I have sat down to write to you a dozen times in the last few weeks, but it always ends the same. A fragmented idea, a few sentences, and then an unfinished word doc crowding up my desktop. 

However, that might be exactly how life feels for everyone right now. So I’m pushing through. No stopping this time. Promise. 

Part of my problem is that I’m wearing lots of different hats right now. That part isn’t new. The new part is that I now wear them ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Relatable, anyone?  

When I sit down to write to you as a resorter I want to tell you lots of things: We are so hopeful about Summer 2020! We can’t wait to see you. We are going to be SO creative in making sure we can keep our traditions but still be safe. We are hiring our staff and ordering cleaning supplies. Bingo can be done using Zoom, right?? 

Too much is up in the air for us to give you a definitive plan. But know that we are preparing, planning, creating, and thinking WAY outside the box about how we can bring you Brookside, our community, our connections and our traditions – safely and from the recommended 6 feet away. 

My prediction is that we will be talking about Summer 2020 for a LONG time. But we may also come up with some ideas that last beyond physical distancing. So, thanks in advance for your patience and your flexibility as we get creative! 

When I sit down to write to you as a mom I want to tell you: gosh, this is hard. My house is too small. My router is too slow. We don’t have enough devices for everyone to be on their assigned Zoom meetings at once. The dishes are overflowing and the screen time is racking up. (Also, perspective, right? My house is safe. We have food and internet and school supplies and heat). 

And when I set aside what I think we “should” be accomplishing I can also tell you about all the places where the light is shining in. We play games in the evenings now. We make maple syrup. We walk in the woods. We have seen swans, turkeys, a woodchuck and  black bear cubs! We watched all nine Star Wars movies together. We ride bikes and throw rocks in the water. We don’t rush through dinner or bedtime. We only come inside when our stomaches start to growl for dinner and we don’t have to drive anyone anywhere.  

When I sit down to write to you as a mental health professional (my other, lesser known hat) I want to tell you: take a long, deep breath. Now take another one. Feel the feelings – from joy to fear to grief. Give them space. Give as much energy as you can to the positive things like love and safety and nature and sunshine and yoga and legos. And make a plan for when the negative energy is dragging you down. Download a mindfulness app. Hug the people you’re quarantined with. Cuddle with the dog. Use your technology to connect with people you miss (and not to watch the news….) And maybe just erase the word “should” from your vocabulary right now. 

There is no right way to do a pandemic. So be gentle with yourself and your family. 


Joanna is a resorter, mom and mental health professional who fancies herself an occasional blogger. She spent her whole childhood playing at Brookside and now is spending her adulthood trying to learn how to run the place.