2020 started with such promise. Caitlyn was four and a half months pregnant. We headed to Hawaii on a cruise before it was time for me to go back to the second semester of school. Meanwhile, I had just decided to go back to school to get my Art credential and Masters. I took the first CSET before we left and got the pass/fail notification email on our last day of the trip. I remember standing on the deck of the ship in the early morning as we sailed into Honolulu. The above photo was taken in the morning on Kona. I love that you really can’t tell what year it was taken, aside form one of the guy’s shorts, it looks like it could be from the 70’s.
I remember hearing little things about some new virus in China. We already had swine flu and bird flu, it was just another one of those worlds away problems that would never affect me. The photo above was taken at my cousin’s birthday party in La Mirada. It seems really weird to see so many kids piled together fighting for candy. The adult hand gripping candy that you see on camera right is my Uncle Mike. The girl in the Mickey ears getting trampled is my cousin Andrew’s daughter Camille. I love that you can see her little leg sticking up as she biffs it.
It was Friday, March 13th when the shit really hit the fan. That day, we had bagels and awards for teachers and it was there that people were discussing how LAUSD decided to go fully online, and if they went, well, everyone would follow suit. First, it was three weeks off, then it was 5, then it was the rest of the year. As a man with a 6-month pregnant wife, it was a little nerve-wracking. A couple of days into the quarantine, we braved Costco to get our slice of stay at home goods. It’s pretty crazy to think that the line wrapped all the way around the building to the loading docks and beyond. I remember how stocked it was and that people were fear-buying like crazy. Every cart was piled with water bottles and toilet paper. It felt like heaven because there was so much stuff at Costco, it was like God was saying, here’s your last chance to get all the stuff that you like before it all goes down.
At this point, both Caitlyn and I were working from home and trying to get used to this new normal. At this point, nobody had any idea how long this pandemic would last. I remember hearing something really wise about the situation. Often we hear that “we are all in the same boat” but that’s not true. We are in the same storm and everyone’s boat is different. Some people have yachts and some people have a canoe. So how we weather the storm is different too. The photo above is of my parents coming for a socially distant visit in our garage.
In the final stretch of pregnancy, Caitlyn was on easy street. Or at least that’s the way she made it seem. I never heard her complain about anything. She was finally on leave towards the end of the month and we both think that the pandemic was a bit of a blessing in disguise because it afford us so much time together before the arrival of our little one. On really hot days, we headed to Mezapotamia (my parent’s house) for a dip in the pool.
And there…..HE is! We had a baby boy. Throughout the pregnancy, Caitlyn and I really wanted to keep the gender of our baby a surprise, even to us. We were so sure that we were having a girl based on all the old wives’ tales and guesswork from friends. In reality, it’s a flip of a coin. I still remember the midwife saying “Dad, call it.” I looked down and thought, “that’s not the umbilical cord… oh shit, it’s a boy.” I love this photo because of the purity of joy and surprise on our faces.
First month with Logan was a bit of a whirlwind. He was like clockwork, he would be up for an hour, eat, need a change, and go down for two hours. I just remember being so excited about being new parents and all the fun little discoveries that come with having a baby. The amount of change that you see within the first few months is incredible.
I was so fortunate to have the summer already off to spend time with my family. When you have a little one, you want to expose them to so much. All the stuff that you’re into, you want them to be into and if they hate it, you just have to learn to live with it, I guess. With so much time spent at home, I got really into playing bass again this summer. Back when I was fresh out of high school, I bought a Fender Jazz Bass and held onto it all these years. It’s been really fun to have a creative outlet when you’re stuck at home.
It wasn’t the first time that Logan went to Oma and Pop Pop’s house but it started to become a more regular thing in September. Both our moms were kinda worried about wearing masks and Logan’s facial recognition. Since Karen is a badass seamstress, she sewed everyone’s cloth face masks and made a special high contrast mask for my mom. At this point, Logan was at least looking in her general direction. There were a few scorchers in September and my parent’s pool came in clutch. We decided to let Logan try out the pool and much to my surprise, he loved it.
This whole time I’ve been in school. The courses that I’m taking are accelerated and it’s one class a month. I was supposed to finish the first leg of my course strand but in true COVID fashion, my school offered a buy 3, get 1 free deal on classes. So instead of finishing up in October, I would take one more class to save some money, Logan turned four months and I would say it was this month that he really turned the corner as far as personality and his scope on the world. Prior to this, it was as if, he was living in a fog and suddenly the world opened up. He began to track Carter through the room, notice faraway sounds, and keep his attention much longer. If you’re one of those dads that think babies are boring the first few months, it’s around this point that they become less boring and more interactive.
November was a doozy of a month. There was one week where I was finishing my first master’s level class by writing a 10 page literature review, writing up lesson plans for the three weeks that I was taking off to care for Logan and Caitlyn went back to work. It was brutal. But as always, we persevere. Like most people, Thanksgiving was small but we still have so much to be thankful for. I very much enjoyed the time off to recharge and bond with my son.
It’s December 1st as of the time of this post and there’s still so much to enjoy about the coming month. I don’t go back to work until January 11th and Caitlyn just told me that we are headed to Palm Springs this weekend. So life’s pretty great.
2020 was supposed to be the year of flying cars and out of this world technology. Instead, we got a dumpster fire shit storm of historic proportions. As we’re not out of the woods yet.
So if you’ve made it this far, please wash your hands, wear a mask, love fiercely and enjoy life because as many people found out this year, you really never know how much more life you have left to live. Be safe.