The end of summer (2016)

Tomorrow, I’ll make my return to the classroom to get schooled. I’m excited to meet my new teacher and make new friends, but before looking ahead too far, let’s take a moment to look back…

…because this was the summer of water slides and pillow fights! It was the summer I discovered my love for puddles and how to speak in complete sentences.¬†This was the summer I experienced separation anxiety and then overcame it through my quest towards independence. I spent my days solving puzzles and inventing new dance moves, and in the evenings, I learned how to tight-rope-walk along the edge of my crib. I could often be found trimming my own nails (with my teeth) or zooming around the house on my scooter. I rediscovered my love for “root berry” soda and I was introduced to my new favorite songs: “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake and “Oh Donna” by Ritchie¬†Valens (thanks to a visit from Aunt Donna). And in between all the camping, fishing, hikes and bike rides, somewhere along the way, my feet grew and my pajamas shrunk.

This was the summer of 2016.

But, beyond the boundaries of Deerwood Drive, many other events also shaped the summer of 2016:

  • The world lost a legend: Muhammed Ali, a professional boxer and activist.
  • A little boy, about my age, fell into a gorilla exhibit at the zoo. As a result, Harambe, the gorilla, was killed to save the boy’s life.
  • One of the largest U.S. massacres occurred in Orlando, at Pulse Nightclub. This was a hate crime and an act of terror against the Latinx queer community, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in United States history. 49 people died and another 53 were wounded.
  • Also in Florida, a two-year-old toddler got attacked and drowned by an alligator.
  • Racial unrest, police brutality and disproportionate killings of unarmed black men continued to plague the country. Most recently, protests were happening as close as Milwaukee, WI.
  • Residents of Louisiana were flooded by what’s been called the worst US disaster since Hurricane Sandy.
  • Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated by a major party for the United States presidency.
  • Summer Olympics took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We cheered on the athletes from our couch. Luckily, we scored front row seats to most of the events!

This was the summer of 2016…

…sometimes wonderfully historic while also tragically scary. But within the good and the bad, there’s always much to be learned from what’s going on around me. So tomorrow I will make my return to the classroom to get schooled. Wish me luck as I figure out how to navigate the 2-year-old room!

How to sneak into your parents’ bed

  1. Eat an abundance of wild blackberries during your pre-bedtime hike.
  2. Wake up at 3:00 a.m. and vomit said blackberries.
  3. After getting cleaned up, with new pajamas and bedsheets, puke all over your bed once again 30 minutes later.
  4. Display lots of tears and snuggles until mom and dad are convinced that the only cure is a family slumber party.
  5. Enjoy your visit while it lasts because soon you’ll learn this belly ache wasn’t just a case of overindulgence. In fact, you’ll spend the next seven days perfecting the art of throwing up – complete with diarrhea from the other end of your body – all in the comfort of your own bed…. quarantined.