Memorial Day Weekend came and went, with it the unofficial start of summer even though it doesn’t truly start until the end of June. But what a different start it was!
With cooking, cleaning, sewing, installing a new stove and microwave, and spending time with the family it was all rather much the same as any other year. Little kids means that normally we stick close to home, but there was a fundamentally different feeling in the air.
The pools did not open this year, though it was uncharacteristically sunny, and there can be no promise made that they ever will. We had to resort to the garden hose and splash pads, which the boys loved, of course, but, again, something felt different. Since my own childhood, the pool was a fundamental part of the weekend, no matter how cold the weather was outside.
I still remember a very particular Memorial Day weekend sometime in my teens. The day started off great, but at some point during a shopping expedition I found myself on with my parents and grandparents, the weather drastically changed. We went from boiling in our own skin to freezing in a matter of moments, but that didn’t stop me. Oh no! I was not to be deterred and made my way to a very very cold pool indeed!
Since there are States that are opening and Illinois is allowing small gatherings, my husband and I decided to take the kids to their grandparents for a small barbecue. As usual, the food was delicious, the company amazing, but our youngest at just a little over one years old, did not like the situation. The stay at home order only intensified his fear of others, allowing grandma to hold him for a total of three (!) minutes.
Date nights may not be happening any time soon.
Much as in previous years, with such a fun packed weekend, no one wanted it to end. The boys pushed their bedtime back just a tad on Monday, but thankfully fell right asleep. It gave me the time that I needed to reflect on life as it is now. Things are not the same, and maybe they wouldn’t be for some time yet (years?), but we can make do the best way that we can.
Pools are being replaced by hoses and splash pads. Outings to parks are being replaced by fun times in the yard or a walk around the neighborhood. Big parties can’t happen, instead, we gather in smaller and more intimate amounts, but this way we may get to know each other more.
I’d like to believe that people will cherish the time they get to spend with their loved ones more after this, shying away from phones and social media in lieu of in person meetings. While maintaining social distancing, we’ve had family and friends stop by to say hi or drop things off for the boys, realizing that even FaceTime or Skype aren’t the same. I’ve had others reach out to discuss future plans we might make, as opposed to just texting all the time.
I hold out hope that these different and difficult times teach us something that we can carry on to the future.