May, Hooray

Pink sunset

Look away now if you're feeling embittered because May was pretty much all round awesome.

Steve and I both had our first coronavirus vaccinations. Mine was Pfizer and made the left side of my face go numb for a couple of days; his was Moderna and gave him a sore arm. All side effects were preferable to even the mildest dose of covid, what with its self-isolating, guilt-addled knock ons. I squealed when I saw my blue envelope. I squealed when I saw his blue envelope, too.

And then, just like that, life seemed to open up again.

3yo started going to a messy art class with one of her pals. She loves it, partly because she gets to splodge paint around and partly because she gets to travel there and back on a bus. I love it because it has forced me to sit and drink hot chocolate in a public venue whilst chatting to a grown up friend - without the class, I would still be questioning the safety of cafes.

6yo went back to her dance class. She does ballroom dancing because it's the only option within walking distance of our flat - she has watched Strictly exactly once and lost interest after the second dance, but she loves the class. There are stickers at the end. These two things may be related.

We, as a family, visited friends at their house. It was before we were allowed indoors and it was hammering down and we were all soaked to the skin, but we didn't care. The grown ups drank tea and the kids battled over the two available swings and we chased an escaped baby quail around the garden shrubs. It was lovely.

Hot chocolate with marshmallows

Then we were allowed to see people indoors and that meant my mum and her husband could finally finally come to town. They stayed in a hotel, but we got to spend a full day with them - Steve and me slacking whilst they humoured the kids; everyone eating doughnuts. We had the hugs we weren't allowed on our wedding day. The kids cried when we said goodbye.

That evening, Steve and I watched Eurovision (I liked Malta and Iceland; he liked Ukraine). We have also sniffled through the Friends reunion and thoroughly enjoyed The Flight Attendant. I read a seemingly endless book and also a seemingly startless one.

My book group met in person for the first time since February last year. It was that hot, sunny weekend and we sat in the park and we talked and, oh, I have missed all of their faces so much.

Steve had a top secret day off work (by which I mean: we sent the kids to school and nursery none the wiser so they wouldn't complain we were leaving them out). We walked about four miles along the river together, stopping at The Big Tesco to buy biscuits, and it was wonderful to walk at an adult pace, having a grown up conversation and not having to carry anyone the last mile home. This is what counts as a date in our household, and it's the first one we've had in two years.

So, yes, May. Life feels almost normal. It feels so normal I keep forgetting to put my face mask on at school pick up - it's been the routine for nine months now and yet I get halfway across the playground before I realise and fish it out of my bag.

If you would like some whinging to counterbalance the joy: it hurts to type (goodness knows what's up with my hands this time - I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow. In person!) and our old Victorian drain needs replaced (woe!) and there's a wasp nest in the shed (argh!) - but I had to really think to come up with that list. Despite the fact I'm typing just now and my knuckles are greatly displeased about it.

All in all, life feels good, and the next couple of months promise to be even better, and this time around I don't feel too scared to say so. I don't think we'll be ditching our face masks this winter, but this little slice of near normality is lovely and I'm keeping my focus on that.