Turning four during COVID-19

Four years ago, we were driving down 94 to the hospital with excitement to meet our son. I remember that night like it was yesterday. We drove steadily down the expressway at 2:30am singing to Justin Bieber. Leigh had been baking for 40 weeks and one day. We were both ready to get this party started. A few hours later, we had our big bundle of joy – weighing in at 9lbs 6oz.

While every day with Leigh is still exciting (because what life with a toddler is boring?), these days are especially surprising during the lockdown of COVID-19. Eric and I are both at home with our son 24 hours a day. We are still working long days at our dining room table, but having Leigh home forces us to take a break, get up from our seats and play a little.

I’ve spent time with him learning the alphabet, hiding Easter eggs, rocket countdowns and chalk tic tac toe. We do yoga stretches in the morning, take daily walks with the dogs, cook breakfast, lunch and dinner together and chat about our day, all day. As a working mom, I don’t usually get the opportunity to do these things with my son. In reality, these are all things we can do together when not in a public pandemic but I’m usually rushing through the pace of daily life, getting things ready to go, washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms and tidying up the house. It’s almost as if we’ve returned to those first few weeks home from the hospital with a newborn when we had no place to go but all the time to be together. These days have been a forced, but welcome pause in life and I hope these new habits follow us when we find our way back to the new normal.

Unfortunately, we postponed Leigh’s LEGO birthday party until after the shelter in place declaration is lifted. It’s not a party if you can’t gather in groups of more than 10. We’ll use this extra time to plan even better for his special gathering. He deserves everyone to be here, celebrating him. Leigh is just small enough to not worry about when his party is, just that “every he loves will be there.”

Even though it’s just us at the party, we baked LEGO cakes, blew up 100 balloons and have a table full of gifts big and small for him to open. We’re keeping him all to ourselves! But feel free to call or FaceTime your best birthday song. He’ll appreciate it.


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