School’s officially out here for summer.
It feels like summer. It’s really hot (Q. would disagree with me). It’s light until really late at night and the sun pops up far too early in the morning for the garbage blinds in our bedroom.
The markers of “summer” for me are missing.
No treats from the ice cream truck when we hear its music on our street.
No splash pads.
No ferry rides.
No amusement parks.
No walks to the library and hours spent perusing the shelves for unexpected treasures.
No adventures out of the city.
No long hikes.
No trips to the playground.
No evening strolls to get gelato.
I love our summers. They are especially precious to me because every second one we spend at least half of it travelling to visit Q’s family. I love those trips too, but even though the “winter” of where we visit nowhere resembles our winter, the climate is still not what I would describe as summer, particularly the short days and the way the temperature plummets as soon as the sun sinks lower in the horizon.
There are people in our city who will do most of those things this summer.
The beaches are open, the outdoor pools and the splash pads too.
The ferries are running.
The patios are back.
The ice cream truck has driven past our house twice already.
I can hear plenty of kids playing when I walk through my neighbourhood.
Some people will have something that will look quite a lot like our typical summer (even if it wouldn’t be typical for them).
But we won’t.
Because we just don’t know.
Q. and I cannot get sick. We cannot risk our health and our children. And the number of daily cases does not suggest to us that this is all over and that it’s time to go back to normal. Our city is huge. Everything is crowded. We don’t feel confident we can maintain adequate social distancing at the beach, on the ferry, in line for the pool.
So we choose (at least for now) to stay home. To stay close. To be limited in our range of exploration by the length of time until someone will need to use the bathroom (other than P. who can use the potty that now lives in our trunk for exactly this reason).
We can get books from the library through curbside pickup.
We can get popsicles and freezies and ice cream in our grocery order.
We have water guns and a sprinkler.
We have bikes and scooters.
We have a yard and gardens.
We will have a different sort of summer. A slower, simpler summer.
In the grand scheme of things, just like always, we will be fine.
But I hope this will be our only stay-at-home-summer.