We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofMallory Hutton

March 13, 2020, was a day to remember. It was Friday the 13th, which means there will be bad luck, or so they say. I never believed in any of that bad luck stuff, but this day surely had a lot of bad luck in it. I was in my fourth block in the seventh grade, talking to my friends at the time, when all I heard was the principal of the middle school saying over the intercom that we would be out for two weeks. 

While everyone was jumping up and down, I was not so happy. I was actually pretty sad. It was the best part of the year. My birthday was coming up, I had the best of friends, school was going really well for me at that time, and we could see summer around the corner. Or so I thought it was around the corner, but it was actually right in front of me. After that intercom announcement, it was summer. We never came back to seventh grade. Seventh grade was over. It was definitely my favorite year at school. and it ended so quick and fast. 

Covid was something that no one really knew about at this time. It was all new and confusing. We had no clue how long it was going to last or how bad it was going to be. I remember last March, I thought it was going to be over in the beginning of my eighth grade school year, but now I am at the end of this school year, wearing masks wherever I go.

Once the schools got out, so did the daycares, so my sister and I had to watch our little cousins all summer. They are three little toddlers, and, when we were watching them, one was three, and the twins were only one. My uncle and aunt also had a dog that we had to watch, feed, and take outside throughout the day. Most of the memories that I have are great, but there are some that I remember that are very tiring, like waking up at 8:00 every morning in the summer, or their meltdowns that came out of nowhere. 

Mostly there were great memories, like taking them to the pool, taking walks and having picnics outside. I love all the great little memories, too, like the laughter that we shared each day or even the messes that they made, but their cute little faces made up for it. This is one experience from my childhood that I will never forget.

My sister and I still have a really good connection with our cousins. Our cousins live right beside us, so we still watch and babysit them all the time. We will see each other every day, if it is just for a minute or for hours. We are practically siblings, and we spend as much time as we can together. Being so close to our cousins is very important to my family.

Even though watching my cousins was very hard and tiring this summer, I would always be happy to do it again. I know that Covid was terrible, but one thing I love is that I was able to watch them through it all. We shared very close bonding times that most people will never share with their cousins. My sister and I were very lucky to get such great and well-behaved cousins to watch. Looking back at all the pictures we took last summer, it is crazy to see how much they have grown and changed in a year.

© Mallory Hutton. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.