When I was growing up, my mother had a sign in the kitchen that listed our meal options for the day.
This is how I’ve felt about pretty much everything in my life for the last ten months. When news of the pandemic first hit, we were told exactly what to do and when to do it. We couldn’t go to school or work. We couldn’t see our friends and family. We couldn’t even see our doctors. There were mandates and curfews. There was panic and loneliness. The only thing that made it remotely bearable was the knowledge that except for our front line workers, most of us were in the same boat.
When stores and restaurants started re-opening, it felt good to exercise those decision-making muscles. It felt good to put on pants. On the surface, we have way more choices than we did last March. But when given the choice, some of our friends have jumped ship and are now on an entirely different boat. Last spring, no one had FOMO because there was nothing to MO on. Now there is.
I know that everyone has to do what feels right to them, but lately, not much feels right. Maybe that’s because, just like in my mother’s kitchen, there really are only two choices: 1. Stay home, and 2. Don’t. And so we do what we have to do as parents. We weigh and measure the risks. Multiple times a day. We make decisions based on which aspect of our family’s health seems more pressing at the moment: physical or emotional. As if that’s actually a choice. As if we can have one without the other and still be whole.
We’re not whole right now. Not even close. But we’ll get there. We’ll have choices again. Not just the kind where we’re forced to pick the one that makes us feel the least awful. Real choices. Our kids will be able to be with their friends. Not just from our basements via screens and headsets. In person. Together. With dirt and grass and water and sweat. With laughter and cheering and singing and celebrating. With all the feels and all the smells (yes, even the bad smells). With eye contact. With support. With people who are there to help them heal. With people who are there to heal alongside them. With people who know that this summer means everything. Because it does.
If you haven’t finalized your summer plans yet, talk to us. We have spent every day since last summer planning for this one. Our scenarios have scenarios. We are going to do everything in our power to give your boys what they need most: Each other. (And euro.) The way we see it, when it comes to keeping your boys safe and happy this summer, you do have a choice: