July has arrived. Our worlds are beginning to open back up. We are starting to emerge from our cocoons.
It’s been a long 4 months. So many days and weeks merged into themselves. Being at home, staying at home. Essential trips only. No visiting. No visitors.
At times it felt like we were the only ones following the guidelines. And as the numbers continued to skyrocket, we were convinced that we were in the minority of people who really did “stay at home”.
But we held on and we weathered the storm, and even when things started to re-open, we bided our time before we got back out.
In stark contrast to every other weekend since March, this weekend turned out to be a busy one.
We took the boys to the local playground on Saturday, we have gone twice since they opened but this time it was busy… even the boys were unsure of how to be around so many other people! But we all settled in after a minute or two and it was lovely. They chatted to other children, had their fun (and a tantrum…), Daddy got them ice cream from the shop & we ate it while sat on a bench watching the world go by. It was all so… normal!
We had booked a babysitter & went out for a meal Saturday evening… that also felt surprisingly normal… once you looked past the hand sanitiser and the visors!
On the spur of the moment Saturday morning I was scrolling online & saw somebody at Fota Wildlife Park & thought yes! Let’s go! There were tickets available for the Sunday so I booked straight away.
Up we got this morning at what felt like the crack of dawn (8am!) and off down to Cork. We met some family there & had the nicest day. Again, it all felt so normal.
It was just so refreshing to be OUT. Out in the world, out with family, out having fun. We were there early so it was quiet, and everyone who was there was being really respectful of the people around them, I didn’t feel uncomfortable at any stage. Once or twice we had to remind the kids to “give other people their space” as they ran eagerly up to fences to see the animals, but really it was so easy, and felt to natural.
We spent our full 3 hours in the park, followed the assigned route, observed the social distancing markers, used the sanitiser placed around the paths, sat at well spaced out benches for the odd pitstop, and just enjoyed ourselves. Again, so normal.
Everyone around us seemed to be having the same pleasant experience.
So many happy faces, all delighted to be out.
I understand that there are still a lot of people that are unable to get out, or who aren’t ready yet to get back into the world, but we were so ready. And it was great. It was a lovely chance for all of us to get a taste of normality, while still observing all health guidelines.
I have returned to a few days work & the boys have returned to a few days at the childminders.
The week ahead will bring the first of many visits to friends around the country, and I can’t wait to have a proper catch up with them all.
I’m cautiously optimistic that our summer can still be somewhat “normal”.
We have earned our chance to get out of the house. We will get back into the world. We won’t go mad, but we will go.