Thanks to Bryan Adams, everyone remembers the Summer of 69:
"I got my first real six-string Bought it at the five-and-dime Played it till my fingers bled Was the summer of '69."
The summer of ’69 was filled with music, love, and the best days of his life. While we have all experienced summers like the famous summer of ’69, it is safe to say that the summer of 2020 marches to the beat of its own drum. Everything that defines summer- camps, vacations, long days at the public pool or trips to exotic beaches- is either non-existent or extremely transformed into its own new post-COVID-19 experience.
This summer hits different.
And while we may or may not have a song ready to blast and share with the world, we will always remember this summer of 2020. The summer when we re-invented the wheel and were at our wits end with each other at the same time that we loved each other more than we ever thought possible. The summer when the kids stayed home alone while moms and dads snuck out to the grocery store (in mask, of course) and secretly sat in the car parking lot listening to music and Googling the hell out of the Internet just to get some peace and quiet.
The summer when the questions stopped - no more what are we doing tomorrow or can we go to the pool or can I have a sleepover - because they knew the answer would always be a hard no. The summer when we didn’t go to parties but we did go on long hikes; we didn’t go to the gym, but we worked out hard in our kitchens. The summer when we sprayed each other with shaving cream and ran through the hose like it was 1984 because we craved something, anything different. The summer when we played way too much Roblox and finished Netflix and Tiktok-ed until they almost (quite literally) shut us down. The summer when our best nights meant sparklers and an outdoor movie in the backyard.
The summer when we hoped and prayed for things to get back to more normal - when we daydreamed about school and work the way they used to be, when we remembered the chaos of sports practices and games and PTO meetings with fondness and wondered why we ever complained about these things in the first place. The summer when we learned the true meaning of things like gratitude and living one day at a time because as we have learned, you truly can lose the things and people you love most in a split freaking second.
The summer when social media was cluttered with over-stimulating and hard-to-process political warfare addressing everything from racism to mask-wearing and the role of public education in feeding hungry children. The summer when it felt emotionally painful to turn on the news or scroll through Facebook or Instagram because everyone wanted to change the world, but no one knew how to do it. The summer when many were pointing fingers but avoiding the mirror. The summer of unknowns. The summer when we didn’t know whom to trust and whom to fear.
The summer when all we had was each other and even though life hit us with a brick and taught us to take nothing for granted, we didn’t fully comprehend. We loved our families harder and we understood the gift of life but we continued to hate and judge and put down our neighbors - those who aren’t in our homes or our hearts.
We haven’t fully learned yet.
But maybe we will. And let us never forget that this too shall pass, because as Bryan Adams learned in the summer of ’69:
"I guess nothing can last forever Forever, no…"