January 27, 2021

Letter to my son

Dear Son: When you are older and you hear people talk about the year you were born, don’t be surprised if most don’t have much good to say about 2020. It was a tough year for almost everyone in the world.

While you and I were cocooned in those beautiful first three months of your life, most things seemed somewhat normal for the outside world. We were able to celebrate a late Christmas that actually included you with your Grandpa Pratt, Grandma Pratt, Aunt Christie and Uncle Pete just a week after you were born. Shortly after, you got to meet your cousin Mackenzie for the first time. I just know she’s going to be one of your best friends as the two of you grow up together. You visited Grandpa and Grandma Rodgers’ house for the first time later that month to celebrate Great-Uncle Myron’s birthday.

In February, you watched your first Superbowl at Uncle James and Aunt Ashley’s house. Then things seem to settle into a routine. I enjoyed the little bubble you and I had created for ourselves. We were, of course, so happy to see daddy when he returned home from work, but for the most part it was just you and mommy figuring out this new dynamic.

Both grandparents would continue to visit throughout the month and things seemed to go just as they should. Toward the end of February more talk of the new coronavirus had ramped up, and the questions of just how much it would impact people in the United States.

No one could have guessed what would happen next. March brought country-wide shutdowns. Americans were encouraged to stay home as much as possible, keep distance from others and wash their hands frequently. We were able to celebrate Grandma Rodgers’ birthday March 16, but that was the last we would all gather together in one room for months.

Suddenly the world seemed such a scary place, and I wanted to stay cocooned with you at home. Unfortunately, maternity leave was coming to an end, and I had to prepare to return to the office. My return felt anything but normal as the paper underwent a litany of changes all at once. With the changes came a little more flexibility to work from home, so I took advantage of that in order to keep you home and safe with mom. I’ll cherish the extra time we spent together forever.

Once summer hit, things began to look better, and we began to see family more. We still had to cancel your first baseball trip because fans weren’t allowed at MLB games, not that we would have gone anyway.

The world also seemed to continue to spin out of control. Social justice for Black Lives Matter slammed to the forefront once more as the inequities people of color still experience were brought to light. On a more local level, Newton had a derecho hit town Aug. 10 which caused a tremendous amount of damage. We lost one tree and were without power for a week. We moved in with Aunt Trish and Uncle Justin, so we could keep you cool in the August heat.

We were also in the midst of a very divisive election that seemed never ending as the November presidential election approached. An election that brought chaos even after the votes were cast.

Then in the late fall, the dreaded second wave hit as COVID-19 cases began to rise. We weren’t able to visit Great-Grandma Bushong’s house for our big family Thanksgiving or Christmas. These are traditions I grew up with, and I hope you get to experience in 2021 and for many years to come.

So son, as the year ticks by and we enter 2021, the lingering effects of 2020 are still with us. I want you to know that I will never look back at the year with disgust. How can I when it was the year you were born? Daddy and I owe you a giant thank you. It’s because of you we made it through the year. You were our guiding light in a world of darkness. Thank you, son. I love you more each day, and I look forward to even more years to watch you grow and make the world take a backseat to our little family.

Contact Pam Pratt at pampratt@newtondailynews.com

Pam Pratt

I have been at the Newton News since October 2014. I started as the Associate Editor and was promoted to Editor in April 2019.