The Movement of Past Years

Looking at those days has become a reminder of freedom in movement that we no longer have

an abstract watercolor illustration of the rolling and somber hills of years past
Image created via Midjourney

Every day, I look at my social media content from past years.  Between Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter I post a lot.  It has always been my way of capturing memories with our family.  I am up to 634 days in a row of looking at Timehop, as an indication of how much I enjoy looking at past years and remembering what we were doing on those days.

Now, looking at those days has become a reminder of freedom in movement that we no longer have, at least for the next few weeks.   The "shelter in place" order in Illinois is through April 7th.  I will bet that it is going to be extended beyond that and that we could be looking at months of confinement.

I have never considered us to be a "busy" family.  Our kids don't participate in sports that involve multiple practice sessions or games.  They usually do one after-school activity per term, such as Lego club or Chess club, but it is one hour per week.  What we do enjoy are outings such as going to a museum or the zoo.  We like having the flexibility to decide how we want to spend our time.

As I looked at my "On This Day" I am reminded of how much we do with our days...

In 2011, Ger had to work late, so Theo and I went to dinner at Which Wich in Naperville by ourselves.  Going "out to dinner" (i.e. ordering food for carry-out or delivery) now requires more planning.

In 2012, Quentin was only days old.  We were home from the hospital and did our first "outing" as a family of four with a trip to Target.  My trip to Target this week involved an online order that I picked up at the store.  The Target employee brought my purchases out to me, wearing plastic gloves as she handed me my bags.

In 2013, we did an Easter Egg hunt at a friend's house, which became an annual tradition.  No egg hunt this year, as we maintain our distance, plus it would fall into the category of "a gathering of more than 10 people."  I also went to a tea tasting that day with some friends at a local tea shop, using a Groupon we had purchased.  My only connections with friends now are via text and FaceTime.

In 2014, we were in O'Hare airport, waiting for our flight to Arizona to visit my family.  We had to cancel our trip to Arizona this year.

In 2015, Quentin spent part of his day in the 3-year-old classroom at daycare, part of his transition from the 2-year-old classroom.  Daycare is currently closed.

In 2016, I went to a hot yoga class.  My studio is currently closed, which means that the yoga instructors are not being paid.

In 2017, we were at Great Wolf Lodge, celebrating Quentin's birthday.  We had to cancel our trip this year.

In 2018, we did a family movie night at home, watching The Greatest Showman (I have a feeling many more family movie nights are in our future)

In 2019, I went grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and then in the afternoon we all went Pokémon Go hunting in downtown Geneva.

And now today, in 2020.  It is a school day, but the kids are home.  Theo will have a Zoom meeting with his teacher and class (barring technical difficulties as we all try to learn).  Quentin needs to memorize a poem for his class and he would be reciting it this week.  Instead, I'll take a video and send it to his teacher.  My support group for Pregnancy & Infant Loss would meet on Tuesday, and it is canceled.  We meet with our marriage therapist this week and it will also be an online meeting.

As I look at our past years, it is a mix of "things we had planned" and "spur of the moment" - but so many of them involved leaving our house.

The brightest spot of looking at past years was remembering Pokémon Go.  That is something we can easily do now.  As long as we maintain our distance, we can take a walk around the neighborhood and hunt for Pokémon.  Fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate, as it snowed over the weekend...

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