Way back at the beginning of March,
when COVID-19 was just gaining traction in the US,
Sam started questioning whether we should go on our planned Spring Break vacation to Nauvoo.
I was still all for it, but he was being discouraged from any travel at work,
and he was going to have to report it in addition to his feeling a bit irresponsible by potentially spreading it through our travel.
On Thursday, March 12, I started to agree with him.
It just didn't feel right to go, but I was heartbroken and I knew the boys would be devastated.
They had been looking forward to this trip for months and we had studied pictures of the beautiful (ahem, nonrefundable) Airbnb we would be staying in, we had talked about the amazing sights and fun activities we would get to participate in, and they were even excited about the road trip itself.
Sure enough, on Friday when the boys got home from school and I broke the news to them, there was a LOT of sadness in our home. It was a very sad evening indeed.
But on Saturday morning they seemed to have recovered totally and we planned a few fun activities to take away some of the sting (since that was the day we had planned to leave).
I kept an eye on the Nauvoo web page as well, and it turns out they CLOSED the sites that very day when we would have just been arriving!
As we did a few consolation activities, Sam jokingly mentioned that we should just make a pinata of the coronavirus and smash it. Lincoln overheard and was immediately thrilled. "YEAH!!!" he cheered.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized what a brilliant idea it was.
So a few days later, we blew up a balloon and started the process of making a paper mache model of the virus.
We spent about a week and a half doing the paper mache--we would put on a layer and then let it dry for a day or two before putting on another layer. I was worried it would be weak, so we slathered on plenty of layers!
When I felt it was sufficiently thick, I bent a metal hanger and put it inside and filled it to the bursting with snacks and a few treats (Hello, Cadbury mini eggs. How I love you.).
I then covered the opening with tape and we painted away (the boys decided on a murky green).
And finally, the big day came! On Saturday we finished up by gluing on paper embellishments, and then we had a blast breaking it open. Sam instructed us all on the different parts of the virus and how it works before we laid into it. It was surprisingly strong and took quite a few rounds of boys whacking it before it gave in.
It really was the perfect lockdown activity.
Thanks to my brilliant, witty, hilarious husband for the stream-of-consciousness idea.