Making birthday and (possibly) vacation plans during the pandemic

Next week is Spring Break – a week off from school for the kids – and it will be my daughter’s thirteenth birthday.

Last year, I took the kids to Six Flags Fiesta Texas for a day. It was pretty empty since the pandemic was just starting (at least here in Texas). There was no way at the time I would have guessed that our fun day at the theme park would be one of the last things we did before the city started locking things down to stop the spread of COVID-19.

During that Spring Break, we also celebrated my daughter’s twelfth birthday by going out to dinner at her best friend’s family’s restaurant. Who knew that the next day, the school would cancel school for the next week, and then the next week and the next and so on until the kids never returned to school (until October).

So now that Spring Break is almost upon us, I need to decide what we will do about both the school break and Lexie’s birthday. We no longer have our Six Flags annual pass, but we do have a zoo pass. Or we could go back to Guadalupe State Park to play in the river assuming it is warm enough. I don’t know what, but we will need to do something. In the past, we might also go visit my parents for the day, but that is off the table with my mother in the hospital.

In addition to figuring out what to do for the week, we also need to figure out how to celebrate Lexie’s birthday. Soon we will have two teenagers in the house. Right now, she is hoping her best friend can come over for pizza and video games. And we will probably go out for a family dinner the following evening. I just want to make sure I do something special for her. It isn’t every day you become a teenager.

Jase is also having a big birthday coming up in May. He will turn 16. Wow. Last year, we had just a quiet, home celebration for him. We were perhaps 2 months into our stay-at-home orders. Jase is such an easy going boy that he didn’t seem to mind that he couldn’t have friends over or we didn’t get to go do anything on his birthday. But this year, well, he is turning 16, and that calls for a bigger celebration. No, we probably won’t do anything with his friends, but I am thinking maybe the family can go out and have a family day. What that day will entail will be up to him.

And just a few weeks after his birthday, the kids will be on summer vacation. Last summer, we cancelled our trip to New Orleans, but did go to South Padre Island to enjoy the beach for a few days. And of course we did go to Disney World over Thanksgiving break. We really haven’t talked about what to do this year. I’m thinking the kids always enjoy the beach, so maybe it will be South Padre Island again. I certainly want to go somewhere – as long as we are all together and safe.

One thought on “Making birthday and (possibly) vacation plans during the pandemic

  1. Birthdays have been a challenge. My kids turned 13 and 16 this past year. The 13-year-old’s birthday is in the summer, and COVID numbers weren’t too bad in the area at the time. We had a “Who’s Line is It Anyway?” party where we played improv games. There were a few guest spaced out live, and a few more on Zoom. It was fun. The 16-year-old has a December birthday. COVID numbers were uglier, and people understandably wanted to be extra cautious with the holidays looming, so we did a murder mystery party entirely on Zoom. It was fun, too. Not quite normal, obviously, but memorable.

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