In winter, kids’ bodies are bundled into such layers and padding that they seem unformed. They’re swaddled. They’re untouched and unknown.
In summer, the body of a kid tells you everything about him. Swimmers have greenish, crunchy hair and circles under their eyes from early practices. Stakeboarders and new bikers have scabs on their knees and elbows. Soccer camp combines tan knees with pale shins. Bare feet get tougher from hopping across asphalt on the way to the relief of green grass. Sturdy bodies grow darker and stronger outdoors as spring warms up to June, blink and you miss July, and August inevitably yields to a new school year.
I noticed this week that John is getting tan around the eyes, but his face is still pale from the nose down. Because every time he’s been outside since all this started, whether roaming the neighborhood with friends or running around a soccer field, he’s been in a mask. Suffice it to say: this is not the story that I want summer to write on his body this year.
Thank you, science. Thank you, scientists. Thank you to all the people who have been working hard to make vaccines possible for everyone who can safely take them, including–as of this week–the younger teen group. It feels like we’re getting there.