But at 15 months old, my son hasn’t had any real socialization with kids his age. He’s the only child so far, and he spends his days at his grandparent’s house while my husband and I work. During this quarantine, his best friends are Mr. Vacuum and Ms. Broom. Hilarious, but not the kind of first friends a parent envisions for her child.
Back in March, with the warm weather on the horizon, our plan was to get him interacting with more kids. Now, though, if he gets too close to kids playing, I have to snatch him up in order to keep our social distance. He’s fine and moves on to the next thing, but my heart breaks for him.
And now with no end in sight, I wonder what the summer months hold.
Our Summer of Fun
I am a teacher, and this was supposed to be our summer of fun. We had it all mapped out. Neighborhood pool with popsicles dripping down our faces trips. Storytime at the library as Mom and son both make friends under the bubble machine. Visits to the local children’s museum on too hot days and sweaty outings to the zoo where the kids fall asleep on the way home. Swim lessons in the morning, and playdates with friends’ children in the afternoon. Walks to the playground followed by evenings licking an ice cream cone at the local parlor. A kid-free anniversary trip to Chicago to celebrate five years of marriage, and vacations to the beach to celebrate 60-year-old Pop. Lazy days and nights with no worries and stress.
This potentially will be the last summer before we decide to get pregnant again. Next June, July, and August could be spent lying in bed and sprawled out over the toilet. I wanted my son to have a summer with just Mommy and him. A summer where he was old enough to run all over, splash around, and be amazed at everything he saw.
We Will Be Okay
Is it all going to be ripped away from us? Is this going to hurt my child socially? Will he learn to share and be able to make friends? Will everything be closed and shut off? My heart says it is going to be okay and not to worry about what I can’t control. But I am sad. For all the missed opportunities.
However, we will learn to make new ones a little closer to home.
Staring at him shooting a basketball in the hoop and running over to give me a hug with a huge smile on his face, I have faith that he will be okay. We will be okay. This is his journey, and he is right where he needs to be.
Lauren Barrett writes from North Carolina.
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