It’s Memorial Day weekend. The unofficial start of summer. Here in New England we’re thrilled to be welcoming warmer weather and enjoying more time outside. It’s one of the small things we look forward to each day so we can get out of the house!
In past years we’d be getting ready to attend cookouts all weekend and gather with friends and family. We’d be stocking up on the sunscreen and bug spray, preparing for long days at the lake surrounded by loved ones. We’d be the social beings that we were designed to be! But Memorial Day 2020 – well, this one is different. There are no parties scheduled, and quite frankly I don’t see it being much different than the past 2 months (aside from Mother Nature giving us some beautiful weather).
Even though states are beginning to open, and people are becoming a little more comfortable with going out – I am not. Call me overprotective. I will continue to remain at home. I will continue to avoid stores and have my groceries delivered as much as possible. And most of all, I will keep my kids isolated (for the most part). To me, it’s not worth the risk and quite honestly it’s actually better for my sanity. In the back of my mind, no matter where we go, I’d always be wondering where the virus was. Even if we scrubbed our hands and wore our masks the entire time. Let’s face it – kids are germ magnets. For example, just recently my 4-year old came down with fifths disease. During quarantine. Figure that one out.
So when I look at Summer 2020 I have a lot of mixed emotions. Summer is certainly an exciting time – school’s out, the weather is great, and there are so many fun outdoor things to do. It’s a time that we usually spend going to concerts, taking vacations and traveling. More importantly it’s spent amongst family and friends - and for me that’s the hard part.
But it’s our job as parents to look past that. To look at the good and the positive and put that front and center. It’s our job to show our children that despite the current environment, it can still be an amazing summer. The past two months for them have been overwhelming, uncertain and downright scary. So this summer (more than any other summer in the past) we need to show them FUN. We need to take the opportunity to let them be creative and to show us how to be creative again.
I’ve started brainstorming fun things to do in our own backyard and the possibilities are endless. And most are inexpensive too which is always a positive.
- Hikes/scavenger hunts
- A zip line (my husband’s idea…)
- Sports – soccer/volleyball/kickball
- A small bounce house (you can get these pretty inexpensive and they are so worth the investment!)
- Play tag/hide and seek
- Install a tire swing
- Chalk & bubbles
- Homemade slip and slide
- Backyard camping (the Bungalow Cot would be great for this)
- DIY Smore Bar
Ok I’ll stop. You get it – if you really start to think about it the possibilities are endless. And no we are not getting a zip-line. But I did recently get one of those really cool round tree swings from Amazon that should be fun!
I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty bummed about a concertless summer. However, I think that this summer will be one for the books. One that we’ll look back on and remember for the rest of our lives: in a good way. We’ll make so many wonderful memories and get to watch out kids grow, play and be kids. We’ll be forced to slow down and not overbook ourselves with cookouts, birthday parties and endless activities. We’ll learn to enjoy what we have, and more importantly who we have. Let’s take this summer and make it epic. Let’s make it the best summer ever.