“Into the Unknown”

A few years back, I wrote a little parenting piece that appeared in the local paper called “Let it Go.” I think it’s time for the sequel: “Into the Unknown.”

Because moms, the unknown is where we’re headed – a summer without camps, trips, playdates, or even a playground. I don’t know about you, but I could use a dose of powerful Elsa magic to help me navigate these dark, unchartered waters. I would be happy just turning my driveway into a snowy ski hill to entertain my family for a few hours.

We are surviving homeschooling our kids, and while it might not bring out the best in us (or our kids), we will get through it. My kids’ teachers have provided enough structure and flexibility to get us to this point (with some help from Cosmic Kids and Mo Willems), and if necessary, we can claw and scrape our way through the final days.

Then what?

I did not have much on the books for the summer pre-Covid, but absolutely none of it will be happening. Family reunions, camps, lots and lots of swimming and a season pass to Six Flags – these are all off the table. Now, like many of you, I am facing 10 weeks of completely unstructured time with my kids, with my own severe deficits of energy and patience. 

With one week left in the “school year,” I am strongly considering extending homeschool through the summer, just to give us something to do for a couple of hours in the morning. Anyone else?

Elsa faced the unknown with curiosity, determination and strength. (Yes, I believe that some Disney princesses are quite sheroic and can serve as positive role models.) After being knocked down by the Dark Sea countless times, she simply ties her hair back, throws off her shoes, and charges at the powerful waves. She doesn’t know what awaits her on the other side of the sea or even what additional challenges the journey there will entail. 

Moms if we’re going to make it through this next chapter of Shelter-in-Place, we need to uncover some of our “inner Elsa. “ Let’s face the unknown – the daunting summer – with a dose of courage, since our strength was all used up by week 6. I even think liquid courage will suffice.

Sadly, I don’t think Ahtohallan will be awaiting us on the other side of summer, nor do I think we will be sending our kids back to full school days on August 10. But that’s a development I can certainly approach with some Elsa-level curiosity, as I would welcome a revamp of our traditional education system. 

It’s just our impending journey through summer without a frickin playground that makes me feel like I’m trapped in the Northuldra forest with three pissed off nature spirits disguised as my children.

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