Pict Pandemic Spring

I’m back! I finally have enough free time that I feel able to resume blogging – though it may continue to be very sporadic for a while because, like many people, I don’t have a lot of interest going on in my life given the whole pandemic context.

I thought I would write a bit of a catch-up post containing some of the things we have been up to this Spring. Most importantly, we have celebrated three birthdays. These are all, of course, the second birthdays being celebrated in this weird lockdown context. Yes, I appreciate we are technically no longer in strict lockdown but as a family we have chosen to behave largely as if we still are, taking mitigation efforts seriously. Mr Pict’s birthday last year was literally two days into lockdown so there was a lot of improvisation involved but we made it work. This year was much less stressful because we knew we were going to have to keep everything lowkey and also because the supermarket shelves weren’t empty like they were last year.

Two of the boys have also had their second pandemic birthdays. My third son turned 14. He is a massive Roman history nerd – he seriously knows more about Ancient Rome than anyone I know and I know a lot of Roman history nerds – and is also passionate about Soviet cinema, especially of the 1970s. Those themes, therefore, informed his gifts, one of which was a photo of his favourite Emperor, Trajan, which had even been signed. I am assuming Trajan won’t sue me for forgery.

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And our oldest son turned 18. I know! We cannot believe it either. He is now technically an adult. That is somewhat nerve-wracking to think about and makes me feel even more ancient than usual but I am very excited to see what this next phase of his life has in store for him. He is off to the Rochester Institute of Technology in the Autumn to study computer science.

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We have chosen to keep our sons learning virtually for the entire school year for a variety of reasons. They have adapted well to learning online and are enjoying having more free time and flexibility in their schedule. My 15 year old, for instance, has been using his extra free time to make lots of short movies. His brothers and father have all been press-ganged into acting parts and as cinematographers while I sometimes provide help with costumes, props and make up so it is a bit of a family affair.

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Having the boys home proved very useful this Winter as I very much appreciated their extra digging power with all of the snow we got. Even with all of us digging, it took us over 3 hours to dig out after one particular storm. We then had weeks of vicious looking icicles falling from the house. We built up quite the collection in our azalea bushes.

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We have been on a few walks and excursions since I last blogged but we have tended to return to familiar places. A couple of weekends ago, however, we finally ventured to Ringing Rocks County Park. It is not even that far from home so it is kind of bonkers that we have not ventured out there in the previous seven years. We took the loop trail which took us to the boulder field first. We had a hammer with us (as the website instructs you to do so, we felt OK about the geologic vandalism) and set about glancing it off of various boulders to make them ring. We found that they all emitted a noise that was not just the normal smack-thud you would expect from a hammer whacking a rock but that some boulders really made the ringing sound. Our 11 year old in particular really enjoyed the experience. I guess having spent his entire life being told to respect nature and leave things as we found them he must have been relishing the opportunity to bash those rocks.

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The male Picts all bounded from rock to rock like mountain goats in search of the best rings. That is not something I am comfortable doing primarily because of my malingering SPD problems and also because I am a lifelong wuss so I went off into the woods in search of salamanders. Alas, I did not find a single one. Meeting up again, we headed further along the loop trail to see the waterfall. I was anticipating a bit more drama and oomph out of a signposted waterfall but it was a nice spot to stop and spend some time before we completed the loop. It was a nice, easy walk and one we would definitely do again.

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Finally, and most excitingly, those of us who are eligible are finally receiving our Covid-19 vaccines. As a teacher, I became eligible first but I still had such a massive problem finding and scheduling an appointment that it still took until mid-April for me to be fully vaccinated. Meanwhile Mr Pict and our oldest son have both received their first shots. We plan to keep playing it safe and following mitigation efforts, not least because we still have three members of the family who are unvaccinated and not old enough to be eligible, but it is definitely a weight off my mind – especially as someone who has been teaching in-person since September – that I have that layer of protection. I am so grateful to the scientists and everyone involved in the distribution and delivery of the vaccine.

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PS Here are some photos of our cats, Satchi and Peanut. They have adapted to having us home all the time and think they get to participate in all of the video conferences and frequently appear in my sons’ online classrooms.

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20 thoughts on “Pict Pandemic Spring

    • Birthdays are a weird milestone measure of how long this crisis is lasting but I do find now that the days and months are just become a blurry blob of time so those “red letter days” punctuating things is the way we realise just how much time has elapsed. My youngest son will definitely be joining them in the second lockdown birthday experience. Perhaps there will be hope for my 15 year old and me who don’t have our birthdays until Autumn.

  1. Pingback: Pict Pandemic Spring — Pict Ink | Ups Downs Family History

  2. Glad to read your update. My cats and I have been staying home except for a once a week shopping loop, but since I’m retired that wasn’t much of a change ! Take care !

  3. Happy birthday to all who have had birthday’s!! Glad to hear you’re vaccinated! Both my spouse and I are fully vaccinated too but we are still staying in and doing the mitigation efforts. I don’t feel a need to rush things… Congratulations to your eldest and his school prospect!! Way to go!! And the family film crew!! Awesome!!! Proud of all of you!!! ❤

  4. Great pictures. So glad to get an update. My senior just turned 18 and is going to study computer science in August as well. It is such a weird feeling to have an adult child. No more tracker on the phone, he can vote and buy lottery tickets and serve alcohol as a waiter. And I can’t even access his medical charts now. Good luck on your son’s new chapter, as well as the others! I hope your vaccines go well.

    • Congratulations to your son too! Mine registered for Selective Service and to vote on his actual birthday. Ha ha! I think this is going to be a bit of a limbo phase as they are technically adults but remain dependent on us to quite a degree. I permanently left home as a fully independent 17 year old but my son is certainly not capable of that yet.

    • I actually have no good reason why we have never visited before. I guess it perhaps isn’t quite close enough to home to be a quick jaunt just to stretch our legs in fresh air but, when we do go on a day trip, we tend to go further afield. I think you will find the ringing interesting.

  5. My son is 20 in July. We are hoping he will be free to have a proper brithday celebration. Incidentally, like your oldest, he’s studying computer science at Uni. He is just finishing up his second year this semester.

    I found it quite an odd experience having my son become an adult. Gradually we have been growing out of our mother/child relationship into a mother/adult-son relationship. At first I felt a sense of loss as my baby boy was no longer a child, but it was very much tempered by the growing joy we have in our new adult to adult mother and son relationship.

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