I can’t believe we are in our last full week in August. This is the moment when reality hits and I realize our summer has slipped right through our fingers. My son and I basically lost a summer due to the pandemic. Beaches, pools, and water park visits were not in our schedule this summer. Living with a chronic illness is not easy and although people are taking precautions, I must do my part by avoiding public places as much as I can.
Avoiding fun and adventurous places during those hot and humid summer days was hard when you have a 12-year old boy in the household. I am not sure how other parents with chronic illnesses who are at a high risk of getting the coronavirus have been feeling about staying home with the kids all summer. I found it quite difficult not to feel guilty that I couldn’t take my son to a beach or a waterpark, especially when I saw so many families heading over to have a little fun during the pandemic.
NYC is probably not the best place to quarantine since I rely on mass transit. Nothing is within walking distance except for Central Park and going there everyday gets tiresome after a while. Mass transit has not been an option for me because although people should have been social distancing and wearing masks, not everyone has been complying. Staying home is no fun for kids and difficult for them to understand, especially if you don’t have a backyard or car to drive to secluded places.
I questioned myself everyday, “With all the social distancing policies in place, will I be safe to attend these public places for fun?”.
And, the answer to my question was always, “It is not worth risking myself and my son to COVID-19”
Bottomline, being a single mother with a chronic illness, I have to prioritize my well-being, even when I feel the urge to take my pre-teen out to have some fun in public places. It wasn’t easy, but we made it through the summer. As I look back to our summer, I’d like to share our top five memorable activities that kept my boy busy. Maybe you can use some ideas from these activities to finish up your summer.
STAR WARS 2000PC PUZZLE
My son received this 2000pc puzzle four years ago. This huge puzzle needed space and time for us to get it done. We never found the right space to spread out, and although we tried a few times, we had busy schedules. Even though we did lose 13 pieces over the four years, it turned out to be a beautiful 26”x 38” wall art. During this summer we found the time, space and determination to work on this together.
It was amazing to see how beautiful our urban garden turned out in our small balcony space. This special space gave my son something to look forward to every summer morning. We definitely learned a ton and our garden next year will be bigger and better. I have a blog post with all our information about this summer project. Check it out below.
After my son’s swim practice was cancelled in March due to Covid-19, it was unbelievable how much energy my son had to release. I was too busy getting him adjusted to a remote learning schedule that I didn’t address his love for training and exercising. His body was training 5 days a week and he was really missing those workouts. Once school ended, he began to jog around the Central Park reservoir. Then, I gathered a yoga mat, some weights and a stationary pedal exerciser. He began with those items and later paired them up with online workouts.
This was a really fun and easy activity. I am always looking for activities that can keep us busy, but also, not too elaborate or overwhelming for me. I seek activities that do not involve too much mess and are accessible for me to enjoy with my son. This only took creative taste buds to come up with great fruit combinations. I purchased disposable ice popsicles pouches that made it easy to fit in our small freezer. The simple watermelon one was our favorite!
This was our favorite evening thing! We have watched some really good 90’s hits as well as the recent superhero favorites, comedy and animated ones. We are loving our Disney Plus subscription. We love the snacks we put together for our movie nights. It makes the night even more special.