COVID19 Parenting Summer Bucket Lis

This weird summer

I knew the question was coming. For the first time in about five years, the summer bucket list that hangs from our fridge isn’t there this year. But when my daughter said “Are we not doing the summer bucket list?” I felt bad.

I’ve written about our lists before:

Summer Bucket List and Facing Fears of Commitment
Summer Bucket List: Visit a Little Free Library
Summer Bucket List: Staying on Track and Soaking Up Summer
Calling it on Summer
Closing the Door on Summer

This year has already been so weird that I had decided it was probably not going to happen. We started our summer in Missouri. We came home to a lock-down-type situation. Things are closed. Masks are required. Our summer bucket list had included so many field trips in the past–this year was going to be different. Not only because of COVID-19 but also because now I’m working full time hours. Half of them are still from home, but I’m still busy during those hours.

I could not let this tradition die. So, last weekend, I got up early and started brainstorming. I browsed Pinterest for things that we could do from home. Places we could go after I got done with work. Activities that would break up the monotony of work, work, clean, and work.

Here is our Summer 2020 Bucket List

This list includes many things we can do at home in a short period of time: like MASH and door hangers. This means it won’t take up work time, but we still get to do something different. We can find a geocache in our neighborhood in the evening. We can go to Lexington on a weekend. We can have an outdoor movie whenever we want. Maybe today.

Sure, there are fewer field trips, but maybe we can sneak in some extras.

Facing Reality

Last weekend, I was talking to a family friend. He asked me if my husband was still traveling an insane amount. The answer is yes, but at least we got to go with him for three weeks. He said something to the effect of “That’s a shame because your kids still want to hang out with you. Your oldest will be 13 by next summer. She’ll know everything and you’ll know nothing and she won’t want to spend time with you.”

That’s probably true. Though I feel like it’s less likely How much more time will I have carting these girls around to things like berry picking and lunch at Blake’s or climbing the steps to the Port Huron lighthouse?

We spend the entire school year running around like fools. We eat dinner in the car on the way to soccer games. We spend hours at the dance studio. I race home after work to make dinner, clean up, make lunches, help with homework and really, really hope to grab a few minutes for myself. I don’t want the summer to just be this void of time in which they watched way too much YouTube and played way too much Playstation. We need to make something of it.

Juggling the Time

I hate to say I don’t care, because I do, but if this stay-home order has taught me anything, it’s that these four people are my nucleus, but they certainly won’t be here, in this time, at this age, in this house, forever. I like both of my jobs, but they aren’t prioroty one.

So, for now, I try to honor their requests for my time but I also try to steal some of it away. If work isn’t something that has to be done RIGHTNOW or during business hours, I do try to push some of it off until the evening when we are all decompressing. That gives me day-time hours with the girls. This hasn’t happened in a few weeks, but I need to get back to it.

The same way I need to get back to working out.

Both are vital to my sanity.

While my middle daughter’s goal of watching all seven seasons of Chicago PD is admirable, it’s not productive or memorable. Though, one of my goals is to binge watch Chicago Med so I can’t really blame her.

I don’t have much to complain about. My wedding wasn’t canceled. I’m not being forced to give birth in pandemic conditions. My summer bucket list just changing. I have to wear a mask to Target. It’s not the end of the world. And we will make it work.

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