Summer 2020, The Gap Year we didn't ask for
For many of us across the United States, everything came to a halt when we realized we would be at home with our children, FULL time, an unexpected 3 months before summer break due to the pandemic. Not to mention that we had to add being teacher’s assistants to the mix of mom, chef, Instacart shopper, partner and more!
School is OUT!
In Florida, school is out for the summer, woo hooo (I think)! We had a drive thru awards ceremony for Tori & Zee completing the semester on high honor roll. This definitely was abnormal and I wasn’t sure any of us were going to make it out alive, especially the kids; they tried every nerve I had. The teachers didn’t help either but check out “Unapologetically Living with Trese The Podcast” for those deets on that.
The girls tackled the change with some hesitation and we had to talk and work through the myriad of emotions they felt. Both of them had friends that would be transitioning out of their respective schools the next year and they missed spending that time with them before they left. Not to mention the additional busywork that the teachers piled on… IT. WAS. A LOT.
Yall know Tori and Zee though, they persevered and I officially have two honor students who are now an 8th grader and Senior in high school, respectively. I am so very proud of their tenacity and drive to still excel when it would have been much easier to attempt to blow off work (they know their mama wasn’t having that though)
We had so many plans for the summer, as I'm sure many of you did. We were going to travel up the West Coast because as much as I love travelling outside of the country there is still so much of the United States that the girls haven’t seen. We were, of course, going on college tours, to help Zee narrow down her college choices. J and I planned to get away for a couple’s trip and I planned a girl’s trip with my best friend and new mom tribe. Our 2020 Summer plans were lit and now… well…. Its dim.
Our summer plans at this point do not look the same. With the pandemic still very much alive (I don’t care what has reopened) and now our extreme passion & need for activism; we are mobilized to be of service to others during this time.
The original summer plans have been cancelled.
What to do with these kids?!?!
Here are a few things you can do with the kids that you have seen non-stop for the last 2 ½ months:
1. Ignore them – Sis, its perfectly ok if you let them have all the video games, TV time, snacks that they want. You’ve earned the peace and quite frankly so have they. We all need a break from each other at this point. Don’t judge me if you see a little more screen time in our family, mind your own business.
2. Outside time is a real thing – I don’t know how yall were raised but my mama, if I was home for the summer and not at my Granny’s house, made us go outside every day; and she wasn’t out there being my playmate. A little Vitamin D aint hurt nobody. It so shocking to me when I make my kids go outside and there are literally no other children out. Really?!?! Kids need the fresh air and exercise… MAKE THEM GO! (In your backyard or on you patio , I am still skeptical of people)
3. Activate their activism – The youth are truly the generation that is going to help us transition out of this current climate into something that is more recognizable as human beings cohabiting this Earth. I encourage you to talk to your children about their feelings surrounding the injustices against black people (no matter what race you are). Empower them to use their voice. They can attend a peaceful protest (not all the protests happening are violent, regardless of what the media and social media are telling you), they can write letters to their local, state and federal officials and they can use their social media for some good. There are ways that the younger generation can contribute to this conversation. Make sure they use their voice.
4. Take a vacation – A good ole Air BnB by a beach is always a safe haven for us. You can clean with your own wipes and Lysol and still remain secluded from the general public if you like. I don’t know about you but I am ready to get away from home (yet I think I'm still a little scared of the air out there) I would drive so I can have all my supplies but if you are feeling froggy... fly.
5. Continue to show love & light – Create new memories at home if you need to. The climate we are in right now is so confusing to a lot of our children. What they will most remember about this time is how much love was poured into them and over them. Create family meals where they can be involved. Do family photo shoots. Watch movies. Call Congressmen. As long as you are with them, kids are happy…. except teenagers…. They are never happy.
Summer is upon us and Summer 2020 is looking very different than what I can remember in my entire 39 years on this Earth. That’s ok. We are creating new ways to protect and pour into our kids. We only have them for a short time before we truly have to release them into the world and as scary as that thought is, focus on the time you have now and make the most of it!
Love & Light,