The Memorial Day weekend is here. The unofficial kick-off to summer! But summer in 2020 is going to look a little different. Some might argue it isn't going to look much like a real summer at all. Yes, it's going to be a bit challenging to keep yourself occupied this summer. Especially if you have kids like mine, who love to be active.

The pandemic became 'real' for kids when they didn't have to go to school anymore. It got a lot more 'real' for parents when the governor canceled school for the remainder of the year. The kids might not have realized it, but summer vacation started early in 2020! Sure schools have remained active online with their students with some, mostly high schoolers, with required work yet to be done. But for most, other than the occasional Google hang out, school ended in the spring.

It's going to be tough on kids this summer. Pools aren't opening in Cedar Rapids or Marion this year. I have my doubts about the crowds that would head to splash pads too, although no decision has been made on that front yet. Will parks and playgrounds even re-open? In light of these developments, we've been trying to add things at home since that is where we'll be at the most this summer. We have our fire pit in the back we can use at night. We're adding a basketball hoop for the kids to use. And the girls really want a pool. I suggested they find a friend who has a pool. Give them a call. I'll drive you there. Everyday.

Make no mistake that summer is going to change for adults too. No concerts. No big crowds. Restaurants and bars at 50% capacity for awhile. And that is if you even feel comfortable going out. Will baseball ever return? And don't even get me started about college football and the NFL. At least movie theaters are returning. Let's hope some big summer blockbusters decide to release on time!

No, this summer is going to be about close friends and family. Getting together in smaller, more intimate groups. Simple things like fire pits and smores. Catching lightning bugs in the backyard. Setting up a sprinkler for your kids to run through on hot days. Watching movies together in the family room. Enjoying a sunset on your back porch. Having dinner with your parents or in-laws on the weekend.

Maybe summer 2020 won't be so bad after all.


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