As the midsummer solstice draws near, and the summer wardrobe makes a more regular appearance, I can’t help but wonder what Summer this year will bring.
Despite changes to government restrictions that allow small movements and limited socialising, there is so much uncertainty about the months ahead, it’s hard to feel the usual excitement about the summer term countdown to the six week summer.
After all, it’s just going to be more of the same, isn’t it?
The big Summer catch up
I’m quite tempted to rename this ‘the big summer F off’ as BoJo touched on the possibility of setting parents and kids extra homework for the summer months. Especially when the prospect of six weeks off home schooling has literally been the only thing keeping me going between conference calls and equivalent fractions the last few months.
In the same breath, as we look towards my second summer as a working parent, I’m wondering how on earth we will manage if we can’t beg steal and borrow all the additional childcare needed to get us through the summer holidays? Having not signed up to non term time childcare due to the huge cost. Or do we just keep ploughing on, engaging the digital nanny and seeing it as just another week in lockdown? It’s a bleak prospect…
Forget post holiday blues, this year was supposed to be our year – our first family holiday of our choosing as a four piece. We had booked to travel to Jersey by ferry and were so looking forward to marking Dad Muddling Throughs 40th year with our special trip. It’s since been cancelled, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t the end of the world, but it’s okay to agree it’s all a bit rubbish.
Given the lack of ability to travel far, we engaged the back up plan. A self catering property has been booked on the Kent coast which will see us have a little getaway from our suburbia to a seaside haven. Trouble is, what does a socially distanced seaside stay have going for it? Will we be welcome on the beaches, and will the restaurants be open and relaxing in the way we know them? Or will we be chased off by the locals with pitch forks?
I’m already starting to prepare myself. September; is it really going to be the point in time when the kids skip back to school with a new pencil case and shiny shoes? And am I seriously going to even consider investing in a new uniform until I know exactly what’s going on…
Having already experienced our first socially distanced wildlife park, I’m hopeful we might be able to do a few memorable trips out. As long as we get organised and book well in advance.
But will we be able to meet friends and family, at their homes beyond the somehow impossible 6 people rule? Can we guarantee the British weather won’t rain on our garden socialising plans, and will we ever be able to picnic in a field which has toilets?
Going out out
Aside from feeling socially stifled as a family, I have to admit, I’m really craving a evening when I’m not in my PJs by eight thirty. When I might actually wear make up again and bother making a proper effort. I want to wear all the lovely clothes hanging sadly in my wardrobe, and I want to remember what it feels like to come home to the kids refreshed and having had an evening of adult company.
And yet, despite doing so much less and enjoying a slower pace of life, will I feel energised again? No longer drained by the repetitive nature of life in lockdown. Tired of the battles to home school and entertain the kids whilst juggling work. Feeling the guilt for them being on devices far too long, and exercising far less than they should. And me too for that matter.
Will I get to return to my work place, a chance to step away from the four walls that represent all too often another chore that needs doing? A place I struggle to relax, and where I sometimes need distance from?
Can we do this?
But ice creams are not cancelled, nor paddling pools, nor movie nights. While there is sunshine and thunder storms, hot dogs and ketchup, zoom calls and face time, we will keep going, in anticipation of the day we are told it’s going to be okay to resume summer services.
This summer might be different, and it’s okay to feel a bit sad about it. But we will keep looking for the positives, and clinging on to them.
Things could be so so much worse. We are loved. We are healthy. We are safe.
We can all do this, a little bit longer.