After a surreal two weeks of holiday cheer, bouts of flu, visits with family and friends, anticipation of presents and wrapping paper and tradition followed by the inevitable let-down of post-Christmas, pajama days, and late night gaming, topped off by 2 emergency days off school for extreme cold, we have re-entered normality.
It’s hard for all of us, but particularly hard for the kids.
Back in December right after school let out, it’s like they were astronauts, strapped in their seats, listening to the roar of the engines during the last few seconds of the countdown. They blasted off into the black maw of space with great fanfare. They had all kinds of amazing things to look forward to. Throughout the next several days, they propelled themselves from one thing to the next, untethered by the gravitational pull of the daily grind. Sure, they had some set things to do during break, but for the most part, they floated through the hours.
Then at the end of their time in space, a reprieve from re-entry: the Polar Vortex hit and closed their landing site. Two more days of waiting, floating.
And now… splashdown.
Like astronauts coming back from zero G, my kids steeled themselves against the jolts, the bumps and turbulence of re-entry. After their weightlessness for a couple of weeks, they forgot everything, but everything, about normal life. Getting up at a specific earlier time, packing lunches, cycling through the shower schedule, wearing something other than sweats or pjs — all of it was difficult. It was like trying to remember a random sequence that you’d memorized weeks before.
I’ve been no better. I forgot to go grocery shopping, leaving the kids to cobble together lunches featuring faux-peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches made on hot dog buns, celery sticks of undetermined age, and Starbursts. Dinner was an adventure in whatever could be foraged from the depths of the fridge. It took me seven times as long to get through the morning schedule — mostly because I was trying hard to remember what we’re supposed to be doing. I nearly leapt out of my skin in the morning when the coffeemaker’s automatic grind feature suddenly vroomed in the kitchen at 5:45 a.m. If it weren’t for the actual blessed coffee resulting from such a traumatic experience, I might thrown that thing away.
We’ll eventually get the timing back, but right now it’s like we’re fighting gravity as hard as we can.
How have you coped with the re-entry from the holidays? Got any good secrets for getting back on track?