ALX Kids: What to look forward to during this ‘new normal’ summer

ALX Kids: What to look forward to during this ‘new normal’ summer
Photo/Cody Mello-Klein

By Reagan Lowrance

With COVID-19 vaccinations in full swing and businesses opening back up, my friends and I are looking at what our summers will be like in the “new normal.” We keep asking ourselves, “What can we expect from the ‘new normal?’ What should we plan for this summer?”

Luckily, there are many more options this summer!

For me, summer officially starts over Memorial Day weekend, which is also my birthday weekend. This year, unlike last year, my 13th birthday will be a celebration with my friends. I can bring cupcakes to horseback and lacrosse practice where we can gather around and enjoy them together. No more quick exits or social distancing with masks. I can be with my friends and enjoy my birthday as we walk around Old Town and have dinner at my favorite restaurant, Chart House.

By the time school ends and summer vacation begins, we will be able to do so much more than we did last summer. My to-do list grows every day as I look to do not only my favorite things but new things. On the top of my to-do list is trying the new waterfront restaurant Barca. I cannot wait to sit on the water and have lunch with my family. Next, I am excited to go back to the movies, especially on a really hot and humid day when I can escape and watch “Cruella” or maybe “Black Widow.”

Sleep-away camp is also an option again this summer. Two summers ago, I started going away from home with either friends or teammates to various camps. Last summer everything was cancelled, but not this summer. It is exciting to think we will not only be able to go away to camps, but we will get to spend the night away again.

Traveling is probably on everyone’s list of summer plans. Seeing friends and family in other states, getting on a plane or visiting a new place are all very exciting. I also get to go away for lacrosse tournaments, as they are back to being full weekends, where I get to be with my STARS team all weekend, stay in the same hotels, and hang out between games.

With travel restrictions lifting, families like mine will finally be able to visit one another again. This summer, my grandparents will travel from Texas to visit us, and we plan to go to Ocean City, Maryland at least two times this summer to enjoy the beach for vacation.

Then there is the Fourth of July, a time when we can go to our pool with all of our friends and watch fireworks together. Instead of worrying about scheduling a two-hour block at the pool, people can once again go anytime to the pool without having to worry about staying in our family pod or taking turns getting into the water.

This summer is also an opportunity to try new things. My “new” thing to do this summer will be art classes. The pandemic gave me lots of time to practice drawing, and I fell in love with it. My parents signed me up for art classes in person. No more tutorials or virtual classes for me. I am happy to be in a classroom learning in-person.

Fully open restaurants, pools, movie theaters, camps, traveling and time with friends and family: These are things I am looking forward to in the “new normal” this summer, and I hope you are too!

The writer is a rising eighth grader at The Basilica School of St. Mary.