Sunday, August 2, 2020
Today I am grateful for ingenuity. Look, you’d have to be hiding under a rock or living on Mars to not see that our world is in a sorry state of affairs these days, for various reasons. Covid-19 has everyone scrambling to figure out what to keep open, what to close, what to open later, who should wear a mask (everyone), who doesn’t have to wear a mask but can go in a store or crowd anyway (no one) and when will things ever get back to normal? Hah! Whatever “normal” will mean in our recent future. We’re looking at years of a new normal. Prepare yourself.
Add to that our worry about our children/grandchildren who are having a completely different life experience than we wanted for them. Family time is different. Hanging with friends is different. School is different. It started at the end of the last term. Sports, theater, concerts, end-of-year parties, award ceremonies, graduation and a bunch of other things were all cancelled.
How will our kids get through it? They will. With the versatility and ingenuity, we rarely give them full credit for.
I remember early coronavirus facetime conversations with my 17-year-old granddaughter, Isabella. After about a month she was saying that not only did she miss her friends, but she was even starting to miss the people in her various classes that annoy her. I can relate. I feel the same way about some of my groups. There are always “those” who annoy and sometimes I’m the one.
But she coped, spending a lot of time sleeping until 2, going on line, coloring and playing games with her family. They had an entire “covid-game-station” set up in their house. Bored? Go pick something! I’m telling you I wish I had been sequestered there. My son and daughter-in-law had it figured out way before we did.
One of the things that Isabella missed the most was prom. Most of the girls had already gotten their dresses. Most of the guys moms had already learned that they had grown out of their one dress shirt and bought a new one. The guys were crawling under their beds to find their tie, or digging in dad’s closet. Then nothing. It sucked.
But Isabella did something about it. Like so many weddings, graduations and other group occasions, she decided to host a Backyard Prom. Only eight people, staying within guidelines. ALL had followed previous stay-at-home and current mask requirements. And all were more than willing to make this an outside event.
She borrowed a “Backyard Prom” banner for pictures, then set up a long table outside, under the deck, with linens and real silverware, unlike what I get when I eat at an outdoor restaurant. I asked her if she or her parents were cooking and she said, “No, we’re catering it in. I’m not messing with that.” Cool. I asked what they were having and she said, “They’ll eat what I order, but chicken parm for sure.” We laughed. She figured if she did the work, they’d have to trust her for the food, too. I agreed.
Of course, I asked about her dress. This isn’t my first prom discussion and any self-respecting grandmother KNOWS it’s all about the dress! She had a purple one that was borrowed and red one that was new, but she decided to wear the purple and save the red one for next year because maybe there will be an actual prom and if not then she’d wear it to next years “Backyard Prom”. See! No panic. Just well thought out. Kids are unbelievably versatile. She is, anyway. I’m so proud of her.
Because she’s 17 and all that implies, I wouldn’t have even known about this if my son hadn’t told her that she should call me and tell me, because “grandma will love this idea.” He was right. I do. I’m thrilled to have been included and was even more thrilled to get the pictures and permission to print them.
And I’m impressed with the forward-thinking, self-starting, ingenuity of my granddaughter. We all need to take a lesson. Our kids will be fine. They will figure it out and grow in ways we can’t imagine. Especially if we get out of their way. And let them!