I am fairly certain that the word quarantine is misspelled and the spelling gods would have spelled it differently with a TEEN if they would have thought about what this word means to teenagers. I have five beautiful, smart, thoughtful, genuine, obedient, and caring teenagers. Age 18 (senior in HS), 17 (Junior in HS), 15 times 3 (Freshman in HS). All involved in their respectable extra curricular activities ranging from student government, baseball, soccer, football, and basketball. Evenings always consisted of practices, games, and friends. My wife and I had become professional chauffeurs and gamers. I rarely had to worry about making plans, they were already made for me. For my kids always being around friends, activities in many forms, and always having something to do and a place to go was what they were used to. Being around friends, classmates, and teammates wasn’t just part of their life. It was their life.
Then IT happened! School was temporarily shut down, athletics suspended, then cancelled. Then no prom, the possibility of no more school for the year, no graduation, no more parties, no hanging out. Life as they knew it just stopped. There wasn’t a gradual change. No real warning. It just came to a complete halt. Maybe there was a brief thought that hey I can sleep in. Play video games. Bing watch Gilmore Girls. This could be awesome with Mom and Dad at work all day! Oh shit! Dad is now working from home and making us get up in the morning for nothing. This E learning thing doesn’t stand for electronic learning. It stands for this is a royal pain in my ass! I can’t believe that this is happening to me. I never really went to school to learn. I just wanted to be with my friends. The learning part was just a side effect of the friend part. LIFE AS FAR AS MY KIDS WERE CONCERNED WAS OVER!
Being with their friends and teammates is hands down the most important thing in their life. Facetime, texting, zoom, and xbox live just don’t cut it. But wait, I know who I can blame for this. It wont be Pelosi, Trump, Governor Herbert, School board, Gobert, or God. I will take this out on my parents. After all they are the ones enforcing this stupid quaranteen.
Does anyone reading this remember when they were teenagers? Seriously think back to those years. How would you have felt about all this? How would you have reacted? For me friends and athletics was everything. I was invincible. One measly little virus wasn’t going to stop me and I sure as shit wasn’t going to listen to you on how I was supposed to handle it. Apparently my kids inherited some of that ingenious thought process. This Karma is being paid back to me times 5. WTF!
Getting out of the house was now a treat for these wonderful teens. Bickering between parents and siblings went from the normal daily occurrence to multiple times a day. Going to work quickly went from a dreaded thing on a coveted Friday night to an opportunity. Soon my children learned that they can even pick up extra shifts if they want. The younger 3 quickly caught on to this fascinating phenomenon and decided to get jobs themselves. After all nearly finishing all 6 seasons of Lost. Watching all 21 of the Marvel movies in chronological order looses its appeal after being on quaranteen for a couple of weeks.
But wait. What about the friends? How do they hang out with friends? Im glad you asked. Quaranteen is a lot like being grounded. Only far worse. No friends. In the land of quaranteen there is no end in site. Where when grounded there is promise of an all important date when you get your cell phone back or the chance to hang out with your friends after school. So what are my parents going to do to me. Ground me. This is far worse than being grounded. I think its time to use my imagination that my parents have always wanted to to use. I can go on hikes. That way my parents think I am following the social distancing rules. I can be gone for hours. Its just semantics really. Hanging out is hanging out. Since I am invincible and I have had some driving lessons from my Dad and Mario Cart. I think I can sneak out at night and borrow my parents car. Pick up a friend or 5 and have free reign of the town. It should be relatively safe anyway since the rest of the world is on quaranteen and much less traffic to worry about. I can hear my kids now saying after Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. ” Im a good driver, a very good driver!” Friend problem solved. Remember I am already in literal hell being stuck at home with my Mom, Dad, and other siblings. Whats the worse that could happen anyway.
So what to do……I don’t have all the answers. I think that as parents most of the time we use personal experience, bullshit our way through the rest using our best judgement, and some common sense. To my teenagers being stuck at home without an end in site. No school, athletics, or friends is probably at this point in time in their lives the hardest thing they have ever done. I bet they think it is the hardest thing they ever will do. Their world might as well end. One day they will look back at this time hopefully with fond memories of the time they got to hang out with their entire family when the whole world slowed down. These years are supposed to be meant to explore, learn, and grow. It is when they are coming into their own as an adult. It’s meant to have adventure and experience new things. To figure out who they want to become. Not be stuck in the house with Dad and Mom.
I hope this teaches my children that they can do HARD THINGS and be the better for it. That this will be a catalyst to many hard things they do and learn throughout their lives and in the end learn and grow.
I hope that they have learned the value of many things they have taken for granted. Little things like sitting at a restaurant or bigger things like the opportunity to get to go to school.
I hope this shows them that being involved in athletics is a priveldege and something not to be taken for granted.
I hope they have learned what is important in life and what isn’t.
I hope that one day they will look back at this time and will be grateful for the lessons learned and not forget.
I hope they will have more of an appreciation for life.
I hope they see this one day as something that happened for them and not to them.
I hope new skills and positive attributes are learned.
I hope that this is a building block for my children in character and helps them in all areas of their life.
I hope that my children learn that they will be ok with nothing to do. That slowing down is a good thing.
I hope this shows my children the illusion of their fears and how to get strength and grow from them.
I hope this shit all ends soon!