On what felt like the 100th gray day this spring, my family needed to get out of the house.
We drove to our favorite trail, hiked a mile to Lake Michigan, and wandered the shore. The only other people on the beach were another family with two kids, probably in their late teens. Everyone was being cautious, and we kept our distance, but I really wanted to ask those other parents the last time they spent an unstructured Saturday morning with their two teenagers.
When stripped away of obligations, social plans, and sports activities, I bet those parents were just a little bit grateful for the silver lining that allowed them to be together with their kids at the beach.
My kids still like hanging out with me (and hanging on me), but I was grateful for the day too. Kids grow and change so quickly, I know someday they might even cringe at my touch. Even with the stress of working, worrying, and distance learning during this time at home, it’s not lost on me that I may actually miss this. Years from now, I might look back on it with longing and nostalgia for this precious gift of presence and togetherness.
Even with the stress of working, worrying, and distance learning during this time at home, it’s not lost on me that I may actually miss this. Years from now, I might look back on it with longing and nostalgia for this precious gift of presence and togetherness.
The pandemic has created a forced pause from the daily comings and goings of life. A laser-focus on the basics to be grateful for: health, home, food, and family. The recent swell of dissent in our country has made many others and myself re-examine our own values and actions with eyelids forced open to see a world that looks different than we thought (or cared to admit). We’re learning, reflecting, and figuring out our role in making the future better.
This summer will be different. Slower. I want to feel content without plans. I want to take the time to listen, to read, and to grow in summer’s warm embrace. I want to appreciate the pause. Relish in the moments. I want to notice and appreciate some of the simple things that make summer so special like:
Cold water hitting bare skin on a hot day.
Dipping toes into soft, warm sand.
Hearing giggles and splashes from jumps in the pool or runs through the sprinkler.
Wiping clean sticky fingers and smiling faces after eating ice cream or popsicle treats.
Sweating through your shirt while a baby sleeps soundly against your chest.
Seeing kids’ bruised and bandaged knees as souvenirs from their adventures.
Taking a walk or a bike ride without a destination.
Feeling a wall of warmth hit your face after a day spent in air conditioning.
Taking the first sip of a summer cocktail.
Waiting out a summer storm.
Spotting the first firefly.
Watching the sunset after the kids are in bed.
Faces aglow during campfire conversations in the dark.
The sound of fireworks.
The smell of sparklers.
The deep sleep after a day spent in the sun.
Yes, some things will stay the same, but this summer will be different. I hope after this summer of slowing down, I’ll be different too. Who knows what change might come with the fall.
Read More: The Everymom’s Summer 2020 Bucket List