I work at my desk and hear my teen attending school online through the closed door of our guest room.
The end of school back in early June feels like it happened eons ago.
My son finished his sophomore year of high school maintaining his distance from his campus, teachers, and classmates. He did get to see his teachers however briefly in the end-of-school car parade through the school’s parking lot. They set up different tents to commemorate the events the students had missed since lockdown began in mid-March.
As lovely as the gesture was, we all felt oddly deflated when we returned home.
Summer usually means vacation and trips to see friends, family, and fun places. Not during a pandemic.
Instead, we hiked as much as we could or played miniature golf until it got too hot to be outside. After all, we live in south-central Texas.
I gardened as I typically do, so that brought some much-needed stress relief. Lots of cooking, canning fig jam, and cleaning up after three people who are home all.the.time made for lots more housework than I prefer, to be frank.
I also decluttered piles as much as I could stand it. In one pile I found a magazine issue I was saving because of the fun summer travel ideas.
I threw that issue away.
We did stay at a lovely cabin on a farm in the Hill Country close to Austin. The two nights were a welcome break from home and all the chores. However, we couldn’t visit anyplace because so many of the businesses, museums, and vineyards were closed understandably, so we grilled and played games and hiked.
We even got to enjoy The Goonies at an impromptu drive-in movie theater. Our son was curious about the outing (“watching a movie from your car in a parking lot, why?”). He managed to get into the movie and all its 1980s glory.
I even had a total shoulder replacement surgery in late June, right before all elective surgeries were suspended in Texas. My doctor convinced me this was the right time to do this.
“What else are you going to do during a pandemic summer? You can’t go anywhere, and you won’t miss any work events because they’re not happening.”
Before we knew it, it was our son’s birthday, which always falls the week before school starts.
Our guest room has been converted into a Zoom room and now acts as my son’s classroom office. He shuts the door and goes to school, spreading his books, papers, and snacks all over the Queen-sized bed and carpeted floor in the (normally clean) guest bedroom.
Work, physical therapy, keeping my plants alive in the 100-degree heat, and cheering my distance-learning scholar on now dominates my days.
It’s good to remember what the summer of 2020 was like for us. But once it’s 2021, it’s Fight Club rules for sure!
Featured image is of a meme about never ever talking about 2020 once we are past it. Credit: An unknown genius.