning environment with his peers. My teeth ache from grinding them at how privileged we are, that I’m just now really worrying about that choice. No way forward is quite right, and that’s as sad as it is enraging.
I’m not even pleading with folks to get vaccinated. The reasons folks are against the shot are many and varied and wiser people than me have worked tirelessly on the subject. I’m asking folks to be smart, to care about other people, and even that seems like too much these days. Normally I’d try to end on a lighter note, but that’s all I’ve got today.