A year ago today, Son #1 and his girlfriend had just arrived back into the USA.  They had traveled to Barcelona and London for spring break.  They left on some of the last planes from both Spain and England, watching airports shutting down behind them and coming back into the USA as borders were closing down.   

The trip seems a lifetime ago and a lifestyle of another era.   

This year, he has no spring break.  In fact, his university started a week later and eliminated any March vacation time altogether.  When he left at the end of January, he was not sure if he would be able to leave at all. 

But his father’s birthday is tomorrow, and he chose to come home. Tomorrow morning we have a special birthday breakfast planned before he makes his nearly three-hour trip south again. 

I feel I must note here that we are technically breaking Vermont’s rules.  Son #1 is not allowed to arrive into the state of Vermont without quarantining.  We are taking the risk, however—just as we did at Thanksgiving–because he is tested twice weekly at his university.  Plus, we know that we have now already had COVID in the house, with one family member testing positive and the other three of us having been fully exposed but still testing negative.

My silver lining for today is so achingly simple and so much of a look backwards into the time before COVID: a newfound appreciation for the ability to be together.