A pandemic birthday

For the second time this summer, we had a birthday, and for the second time we hosted had an outdoor, mask-required, socially distanced birthday party, and for the second time it was a ton of fun.

Caroline turned 9 on Sunday and we invited four of her friends over for a backyard party. (Originally scheduled for Sunday evening, a passing storm postponed the party a day and Monday turned out to be a beautiful evening – lucky because Tropical Storm Isaias unleashed rain and wind on Tuesday evening so we snuck it in on the right day). The girls had organized a “doll spa” and each spent time with a favorite doll brushing and styling their hair. It matched the colorful (washable) highlights the girls had applied to their own hair earlier in the day.

We had moved a TV and a speaker outdoors and we set them up in our side yard in an area that worked great for an outdoor screening. They listened to music on Spotify, then watched “A Dog’s Purpose”. Afterwards they pleaded to have regular outdoor movie showings. The kids had a blast, we felt like Caroline had gotten a good birthday and we took yet another step towards being responsibly social during a pandemic.

Their special party area next to the house
Watching a movie worked surprisingly well – even before dark

We are still waiting to hear about plans for school – it is looking more and more likely that they will be remote only to start the year. The combination of the logistics of a hybrid model plus increases in cases in Massachusetts in recent weeks is pushing more groups (notably the large teachers’ unions) to advocate for remote learning. There are town school committee meetings this week and we hope to know more soon.

Things that went well today:

  • Caroline spent the day at a friend’s pool, she loves swimming and hasn’t done enough this summer
  • We are leaving on Saturday for two weeks of vacation and I am really looking forward to it
  • The NBA is leading the way in sports league continuing the conversation about racial equity. Each player has a social justice message on their jersey, the courts have “Black Lives Matter” in large letters, and the players continue to keep the focus on the ongoing movement

Things that did not go well:

  • New cases in Massachusetts were over 400 today, higher daily numbers than we’ve seen in months and there is talk of rolling back re-openings
  • The local youth soccer program is planning to go ahead with a fall season and we’re really struggling about whether to sign up. It seems too unnecessarily risky and I’m frustrated that they are putting the decision on families without clear guidance on what the season would look like
  • Daisy was spayed last week and is recovering from her surgery. She is supposed to remain mostly inactive but we are struggling to keep her from running around. She seems totally fine which makes it hard to limit her activity. Although she did get a form-fitting bodysuit onesie instead of a cone which is easier to manage and more stylish

Random happy find from the web:

Cute puppy photo of the day:

Sporting her post-surgical body suit and looking happy nonetheless

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