The other day I wrote this on the kitchen chalkboard:
It was my first baby step towards breaking the news to the kids that this summer is going to look a lot different than what they’re used to. I’ve said “there might not be” about things but I haven’t yet flat out said “there is absolutely no nature camp this year, there won’t be a big vacation.”
In the meantime, I’ve been privately stockpiling ideas that will appeal to my kids with their range of ages and interests. I’ve been working on making our outdoor living spaces more . . . hold up.
Outdoor living spaces.
Seriously? How can we even complain or worry about anything?? Not only that, but how many hours have we spent raking gravel, planting, weeding, setting up tables with umbrellas . . . only to lament the lack of time to truly enjoy it??
And just like that, I’ve discovered another unexpected positive side effect to social distancing.
Now to convince the kids.
But how? I think I figured it out when I was talking to my oldest daughter the other day. I was telling her that I was so pleased at the results of all the work I’d been putting into the back yard and patio. I said, “If this was an Airbnb, we’d think this was really nice!”
That’s it! An "Our House" brochure! For us. For remembering to be grateful for how wonderful we have it here and that we can and will have an awesome, albeit different, summer at home.
My brochure will say things like:
1. Everyone is welcome in the Equalitea Garden. Sip some mint tea (homemade with organic mint from our pick-your-own-mint patch!) while sitting in the quiet shade of the (hopefully soon-to-be) wisteria covered Safe Arbor.
2. Bring your books and get ready to relax! Two hammocks can be found on our park-like property. A tent is available upon request, please check in at the main
desk kitchen counter.
3. Enjoy the soothing sounds of a trickling stream while searching for amphibian friends at our exclusive spring-fed pond.
4. Are you the athletic type? Basketball hoop, volleyball net, hula hoops and balls galore* are at your disposal! (*ha ha, Mom said balls galore!)
5. Fire pits are available for pyromaniac experimentation and occasional cookouts; please ask your Life Concierge* for assistance.
During your stay here at the Rumspringa Home for Children,
please remember our mottos:
Only boring people get bored.
*Thank you to my friend Dwayne Dunlevy for introducing me to the concept of a "life concierge" and for being mine.