These Slow Summer Days

Here we are at the end of July and the whole world seems just as uncertain as it was in March. It’s been five months since we started all talking about COVID and four months since most of us have been on quarantine.

While most of us are reeling with all the changes to our lives, my little world hasn’t changed all that much.

Once I got over the shopping/going out withdrawals, we settled in and it’s kinda been nice. My kids are getting a much more ‘wild & free’, 1990s type of summer than they would have had if stores and society at large was open up. We play in the yard, garden, bake, make lots and lots of play dough and wooden train tracks labyrinths.

What’s been stressful…

What has changed is the Mommy Wars. With the lifted COVID-19 restrictions, quarantine has become a matter of personal opinion. If you thought parenting was controversial before, pandemic parenting is even worse. The stakes are higher, obviously, but opinions are still as varied and strongly held as before.

Schools are mostly planning to reopen in the fall. Restaurants are welcoming patrons. Indoor playgrounds are opening their doors.

So the questions roll in….

Mask? No mask?

School? Homeschool?

Playdates? What if your friends don’t quarantine? Do you only hang out with those practicing safe social distancing? Does that make you a hypocrite?

Church? Live-stream? In-person? Nursery??

Playground? What about only in the mornings? Sanitized? On sunny days?

Shopping? Only necessities? Only for your mental health? Only curbside pickup?

I took my kids out for the first time since March 14th, 2020. We went to an outdoor shopping area where we got ice cream, social distanced, and wore masks. It was a strange twist on an otherwise normal summer activity.

What’s been nice…

Besides the social pressure, we’ve been enjoying these slow summer days. Our schooling continues in the sense that we play games to learn the days of the week, sing songs about the parts of the body, and read lots and lots of library books (thank you, local library, for offering curbside pickup).

We had great fun making play dough with this recipe from “I Heart Naptime.

Most of our picture books come from the library, but this week I ordered one of my favorite childhood books, Miss Rumphius. I read it many, many times with my mother, studying it with the curriculum Five In A Row, and now it is my defacto retirement plan.

  1. Travel the world (though I’ve done a good bit of that already)
  2. Settle by the sea (sea, not beach – think rocks and waves and tall trees)
  3. Do something to make the world more beautiful.

The book itself is lovely, a legacy for the author. Do yourself a favor and read it – with or without children. It’s the kind of peace we need this summer.

In any case, I hope you and yours are staying safe, staying calm, and enjoying these slow summer days. Whatever the future holds, I hope we can all do our part in making it more beautiful.

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