What I’m Looking Forward To…
I am looking forward to long evenings out with friends under the evening skies. Nearby a lone singer strums along on his guitar. Patrons nurse their drinks long past the check has been placed on the table.
But I don’t want to forget the nights out in our neighborhood, strolling down the sidewalks and waving to all the neighbors who we never even knew lived there.
I am looking forward to a night out dressing up and dining at a fancy restaurant as the chatter from all the customers and the din of clanking silverware fills the air.
But I don’t want to forget all the meals in and the takeout ordered as we gathered around the family table.
I am looking forward to trips to the pool where kids splash around, and sunbathers lazily sprawl out along the patio.
But I don’t want to forget the afternoons to the parks where families tossed around the ball. Where couples laid arm in arm in hammocks, and introverts curled up on a blanket with a book. Everyone keeping their distance, of course.
I am looking forward to large family holiday gatherings where we can all be together in one, big room. I miss the boisterous laughter and many greetings.
But I don’t want to forget the FaceTimes, phone calls, group texts, FB family pages, and Zoom meetings with family and friends. They allowed us to come together more than once or twice a year. We all had a little more time.
I am looking forward to birthday parties, showers, and weddings with all the dancing and group pictures.
But I don’t want to forget the virtual happy hours and the caravan drive-bys to celebrate birthdays and other occasions. They seemed a bit more special during these times.
I am looking forward to high-fiving my athletes. And to kneeling next to my students as I help them with a problem. I am looking forward to head nods and smiles in the hallways. And hearing our principal make his everyday announcements over the speaker.
But I don’t want to forget the extra cuddles with my son in the morning. Or the additional time I had to enjoy my breakfast and do a crossword before I sauntered upstairs to put on my sweatpants for work that day.
I am looking forward to in-person teaching. And seeing the confusion on my students’ faces or the light in their eyes when they finally get it.
But I don’t want to forget all the new technology I learned and the way our school came together to help each other figure out online learning.
I am looking forward to baseball games under the night sky. I’m looking forward to fans swaying arm in arm during the Seventh Inning Stretch and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” blares through the speakers.
But I don’t want to forget the imaginative games that we all made up and shared over Social Media. The man who ran a marathon in his backyard. The woman who turned laundry into a sport. And the competitions my husband and I had with our son’s little basketball hoop.
I’m looking forward to celebrating church as a community. The music. The fellowship. The greetings.
But I don’t want to forget the sacredness and the calmness of an empty church streamed onto my computer. Despite being in my own home, I could feel the presence of God.
I am looking forward to so many things.
But I never want to forget when the world slowed down and came together.
Lauren Barrett writes from North Carolina.
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