The Seattle division of my family was in town last weekend, and it was the first time Simon has seen his cousins in person in two years. It's only the second time in two years (the other being around Christmas) that we've had anyone stay overnight at our house. Then we spent an entire day with them at a theme park. It was busy, so it wasn't ideal, but it was open and our tourist economy was buzzing. Few people were wearing masks, and they were no longer required. (Some people feel it's too soon, I get that, but the science makes a ton of sense, especially if you're vaccinated.) Simon struggled with his impulsivity, especially for talking out of turn, but overall the weekend was the most "normal" thing that I've experienced in a long time.
I'm not sure what normal looks like though. On a positive note, we're no longer led by an anti-democracy fascist, but things are not right. Russia has invaded Ukraine. Healthcare is still tied to employment. Three states are not only targeting the LGBTQ community with discrimination, but they're specifically targeting children. Gerrymandering is consolidating power for the minority. Climate change is not just causing inconvenient weather, but destabilizing entire nations.
At least for a little while, things felt comfortable and familiar. I may be naive, but I really believe that most humans want to do right by each other, and for the world. So why is it so damn hard to get there?