We can sea clearly now

Family photo
Boy in lifejacket
Little girl in a bathing suit

January 2020, as a recently widowed mother of 3 children under 10, I had begun to see glimmers of a bright future for my grief stricken sweet family. Since losing my husband suddenly, May 2019, my children and I had recently found normalcy and short bursts of happiness with our friends from tennis, a hobby we all took up mid October, the company of friends from the elementary school and family. Two and half months later I was scrambling to get the supplies for lockdown. Covid was spreading rapidly and Montgomery County schools were closed. It would be a few confusing weeks later before some semblance of virtual learning began. My babies, then 3rd, 2nd, and kindergarten French Immersion students were instantly over the unstructured virtual school day. Overwhelmed and helpless, with only a few years of high school French 25 years ago, I desperately missed the blessing of the traditional school week. I was now a single parent in a pandemic. No kid free time, short of staying up late to catch up on my usual daily chores and new obsession of cleaning and repackaging Instacart ordered groceries. The children missed their activities, friends and family tremendously.

We were fortunate to endure this time of the 2020 Covid lockdown in a spacious single family home with a yard. Spring had arrived and the fresh air and play time in the woods was a good distraction from reality. We were alone. More so than ever and I felt a deep emptiness. I missed my late husband terribly and often thought how he would have reacted to this new existence. I am forever grateful to his older sister, who became part of our bubble and would speak to the children and I about him often. Summer arrived and many restrictions were slowly lifted. Tennis became an option as did pool appointments and we relished getting out again. August brought an announcement that school would once again be virtual. A sense of dread came like a thick fog over our last few weeks of summer. Classes would be all day everyday Monday through Friday. We needed to find a silver lining. I woke up one morning in late August and gasped, suddenly realizing we don’t have to be home. The Covid induced sentence of virtual school had also provided an incredible opportunity to get away from our home filled with both good and horrible memories. I scrambled online to find a long term rental at the beach, any beach, as long as it was far enough to be warm and not so crowded to be dangerous. Surf City on Topsail (pronounced Topsul) Island, NC. became our safe haven. I had never been to North Carolina and looked forward to our new adventure. The ocean water was 77 degrees when we arrived in October. We experienced a rare Green Turtle release and made many new friends (at a social distance of course). I quickly learned the Topsail schools were very well rated and we were thriving. Surf City, NC will now be our new home come February 2021 thanks to COVID-19.