Back in May I told my husband that in the midst of these uncertain times, I was certain of one thing: Our summer would be terrible. We’d just received word that our local pool “hoped” to open by July 31 (with capacity limits of course). Camps were shutting down left and right, and the kids were threatening mutiny if I took them on another bike ride or hike. “Please mom,” my oldest daughter begged, “No more nature preserves.” I even did a quick Amazon search for above-ground pools, and you guessed it—sold out through September. What on earth would we do for 12 weeks?
Then June arrived, and things started improving. Our pool announced it would open earlier than expected, and some camp options appeared in my inbox. We booked a two-week family vacation in a new-to-us coastal town, and my mom offered to entertain the kids for a few nights at her home in Baltimore. One day last month, as I watched my kids laugh and splash in the pool, I realized just how wrong my dismal summer prediction had been. Last summer I nearly killed myself driving the kids all over town to various camps, swim meets and play dates I thought they needed. By the time Labor Day hit we were all exhausted, and I swore I’d never over-schedule us like that again. In that sense, this summer has been a gift. Sure things haven’t been 100 percent perfect—the kids still complain they’re bored and our basement flooded in August—but we’ve also seen a lot more of my husband since he’s now working remotely, and we’ve gained a newfound appreciation for the summertime spots (namely the pool) that we often took for granted. Time seems to have slowed down since we aren’t rushing off to chase the next fun thing. Instead, we can afford to wait until it finds us. And most days, it does.