Is anyone else just a little concerned by the fact that it’s almost 2022? We’re over here still trying to process the absolute insanity that was 2020, and somehow an entire year has gone by while we were distracted. 2021 just chugged right along, inching us further away from The Year That Shall Not Be Named and closer to a brand new year filled with (fingers crossed!) even more good stuff. And yes, we said MORE good stuff—because while it may not have blown us away and wiped our memories of the year before, there are so many things to be grateful for in 2021, big and small!
Reunited, and it feels so good!
Like many of you, we spent 2020 at home, away from family and friends. And listen! We were happy to do so to keep everyone we loved safe and healthy during a very scary time. 2021 started out in much the same way, but as the months went on we were able to gather with our loved ones again (safely), and catch up on so much that was missed in 2020. Though planning now includes added safety measures and additional precautions, 2021 brought us birthday celebrations, holiday festivities, play dates, and reunions—all things we had to put a pin in the year before, but were able to re-up this year. It was just what our hearts needed.
If you welcomed a baby at any time during the last two years, this one’s for you (but really it’s for all of us). Having a baby is always a wild time, but these pandemic babies just hit different. These babies are rolling over at 3 months, standing at 6 months, and walking by 8 months. They are learning how the world works in a time when literally none of the adults understand how the world works, and they are thriving. In 15 years, there’s going to be an entire generation of teens ready to take over the world using the skills and fortitude gained from being born during a global pandemic. Plus, they made us smile when we needed it the most.
We were so used to social media being divisive…and then came TikTok. There’s something really special about hearing a song come on over the speakers at the grocery store or something, singing the TikTok sound version of the song, and then hearing two other people in your immediate vicinity doing the same. It’s like a cosmic bond between complete strangers, all thanks to some app that has gotten more of our attention over the last year than all of the books collecting dust on our nightstand combined.
OK, so we’re less thankful for the show itself than we are for the time it buys us during the day. Bonus points for finally getting that GD Baby Shark song off our most listened to playlist.
After eating nearly every meal at home for almost a year, being able to go out and enjoy a meal (even if that meant bundled up against the cold and huddled around a heater) that we didn’t have to shop for, cook, serve, and clean up after was the soul-cleanse we didn’t know we needed. It felt weird at first, but it felt right. As did tipping our servers double, they are the real MVPs here.
We should specify, we mean classrooms that are not our dining room/living room/corner of our WFH office. Actual classrooms, with actual teachers, which we were most definitely NOT. In-person learning came roaring back in 2021, much to everyone’s benefit. We’ll have to find a way to repurpose the giant whiteboard we bought during our homeschool period, but it’s fine.
2021 felt like the year to reevaluate your priorities. What we’ve collectively experienced over the last couple of years has changed a lot of us, in a lot of ways. There’s nothing like life coming to a screeching halt to show you what is and isn’t important, and force you to change your own perspective. The little things felt miniscule and the big things felt enormous, and it became so much easier to shift our focus to what is really important to us this year.
Each and Every Day
Not to get all schmaltzy on you, but it’s true. Every day we got in 2021 felt like a gift. Kinda goes hand in hand with these new perspectives we’re taking for a spin! There have been lots of hard days, sure. And, because life, we know there will be many more to come. But at the end of each day, we are grateful to just have that day. We’re not taking things for granted anymore, which feels huge. And that is something to be incredibly thankful for.
And as always, we’re thankful for this community, for the parents and caretakers who have turned to us and stuck by us and shared their journeys with us. 2021 feels like it’s ending on a higher note, which we definitely all needed (the bar was very low, yes, but we’re leaning into the ‘not taking things for granted’ thing). What a year it’s been, huh? What a year indeed. Thanks for sticking by us, we couldn’t have done it without you. Tell us, fam: what are YOU thankful for this year?