I felt especially excited about the last day of school this year. I kept catching myself breathing a HUGE sigh of relief. We had so many fears going into this school year, and I'm happy to report that none of those fears became reality. The only virtual schooling we had to do in our small town, rural school was to practice for if we needed it. We didn't! They never had anything more than a couple little colds that we thought might even be allergies throughout the year. (When are researchers going to come up with an at-home test to determine if sniffly noses and coughs are allergies or viruses? Seriously!)
We DID, however, spend way too much time looking at screens. Me included. We spent way too much time indoors, fearful, and "together, but separate." Socially distanced schooling, masked up, hand-sanitized, and starving for hugs. So, I've made a decision that THIS summer is going to be like I remember summers in the 1980s. Yes, I remember summers in the 1980s. I was very young, but I remember helping Mom and Dad with various cleaning or house projects in the morning, then going outside to play for hours. We had fantastic outdoor toys, lots of space to run, and our parents had little reason to worry about where we were or when we'd come home. We watched cartoons on Saturday mornings because that was the only time they were on.
Obviously, things have changed quite a bit since then, and I won't be like my dad and put the TV in the closet for the summer (smart man). But we're going to have a lot less screen time. We're going to have a lot more playdates. We're going to travel and visit the places we missed last summer. We're going to swim and get too much sun and have picnics. We're going to spend all day outdoors, and maybe even take a nap in the big swing.
Eliana will be in third grade next year. She's changing so much right now. I want to freeze time and bottle it up to keep forever. Charlie will be in second grade, and he's turning into a young man. Stoic, full of ideas, and always ready for a project! I keep catching glimpses of the young man he will be. I never want to lose my connection with him. And Redmond! He's full of adventure and does NOT want to be left out. He has a hug for almost everyone and seems to understand who needs it the most. He's healthy, bright, and so full of love.
The kids love each other tremendously, even though they fight regularly and it drives me a little batty. I have big plans to send them to sports and art camps, let them play softball and baseball, and take swimming lessons. I'm planning to schedule play dates and zoo trips and Vacation Bible School. Hopefully, at the end of these wild and free summer days, they'll fall into bed, wonderfully exhausted and full of the joy of LIFE. (Not full of the lives of those they watch on their screens.)
My answer to most of their questions is going to be YES whenever possible. And hopefully those questions will soon stop being about how much candy they're allowed to eat or how many hours of Netflix they're allowed to watch and more about if they can walk down to the woods and explore the creek.