It’s summertime in San Antonio and I have the blues. Coronavirus is still prevalent. The germs are still at large. And, normal still seems so far out of reach.
Logically, I understand that by taking precautions – like wearing a mask and keeping appropriate distances – I can keep myself and my family safe. Emotionally though, I feel all the feels, grounded in very little logic. And for better or worse, my thoughts determine my mood each day.
For me, it’s the fear of the unknown that instills a little bit of panic and the feeling that time is slipping away that instills a little bit of sadness. I’m a people person and I miss people. I miss seeing my parents every weekend and meeting up with my girlfriends for lunch. I miss stopping for a neighborly chat on my morning walks, and I hate that I feel compelled to scurry away from a crowd instead of approaching one.
Most days, I can see clearly enough to know that I am blessed, with more reasons to be happy than sad.
I have my health, my family, my job, and my home – I have everything I need and want. But that acknowledgment of my blessings doesn’t mean sadness can’t spill over every now and again. I’ve accepted that sadness helps me process the reality of what’s going on in life with more ease. Processing has led me to seek out the good, get over the bad and look for more easy moments of just being happy.
I’m sad for missed moments, but happy for the gift of time.
I have an infant at home, and I’m sad about missing special moments with him – the moments I took for granted with my first born. Mommy and me workouts, music time at Landa Library and impromptu play dates at the Pearl splash pad – not this summer. We’ll lay low and continue walking our neighborhood, but the outings will mostly have to wait.
But on the flip side, we have nothing but time this summer. Time to spend together at home, enjoying our backyard. Time to witness milestones – my husband and I were both home when our little man crawled across his nursery for the first time. And the chance to focus on what really matters most – spending quality time with each other. I know we’ll never get this special, albeit slow, time back with our baby, and for that I am grateful. Our baby is home, he is healthy and he is loved. And heck, he has no sense of this strange and very slow time. For that I am happy.
I’m sad for halted progress, but happy to watch him grow.
In the midst of the pandemic, I’m also raising a very nervous toddler – 3.5 years old, to be exact. My sweet mannered first born was excelling at pre-school, really coming out of his shell and finding confidence in his little voice. He was on the brink of overcoming the fear to approach a new friend and introduce himself. I encouraged him to walk over to new friends on the playground to ask them to play. But now, that encouragement has come to a halt.
We’ve had to talk to him about germs and keeping a safe distance from others, which is not an easy concept for him to understand, especially since we’ve spent the last year teaching him to do just the opposite. But he’s very bright and very obedient, and he now shies away when we see a non-familiar face on our daily walks. I feel confident he can keep himself safe, but I feel sad that he has to shy away – taking a few steps backward from where we worked so hard to be.
In the midst of this tiny setback, though, we’ve had so much time to watch him grow – even outside of school. He’s grown into the best big brother, truly, his sibling skills are second to none. He loves to build train tracks and Hot Wheels loops and his focus is intense and impressive. He finds joy in the smallest of moments – like playing in our inflatable baby pool with his “diving” toys and chasing his dog around in the sprinklers. He finds joy in everything and shares that joy with all of us when we need it most. For that I am happy.
I’m sad for this summer, but happy for what’s next.
Let’s face it: this summer will be strange. This is just the beginning of what everyone is calling our “new normal.” No more hustle and bustle – no camps or play dates. We’re home. We’ve slowed down. We’re together. We’re together a lot, actually. And just like everyone else, we’re itching to get out and be social.
But maybe this slowness is for the best. Maybe we’ve been gifted this time to re-evaluate what matters most. Maybe we’ve been gifted this time to help us realize that there’s value in slowness, value in the stillness of just being. Eventually, we’ll create a new way of being, a new way of finding happy.
Sure, I’m sad for the missed moments. I’m sad for halted progress. And, I’m sad for what this summer “could have” been. But, I’m not sad about getting more time with my two boys. And, I’m not sad about taking time to see the good around me.
I may have the summertime blues, but I won’t be sad for long. People can wait. Outings can wait. The sun will shine again next summer. Things will calm down. Things will smooth over. And, the blues will fade away to make room for a new year, and a new season to make new memories.