Ryan’s List of the Eight Best Things to Come Out of Social Distancing

We decided to write a list post. These are fun to do and I think that this particular post can show how your attitude and perception is so important. I always say that you can’t control what happens to you, but you can 100% control how you respond to it. So here is Ryan’s list. His comments follow in italics below each item.

1. Book Club

This was started by a fellow RPM mom named Sarah who reached out to a Facebook group asking if there was any interest in a book club for our kids. As you all know, Ryan and I love reading and Sarah suggested The Chronicles of Prydain for the book club, starting with the first book, The Book of Three. We meet twice a week and read three chapters at a time. This book club brings as much joy to me (if not more) as it does to Ryan. These kids are so smart, witty, and funny. Sarah does such a great job facilitating the Zoom sessions (which last an hour and have about 22 participants at a time). She comes up with great discussion points and it is so well organized and run. The flow and tempo is perfect and all of the students get recognized for sharing their insights. I cannot say enough good things about it.

Ryan’s take on Book Club: Book Club is amazing. I look forward to it every time. Preaching a fantastic teacher in Sarah. Making friends has to be one of the best parts. Nice to be in an elite club with same students each week.

He later added: Returning to book club–saw awesome opportunity as a book lover and it didn’t disappoint.

2. Family Walks

We have done more walking as a family these past few months than ever before. We walk everyday that the weather permits.

We take Freckles of course and sometimes Grace rides her bike. Ryan is still riding his bike as well. We still need to practice stopping with him, so our newest idea is to take Ryan to the local elementary school’s track and have him ride there without having to worry about traffic.

Family walks are awesome. I love getting outside and exercise. I want to ride my bike more often. Reason it is hard now is I can’t stop when I need to.

3. Family Movie Nights

Ryan’s tolerance for sitting and watching movies has gotten so much better. Sometimes, he will still sit with his back to the television because he just wants the auditory input and cannot handle the vision portion, but he still gets all of the dialogue. We have watched The Maze Runner, The Princess Bride, Divergent, Yesterday, Onward, Labyrinth, and The Black Cauldron (we previewed it and then watched it again with the Book Club).

Family movie nights are great. I love watching meaningful stories like Divergent and Yesterday. As an auditory student, am ok to just listen sometimes.

4. New Television Shows to Ryan

I guess I can’t really say that Jeopardy is new to Ryan, but we discovered there were collections available on Netflix and Ryan loves them. We also watch Jeopardy nightly at 6pm and 7pm and we watch Wheel of Fortune in the between time slot.

We also watched The Voice this season and Ryan was rooting for Todd Tilghman who won!

Ryan also discovered The Office and really likes that. It was recommended by a friend in book club. His favorite character is Jim and we also watched Some Good News (SGN) on YouTube, created and hosted by John Krasinski, the actor who played Jim on The Office. If you haven’t seen the 8 episodes of SGN, I would suggest making it a priority to watch them. They will make you laugh and cry. I loved it.

Ryan has been enjoying The Simpsons as well.

I love comedy shows. SGN is everything that I could want in a show. Footage is amazing from people around the world. John is a great anchorman. I LOL at half dressed for the show.

5. Family Game Nights and Video Games

Game night is something that we try to do weekly and we are due for one soon. We have played Drop It, Scrabble, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, and 30 Second Mysteries.

Ryan has also expressed an interest in learning to play video games. Grace and Randy have been helping him with that.

Popular games are like so fun. Video games are hard for me because my hands are so difficult for me to control precisely. Grace is a great helper.

6. Learning to Cook and Bake with Mom and Dad

Ryan recently opened the Boy Scout Merit Badge for Cooking during this time period. He has had an interest in helping out in the kitchen. He has baked cookies, cakes, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, Rice Krispie Treats, Lucky Charms Bars, and gluten free biscuits. He has helped cook scrambled eggs, tacos, taco scrambled eggs (yep, it was with leftovers!), and has helped prepare his waffles and toast and helped Randy grill meats.

Soon I will be a chef. JK. Booked a return as a guest on Mom’s cooking show. Reason is I love baking but Mom doesn’t have a show yet.

7. Chores Around the House

Ryan has been helping out a ton. He loads the washing machine and transfers laundry to the dryer. He unloads the dishwasher. He vacuums. He often initiates doing these things and it actually helps me to stay on top of all of these things.

Um chores stink but ok believing I am helping out makes it worth it.

8. Writing with Friends

On Friday mornings, Ryan and a few other RPMers get on Zoom and write a story together. Ryan’s friend Fox’s mom, Lisa, organized it and she often comes up with the starter for the story which is often three random words (many times the writers choose the words) and these words need to appear in the story. There are six boys, but not all of them can make it all of the time. It is fun to see where their creativity takes them and to see all of the different writing styles of the boys.

As a freed boy from silence, it is great to write from my imagination. Terrific group of friends to write with.

So that’s Ryan’s list. I would like to think that we have made the best of a difficult situation during this time. Here is how Ryan wanted to end the post:

A determined boy doesn’t wallow. Terrible to feel sorry for yourself. I won’t be that boy.


10 thoughts on “Ryan’s List of the Eight Best Things to Come Out of Social Distancing

  1. Glad to see you are all making great strides in this crazy quarantine time! Keep a positive frame of mind and enjoy all this family time together! Best wishes!


  2. Hi Ryan! I am your mom’s friend from WW. Tell her I’ve missed her on Connect. I am so proud of you. You have really made good use of your time during this pandemic. I wished we lived closer. Freckles could play with my goldens and you could teach me your cooking skills. I’m not very handy in the kitchen.
    I also think I have started to wallow. I am retiring from teaching this year, and I am very sad that I won’t see my third graders again. We video chat, but that’s not the same. I am going to finish school tomorrow (from home), and thanks to you, I am going to stop wallowing. Thanks my friend! You’re a very smart young man! 💝


  3. Love his final quote and that he refuses to be that boy. You have raised such a great and insightful young man. You are an amazing mom.


  4. I would like to recommend a movie for Ryan to watch called the five people you meet in heaven which was a made for TV movie starring John Voight. Then you can invite us over to watch it during a movie night. I have always said that we should go to the movies once a week.


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