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Cornelius News

Modern Dad: At some point we’ll wake up

‘The Hangover’ was about three friends waking up after a bachelor party. Kind of like COVID-19.

Oct. 5. By Jon Show. The Blonde Bomber got her first cavity last month, so she headed to the dentist one afternoon to get it filled. When I picked her up she happily hopped in the car and told me it wasn’t a big deal, because she has the fear and pain tolerance of a Navy Seal.

On the ride home she was poking her lip and asking me if it looked fat because it felt fat. We stopped at the store and she seemed concerned that her smile looked weird and I told her it didn’t matter because it was behind a mask anyway.

When we got home she kept asking me every five minutes when the fat lip would wear off and I finally responded by saying this:

“It’ll feel fat for a little while longer and then it will start tingling. When it starts tingling you know the Novocain is starting to wear off. The crazy part is when it totally wears off you won’t notice until way later.”

“And by then,” I told her, “Your smile will be back to normal.”

She smiled a crooked smile and then I thought about COVID because it’s been part of the fabric of almost every conversation I’ve had since last March.

Right now it seems like we’re somewhere in the tingling phase.

I read early on that there was never going to be a moment where we flipped a switch and everything was fine and we’d go back to normal. Restrictions will slowly be lifted and one by one we’ll get closer to the end of this.

At some point we’ll wake up, the tingling will be over and we’ll be in whatever version of normal is normal, though I hope normal doesn’t change much. I liked how things were before and a new normal doesn’t sound normal enough to me.

Return of sports

As we inch forward there have been milestones to be celebrated along the way. We can dine in restaurants, workout at the gym, go to playgrounds and visit museums and bowling alleys. Everyone has milestones that are more important than others.

For me, it was playing sports. And the return of sports this fall in all its forms was a big one for me.

The kids have been able to go to practice since June but you can only practice in a self-contained area for so long before you want to just roll out a ball and play a game. You can’t practice in perpetuity.

I got back on the field first. My adult soccer league started back up on a cool Sunday night in September, the first time I’ve been able to play since March. The league has a fraction of the teams this season so the old guys have to play in the same league as the 20-somethings.

Now, I hate losing. I mean I really hate losing. We got slaughtered and I didn’t even care. It just felt good to play.

Next came Future Man, who has almost exclusively practiced lacrosse in the backyard for the last six months. When he finally got to play in a game in September he unleashed an absolute torrent of goals. I love watching my kids play anything on any day, but that day felt pretty special.

As I write this we’re still waiting to cheer on the Blonde Bomber’s return to the soccer field. She’s been a beast in practice and asks me at least twice a week when she gets to put on her uniform, but her first two games were rained out.

Like I said, still in the tingling phase.

I always appreciated sports and the very central role that they’ve played in my life but I never fully understood to what extent my life revolves around them. Gratitude wasn’t necessarily an emotion that I’d assign to sports. Boy, has that changed.

Will the tingling ever stop?

With the continued reopening, I also get to physically go to work this week. Much of what I do is built around getting thousands of people gathering together at events. We’re still not there but we’re inching closer to that reality.

When this arrives in mailboxes I’ll be in New Jersey awaiting the results of a second COVID test so I can enter an operations bubble and help run a no-fans-allowed professional golf tournament that was scheduled for last May.

Next month I’ll head to Tampa for another event that should have been played last April. We’re hoping to host a few hundred fans at that event. Baby steps.

Like I said, it was never going to be a flipped switch. It’ll continue to be a series of little victories. Next comes schools and bars and churches and theaters. At some point we’ll all be able to return to stadiums and concerts.

Some day, hopefully soon, we’ll all wake up and realize the tingling has stopped.

The masks will be gone and our smiles will be back to normal.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 10-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 7-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.