This summer is going to look different. We don’t know if there will be mornings at the splash pad or afternoons at the playground.

We don’t know if we’ll take that vacation we booked, or if Grandma and Grandpa will be able to visit.

We don’t know if we’ll make it to a baseball game, a theme park, or even the public pool.

The uncertainty is hard for my kids—I see the doubt in their faces when they ask about our plans and I have to answer, “I don’t know, sweetie.”

And I don’t. I don’t know what this summer is going to look like, and I don’t know how long it will be this way.

But there’s one thing I can say for certain: for my family, it’s going to be a summer of “Yes.”

I used to hesitate to say yes if it meant we got off schedule. I would balk if it took too much time, or made too big of a mess. I would skip plans that cut into naptime and veto too much sugar.  

But this summer is going to look different. Now we have all the time in the world, with nowhere to go and nothing to do. Plans are off, schedules have changed.

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So rather than focus on the things we can’t enjoy—the fun parts that are canceled or closed—I’m choosing to embrace the things we can

And I’m choosing to say yes to those. 

Like eating ice cream before dinner, just because we feel like it.

Like staying up past bedtime so we can finish our game night or FaceTime with family and friends.

Like buying that trampoline I swore we’d never get, or the pool that will inevitably ruin the lawn.

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Like digging in the mud for worms and not caring how dirty we get.

Like staying in our pajamas all day, for multiple days in a row.

Like having a few extra minutes (let’s be real—hours) of screen time.

Like camping out in the backyard, even though I prefer my own bed.

Like refereeing Nerf gun fights and water hose battles, running through the sprinkler, and coating our fingers in sidewalk chalk.

Like eating dinner on the living room floor in front of the TV.

Like skipping naptime to take a family hike and have a picnic.

So no, there may not be concerts, or sports games, or summer camp.

There may not be trips to the beach, or birthday parties, or neighborhood barbeques.

I will likely have to say no to some things. Maybe even a lot of things.

But this summer, I’ll have more than enough chances to say yes, too.

Emily Solberg

Emily Solberg is a soldier, military spouse, mom to two toddlers, and fierce advocate of women supporting women. The goal of her writing is to help others feel less alone in their parenting journeys, and she isn’t afraid to share the hard along with the good. You can find more from her on her Facebook page, Shower Arguments.