Summer is a time of freedom and fun. However, this year summer will be a little different due to the current health crisis. But does that mean that fun is cancelled? No! You may need to get a little more creative than in the past because the freedom to go wherever and do whatever is not the same. Even within the limits of social distancing and limited travel, one can still find ways to have fun and enjoy the summer.
Family vacations are synonymous with summer and something most families look forward to each year. While options of traveling to Europe or Hawaii may not be possible, it does not mean that you cannot travel anywhere. There are many great sights to see in California and the neighboring states that are easily accessible by car and within a few hours or even a day. Campsites are open to travelers and can provide a good place to stay while on the road. It may take more planning and creativity to have a family vacation, such as mapping out the route and reserving campsites ahead of time due to demand, but it can happen. If your family has a tradition of traveling every summer together, this does not have to stop. It may just look a little different.
Reunions typically occur in summer as well when the whole family, sometimes even 3-4 generations, come together to celebrate being a family. With the ordinances about social distancing and maximum number of people allowed to gather, the reunion might need to be a little updated. Zoom and other video chat platforms have allowed families to be together while being apart. Reunions can work this way too, though you might miss your aunt’s famous potato salad. Virtual parties are a great way to connect and spend time when you are unable to visit in person. Recipes can be shared ahead of time and everyone can have a mini version of the reunion menu in time for the virtual reunion. Some creativity and flexibility is needed but having the whole family together will be worth it.
Right now might be a challenging time in many ways but it does not mean that you have to throw out all of your summer traditions. Be creative, be flexible, and enjoy your traditions in a new way. Happy summer to all!
Michelle A. Culver, LMFT