I wasn’t sure what I would do when I heard that malls, bookstores, Chuck E. Cheese, McDonald’s play places and more would be closed off indefinitely to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus this year. I understood the decision, of course, but it was scary. To be limited, for the first time since–well, ever, I felt like a kid again. It was as if I had no car again, like mom and dad had told me I was grounded and couldn’t go anywhere, because quite frankly that’s what had happened in America. We were being told to go to our rooms and stay there until mom and dad decided it was okay to come back out.
I’m not much of an outdoors girl. I grew up in Florida, where the sun shines relentlessly on you year-round. This may seem like the best thing ever to those who aren’t natives of the area, but when you’ve spent your entire childhood frying in the Sunshine State, it’s refreshing to be somewhere different, where seasons change every few months! Nevertheless, my boys love the outdoors, and I forget sometimes that though they are used to the entertainment that can be offered by paying an entrance fee to an arcade or trampoline place, they would still enjoy the many thrills that come from being in nature.
We tried taking them to the swimming pool a few weeks ago, then a splash pad. Both tend to have more people around than is typically preferred for social-distancing guidelines, but there are other ways to be in the water and still have space between yourself and other families.
This past weekend we visited a place in New Hampshire that rented out canoes and kayaks for fairly cheap prices.
The weekend prior we went to a walking/biking trail attached to a beach and small playground where people were enjoying watching the sunset.
I think next weekend we will try an open soccer field we found and kick around the ball with our kids, because the quality time we spend as a family is what they’ll remember. Not how many prizes they won with tokens earned–or how many toys we were able to buy them at the mall. These are just a couple of the things we are finding we can do over the summer, but I’m hoping to find more, as fall will come around soon and before we know it the temperature will start to drop, so we must be grateful for the summer days while we have them! The pandemic will not stop me from savoring my kids’ childhood with them. They only get 18 summers at home before they’re adults and off doing their own things, and I want to make the best of them!