Like so many other things right now, the May issue of Fort Lauderdale Magazine was an exercise in improvisation. Monthly magazines get planned out well in advance; the stories you see aren’t the ones we considered when we first discussed this issue.
Originally, we had a far-flung travel story. We had details on local events you might want to check out. There was going to be a restaurant in which you might have wanted to book a table. All sorts of stuff.
And then, well, I don’t have to tell you what happened next. And so here we are. We’ve got a story about people adapting how they do business. We’ve got several recipes you can do at home. We’ve got a “travel” story about four different places you can visit online. Welcome to what I suppose we could call the Adapting Issue.
Of course, in the last couple months we’ve all gotten good at adapting. I’m the only member of the Petersen house who’s not involved in education. My daughter, Small Human, is in third grade while Mrs. P teaches high school English. Those are now endeavors that happen in front of laptops.
On one recent day, my wife was grading essays while my daughter hopped on a video call with her school buddy Daniel to do some PE. (Yes, even the PE teacher is now in cyberspace.) Coach gave the kids some exercises to do; via video, Small Human and her third-grade gym buddy psyched each other up as they went through all the routines.
Another evening, we gathered around the laptop to watch high school poets recite the verses they’d written. Mrs. P moderates the high school poetry club; the big poetry competition had, like so many other things, originally been planned as a huge in-person event. Now, teenagers competed live from their homes. They were amazing.
Of course, not everything works as well on the internet. The girls from Small Human’s softball league had been scheduled to do a “skills day” with the team from her mom’s school; now, there are padlocks on the gates to all the fields.
So no, it hasn’t been perfect. And it’s fine to grieve the small stuff, even though there is much bigger grief in the world. Grownups do what we do for a long time; kids only get a few cracks at playing shortstop or starring in West Side Story.
But if disappointment is a part of our current situation, so is resilience and adaptation. I thought of those high school poets – about their commitment to speaking rhymes from rooms in their houses rather than the big stage they’d planned on – while we were putting together this magazine.
So, I hope you enjoy this issue. It’s not the magazine we’d originally intended to give you. But it’s the one we’re proud to give you now.