kid basketball

I’ve almost forgotten what the real world feels like. I’ve almost forgotten what it was like before masks were added to the mental checklist of things I needed to make sure my kids had before they left the house each day.

I’ve almost forgotten what it was like to have my kids leave the house at all.

I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to sit in my car before work, sipping a freshly made drink from Starbucks while listening to the radio. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to leave my house for work at all. I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to board an airplane with my husband on our way to an annual vacation alone in the sun, knowing my babies were safe at home with their grandmother or aunt and without worrying that they could get each other sick.

I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to be alone with my husband at all. I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to plan an impromptu night at my house with some friends, without having to worry about exposing each other or breaking a new rule about crowd sizes. I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to see friends, colleagues, acquaintances, or strangers on a regular basis at all.

I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to dance the night away at a fundraiser or wedding. I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to celebrate anything at all.   I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to step foot inside my children’s schools for parent-teacher conferences or fundraisers or Saturday morning junior basketball games. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to feel connected to my children’s schools or sports at all. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to sit in the stands for hours at youth sports games, sharing a box of extra toasted Cheez-Its with other parents.

I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to feel that alive and in the moment at all. I’ve almost forgotten what the real world feels like…but I’m holding onto hope that I’ll see it again soon. I will drive to work again and walk on tropical beaches with my husband again and dance at weddings again and sit in crowded stands with other parents sharing Cheez-Its again. And when I do all those things again, I’m going to appreciate them like never before.

This post originally appeared on Changing Perspectives.