From the August 2020 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS.
This time last year I was returning from a vacation in Florida, about a month into working this job, scheduling meetings, helping my daughter pack for a weeklong sleepaway camp and making a list of which school supplies I should pick up at what store. There were also a few afternoons I snuck away to our neighborhood pool for a little relaxation.
It’s now the Summer of 2020 and I spent the week anxiously awaiting news of what the beginning of the school year will look for my kids. I was nervous for both myself and for them, as I have a rising freshman and junior. Seeing the sadness on their faces as they’ve missed the end-of-year celebrations, spring sports seasons and their friends since mid-March has been heartbreaking. I haven’t shopped for school supplies and camp was cancelled this year, and the pandemic has prevented so many teens from getting the summer jobs they’d had high hopes for.
This time last year looked a lot different for them. My daughter was anxiously awaiting her road test to obtain her driver’s license and driving around town so she could finish her required hours. She and her brother met three times a week in the early morning with their cross country team to practice. They could walk to our pool whenever they wanted, or meet friends to shoot hoops at the nearby public basketball court.
Thanks to COVID-19, this summer has looked a lot different for our kids. They are no longer groaning about shopping for back to school supplies, knowing they will start the school year off with remote schedule that keeps them home at least until Labor Day. They are hearing news of more and more people receiving positive COVID tests, and worrying if they forget to leave the house without a mask or hand sanitizer. They are sad because so many neighborhood pools have opted to remain closed for the summer, because they aren’t large enough to adhere to the social distancing guidelines. They long for the days when the basketball hoops were still up in the neighborhood park, and they wonder why they ever complained about not wanting to go outside in the heat. They’d give anything now to be outside in the heat with their friends without fear.
This time last year I was living with the everyday normal stressors most adults deal with day by day. I had no idea of what was to come. But as we work through the very first pandemic most of us have ever lived through, I believe we will come out stronger. Our kids will be more resilient. They will appreciate the things they used to take for granted. For some, it could be a defining moment of their lives, if they choose to make it one.
This time next year will look a lot different. I hope.