Around Labor Day, I was wondering how my kids will remember the summer of 2020.

As I scroll through pictures on my smartphone, I realize that they are not all that different from previous summers. 

We spent the last week of August in a hotel while the restoration company refinished our hardwood floors on the first floor of our home.

My kids always LOVE hotel stays. And they had their own hotel room and TV, so they could watch whatever cartoons they so desired. They certainly enjoyed a lot of screen time this summer. We swam a lot at the hotel too.

We went tent camping at our favorite state park, staying at a very cool site with space for our two hammocks. We hiked, kayaked, sat by the campfire, made s’mores, and bought souvenirs in town.

We visited the zoo and our favorite farm where we could get up close to goats, chickens, baby bunnies, kittens, baby chicks, and more.

Summer memories of petting goats, seeing otters, being outside

We played at some cool parks. One park had a zip line! For the first time, we rode in a pedalboat (my kids didn’t like it).

We dined al fresco on our patio and at restaurants. We enjoyed perch fish frys two times at our favorite supper club.

We ate ice cream and frozen custard (almost daily)!

My kids played little league. My son’s team won the league championship!

We drove go-karts.

Visiting parks, driving go karts Go Mama O.

We went for many family bike rides. We rode bikes with my parents, my sister and her two boys. We even biked in the pouring rain (just once). And at the time, we laughed about it, saying we were making a memory for the kids with their cousins.

My kids played outside with the neighbors. They invented an imaginary game called monster hunters with elaborate characters and associated powers. My daughter made bracelets for everyone involved. Another girl is writing a book about it. I heard her talking to the kids about the “cliffhanger” that she’s considering. So great!

I wrote in a COVID-19 Journal. I’m reminded that I should write more often.

We went mini-golfing. I got a hole in one a few times!

Mama O gets a hole in one mini golfing

Our garden grew tomatoes, basil, sage, dill, and two sunflowers.

Stages of our sunflower blooming

It was the first summer with our ferret, Blaze. She’s six months old now. We introduced her to walking on her harness and exploring our yard. Her cuteness makes us laugh and smile daily. My son reads to her. At bedtime, he plays a soothing song on his harmonica for her.  

Blaze the ferret outside

Dad was home all of the time (working from home – only going into the office during the week we were in a hotel). I realized how long his workdays are, and I was grateful that he didn’t have a commute on top of those long days.

Yes, we missed many larger family get-togethers, but we did have fun celebrating my son’s First Communion with a slightly smaller outdoor family party.  

We adapted this summer.  

It was different, sure, but we spent a lot of time together as a family. And isn’t that the whole idea?  

To be there for one another. To have fun, laugh, smile, cry, play, and get through this thing called life (in the words of Prince).  

We did it.

Sure, I grieved missing our trip to Alaska. I’m over it now. Maybe someday. Vacations can happen another time.  

I grieved seeing our house damaged when kitchen pipes burst on May 31, but now our home is almost put back in order. 

Our floors look better than before. 

Homes can be repaired.

We’re trying new furniture arrangements, though my husband’s work station remains in our bedroom. The kids are trying out spaces for their virtual learning days. I’m back in my usual work spot at the dining room table.

Things can be moved around and replaced.

Time and memories with those we love are what’s most important.

And we had a lot of that during the summer of 2020.  

I hope that’s what my kids will remember.