This has been sort of an intense school year, and I spent three-quarters of it supervising remote learning for my kids. While we got through all the learning stuff, my kids still ended up spending about a full year at home between last school year and this one before they returned to in-person learning. The first day they went back, I felt like Kevin McCallister facing an empty house and not entirely certain about what to do about it.
Those school weeks blended into each other faster than I realized, and, as we approach Memorial Day Weekend, we also approach the end of the school year in our area.
I don’t think I’m ready for it.
I mean, I am so done with directly monitoring schoolwork and homework that I am very ready not to do any of that for a few glorious months. No packets, no reading logs, no spelling words, no surprise end-of-the-year projects or “fun activities” that require lots of direct parental supervision and far more energy than I currently have the capacity to give right now.
I still don’t think I’m ready though.
First of all, it feels like my kids just barely got a chance not to be in each other’s faces all the time, and I think they really needed that break. I know I really needed not having to break up all those disagreements. I am not looking forward to the inevitable scream fights that are sure to be coming for us.
It’s also not going to be the summer we are used to. Once again, our convention of choice, Phoenix Fan Fusion, is postponed because of COVID. It’s usually the way we kick off our summers, a tradition going back to when I was pregnant with our first kid, so we’re feeling a convention-sized hole in our lives like many other geek families.
We’re also in the same awkward place many other families are in: the adults are fully vaccinated, but our kids are not old enough for that to even be an option on the table. So any activities we do do, we have to take that into consideration as we decide what things do and do not match our personal COVID comfort levels, especially as rules about things like mandatory masks are shifting.
Not every activity is going to be open either. Last summer, almost everything was shut down, but this summer has us in that between stage for the pandemic. Some things are open, some things are open but have COVID adaptions, some things are open with fewer enrollment numbers. We’re still left in a constant state of making choices about what matches our comfort levels.
So now, I’m really not certain how our summer is going to look, but I know it can’t look exactly like the summer of 2019 because the world as a whole has not gone completely post-COVID yet. We’re in that weird middle zone where some parts are shifting back to closer normalcy but we’re not all the way there yet. I feel like that middle zone is the hardest to exist in. Your family’s COVID comfort levels are possibly even stricter than some people you know, but potentially less strict than others. Figuring out what works for you as the situation is often changing is hard, especially as there are ways where even the most introverted of people want some sense of normalcy to come back.
So we’re over here on the verge of summer, not certain what it’s actually going to look like other than three-digit temperatures and my kids loudly declaring how done they are with each other. If you’re in a similar position, please feel reassured that it’s not just you. We’ll figure it out, just like we figured out the rest of this pandemic stuff so far, and hopefully, the summer of 2022 is closer to that normalcy we’ve been missing.