A Summer Like No Other


“I’m scared.” It’s a refrain that has been on repeat by my middle daughter for months. But as our world is slowly starting to reopen and talk has turned to the fall when she goes back to college, she’s increasingly worried.


She wants assurance that everything will be OK.


I hope so, but who knows for sure?


With the protests, pandemic and a presidential campaign that leaves me wanting better choices, I’m feeling out of sorts and out of control, too. While I’ve loved and cherished the greater amount of time I’ve had with the girls, my optimistic spirit sometimes slips. I’m sad more often, causing the girls to wonder what’s wrong. I escape more often into books or the Hallmark Channel.


That’s why it feels important to me to share with you this month’s story about the world being a scary place — in case you are feeling a little out of sorts, too.


What we learn from it is that it’s OK to be honest with the kids about our own worries; it teaches them it is OK to feel vulnerable. I know I need to do that more. The experts we found tell us that talking about all the scary and upsetting things teaches kids that it’s OK to tackle issues that make us uncomfortable.


The girls and I have been doing a lot of issue tackling about race inequity, the recent Supreme Court decision protecting LGBTQ rights, politics, vaccines, guns, the great mask debate (we wear masks everywhere) and even, why people can’t seem to follow the directional arrows in the grocery store aisles.


It’s OK not to have all the answers, the story reminds us, so give yourself a break on that, too.


And speaking of a break, give yourself a real one. This month, we’re also sharing some fun, short getaways that can be done just fine within social distancing guidelines. As always, there are many more ideas at ChicagoParent.com.


We’ve even found a super cool and creative mom to share her “mom camp” ideas with you in case you didn’t feel comfortable sending your kids to a summer camp but want them off their devices.


In truth, though, the overriding message I hope you take from this issue is this: You are not alone. We’re always right here with you. That’s why I’m so happy to have Chicago Parent be back on newsstands for you.


We have so many great things planned now that life is moving back to “normal.”


Happy July.


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This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s July 2020 magazine. Read the rest of the issue here.


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