What a year! I’m going to stay away from talking much about the political and historical events of the year, and focus more on what my family did this year.
January: my husband and I bought a sewer construction business together. It’s a field he’s worked in as long as I’ve known him, but for me it’s all brand new information. I was 9 months pregnant with our third boy at this time, so we were trying to stay home as much as possible to keep any colds from coming into the house when we bring our newborn home. I spent the entire last week on January in prodromal labor (often called false labor, but it’s not really false, it’s just a very early labor).
February: 02-02-2020, my son is born at 02:20am. My sweet little palindrome boy. I wanted to name him Deuce with all those 2s, but my husband didn’t think it was as funny as I did. After he cried all night long, we named him Drew, which means manly and strong. The rest of the month was an exhausted haze with a 3 year old, a 20 month old and our newborn. We were still avoiding exposure to the common cold and flu season, trying to keep our little family healthy.
We found out pretty early on that breastfeeding wasn’t going to be easy for Drew. He has a tongue tie that prevents a good latch and wrecked my milk supply. I spent a lot of time pumping and taking supplements to keep my supply up enough.
March: halfway through March, when Drew was 6 weeks old, we were finally ready to put him in the church nursery and expose him to the germs of the world. But we all know what happened instead. The first of many, many 2 week lockdowns… thanks Corona. We were finally ready to go out into public spaces after 3 months of avoiding them as much as possible, and the whole world said “no!”
April: lockdown. I don’t have much memory of this month at all. I think we just alternated watching Netflix and playing outside every day.
May: lockdown, but with puppies. My German Shepherd, Kimber, decided to get pregnant. The boys were delighted. Me? Not so much, I already had a newborn, I didn’t need 6 more.
June: lockdown, but also Father’s Day and Dash’s birthday. I also decided not to kill myself this month (you can read that story here). The endless lockdowns really had me feeling in a slump and a lot of old depression habits kicked in along with the postpartum hormones and I wasn’t in a habit of taking any kind of care of my mental health anymore, so I had some feelings of escaping and I worked through those and chose to stick around after a long walk in a rainy forest. I spoke with a counselor for awhile, online of course, and got a handful of tools as well as reminders of the tools I’d been in a habit of using years before. If you need help, get help. Before you need help, take care of yourself and be proactive about your mental health.
July: no parades, no camping, no rodeo… still in lockdown. We did get to have a quiet Fourth of July at home and the boys loved watching their dad set off fireworks.
August: mostly still in lockdown, but we were able to go camping, and it was fantastic to get out in nature with the family. This was refreshing for my soul.
September: luckily the camper was still mostly packed from camping when the wildfires happened. It made evacuating a little easier. After a major windstorm brought trees down onto power lines, our small community was in danger. The major winds also brought wildfires from the national forests into towns. We ended up evacuating for 10 days.
October: My German Shephard, Kimber, attacked my 12 year old Dachshund-Pekingese. I was devastated and angry. I felt so betrayed that “my girl” would attack my little Bella. After a few stitches and a hefty bill from the emergency vet, Bella is just fine. But there’s a little stress knowing she can never be in the same place as Kimber. They had gotten along so well for so long, but young dogs and old dogs just don’t mix when K-9 instinct kicks in. Younger, stronger dogs do sometimes try to kill weaker, sick, old dogs. Hard lesson learned.
November: My brother came up to visit, so we had Thanksgiving during the first week of November. I even learned to make Kolaches, a Bohemian (now called Czechia) traditional dessert. There is something very grounding and lifting about making and enjoying traditional foods from your ancestry. It was both spiritual and delicious.
I read Welcome Home by Myquillin Smith, and it completely changed the way I approached the holidays. I’d always wanted to host family dinners, but in the past I’d always bite off more than I can chew and end up crying in my bedroom because the anxiety was too much. If you haven’t read this book yet and gatherings are never as chill and fun as you hope they will be, read it!
December: We tried to keep Christmas much more intentional and small. Avoiding overspending on gifts and put more focus on spending as much time together in a very hygge way. There were lots of snuggles by the fire and so many movies watched.
That was our 2020 in a nutshell. It wasn’t miserable even though we had a few terrible events occur. We made it through, and I have great confidence we will continue to persevere and get better with each day.