Yes, times are tough—but here are a few things that are making me smile.
We all know there are many coronavirus losses—too many to count. Yet, amongst the debris, there have been some coronavirus wins—some small, some insignificant, and some as unpredictable as the havoc this disease has caused.
Let’s start with the mundane:
Continuously Working From Home
I have worked from home since Your Teen Media began in 2008. I’ve had to shush the dog, the (once-little) kids, and even the landscaper noises. Now everyone is working from home, everyone’s dog is barking, and disruptions are the new norm. I no longer have to apologize for the dog or the landscapers, and my kids know the drill. Welcome to my world—and yes, I do often have my yoga pants on under the table, beneath the Zoom line of view. The work-from-home movement wrote the handbook on all of this, and we welcomed you with open arms—and we will also be happy when the rest of you return to the office, and we can get some work done in our quiet houses.
Only Family Dinners
These are the best of times, the worst of times. No one has any extracurricular activities—and we are all together for dinner. Every. Damn. Night. If I can only ignore the “is there a dinner plan” question that begins at 3 p.m. daily, I really do love having all of us together for dinner. It’s loud, messy, and the cleanup is extensive, but anyone who knows me knows that I love having “all the birds in the nest.” (Until I don’t.)
Rover, The Dog(s)
There is no bigger win than the homeless dogs who have now found new foster or permanent homes. Always ahead of the curve, we adopted Luna three months before the stay-at-home order. My only concern about her is the intense therapy she will need when everyone LEAVES. I realized she has been alone in the house for 2 hours since March 22nd. Two hours. If anyone is thinking about ways to make money post-COVID, doggie psychologist would be an excellent path.
Older Folks Learning Zoom/Facetime
The beginning was painful—too close to the screen, seeing only the tops of their heads, forgetting to mute when there were many people on the call. Now? Lots of talking between grandparents and grandkids and with long-lost relatives and friends—and lots of reconnecting because suddenly everyone has time.
The parks have never been fuller. We hike all year long and this year it’s like everyone has discovered our state’s beautiful parks. Now we look for lesser known trails, and that has opened up new spaces for us to enjoy. While I am put out that “my” parks have been invaded, I secretly cheer for the beauty of the world and that so many people are now enjoying the outdoors. Let’s hope we all remember this—and all the concern about plastic and preserving our beautiful earth. Let’s not forget to resurrect that conversation when COVID is gone.
All the Siblings
Annoyance born of proximity reigns among the kids. And yet, left with only each other, the board games, photography sessions, and bonding over shared enemies (us annoying parents) have also reigned. I have witnessed a few shared experiences that I never could have predicted when they were younger kids bickering and throwing each other into walls (true story—I have the photo to prove it). Good thing I don’t like gambling, I would have lost that bet.
Never. Ending. Laughter. Mostly AT my husband and me—it always starts there. My forgetting which kid I told what, repeating myself, being accused of not listening (did you say something?), and the list goes on. My husband’s never-ending stories and his infectious laughter at the same shows he has watched before. All fair game.
Come to think of it, all of the laughter is at us. And you know what? For once, I am (mostly) okay with it. I’ll give them this one.