My family is in the midst of a pandemic slump. We’ve accepted the fact that we missed a summer of travel and fun (even though we tried to compensate by throwing in some shorter road trips). But now that the kids are back in school (online), there are other things we’re missing.
Over the past many years, my family has gone to concerts at a local outdoor shopping center. The bands are usually cover bands, and they sound great! The shopping center has several restaurants and stores where you can get to-go food and eat it on chairs or blankets on the lawn during the concert. There is a small stream and big slide for kids to enjoy. When the weather is nice, it makes for a great evening.
My younger son keeps asking if we can go again. Of course, I have to explain that there are no concerts because of crowds and Covid. I told him that maybe we could grab some to-go food and sit on the lawn by ourselves anyway. He wasn’t impressed.
Gymnastics Open Gym
At my daughter’s gymnastics place, they used to offer a Friday night open gym for the students. It was included as part of tuition. Basically, kids got to have structured play time at the gym while parents had a kid-free night. My daughter LOVED going to open gym!
Pre-pandemic, she used to go every Friday night. There were usually over 65 kids there, and my daughter made friends with people outside of her regular gymnastics class and outside of her school. When we’d pick her up, she’d be exhausted and happy.
Unfortunately, her gym was shut down for 3-4 months. And now that it’s back open, it started offering these Friday night open gyms again. But alas, we’re not letting her go. Even though I’m sure attendance is way down, I feel a big indoor event like that is too risky with Covid.
My oldest son and I used to volunteer at our local animal shelter once a week. My son loves dogs, and he is very good with shy and hyper dogs that are common in the shelter. Our main job was walking the dogs. We fell in love with quite a few pups there.
The shelter suspended all volunteer activity when Covid started, and it is still closed to the public and volunteers. My son really misses those dogs!
Organized Bike Rides
My husband misses organized bike rides. He used to ride in a cycling club. He was also signed up for the MS150 bike ride, twice this year actually, and both were cancelled.
As for me, I miss my monthly neighborhood book club. I know that we could do it on zoom, but it wouldn’t be the same. We can’t meet in person, even distanced, due to the health of some of the members. But I sure do miss it. Book club was the one night a month I could really stimulate my mind and talk with other adults for a solid few hours.
Coping and Changing
Overall, I think my kids are coping better than my husband and me. All of them have substituted outdoor tennis for most other activities. My husband has found some smaller unofficial bike rides. And me? I have changed my efforts from vacation planning to home improvement planning. But, I’m not completely satisfied.
Sometimes I look at other families who are choosing to do more “risky” activities with envy. Will we look back at this time and think we were being ridiculous for playing it so safe? Or, if Covid hits a little too close to home will we wish we would have played it safer? Who knows.
What are some little things you are missing right now?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.