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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

December 15, 2020

Our little family is struggling here…

On the one hand: Feel strongly we must honor the guidelines around travel. All of us — across the country/world — share in this responsibility. Of course it’s hard and a kingsize bummer. But we need to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. Every health expert and professional says no non-essential travel. We need to bite the bullet. We will look back on 2020 as a year of sacrifices and loss. It’s a history-book-level crisis. We are all in the same storm.

We do our part (not everyone will), we celebrate later. We deserve a great big celebration later. We look back on this year or two knowing we were informed, we were smart, we responded to the problem as asked. That’s a good feeling. It’s the right thing to do.

And we have fun with it. We Zoom a lot, we open our presents together, we play games. We are sending him his gifts, his stocking (at least we’ve got everything boxed and ready to ship)… we’ll do this and it will be a Christmas to remember. A Christmas like no other. Like everyone else.

On the other hand: What if he can get here safely? What if he were to drive, camping along the way? What if, when he gets here, he stays put? His finals end this week, then not only does the campus shut down and everyone goes away for a month, but his coop kitchen shuts down… no prepared meals, no community. He’ll have access to the kitchen, and will be able to cook for himself, but it will be a ghost town. Because of covid, he’s not been able to attend classes and meet other grad students, nor establish activities and social circles (beyond the coop and his small research team). While he’s enjoyed himself these last 4 1/2 months, it’s been different than it might otherwise have been (understatement).

So.. this mom worries about mental health. Is it really necessary to be isolated like that for a month? Before, we thought he was talking about a week-long visit. Now, perhaps, he’d consider an entire month. Does that change things?

He’s deep into finals and doesn’t want to deal. But, when not studying, he is bored and has pitched the idea of coming home after all. And… he’s considerate, smart, brave and willing to hang in his room, if necessary, for a long wintry month. (As, by the way, everyone he knows is able to get to their families.)

We’re in a holding pattern.

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Unrelated, here are a couple wintry photos from today’s burry walk around the arb:

I guess we have a lot of evergreen trees around here.. still green out there. But it was cold!!