I started thinking about how great this pandemic was for me from the beginning. It was, in truth, everything I ever wanted. I did not want death or hardship, but I wanted to be able to devote myself, and my time to my family. Before the lock-down took effect I had grand visions of getting everything done in the house so no one else would have to, of never having to tell my brother or sister I could not play with them because I had to do other things, to know my family like I had never had the chance to before. I will willingly admit I have not done everything; I have told my brother and sister I could not play, I have not come anywhere close to doing everything around the house, and I got to know my family too well. But more importantly, I really have grown closer to my family. The number of times I have laughed with them far outnumbers the times I have cried with them. I have loved making up games in the yard with my siblings, I have loved facetiming my grandfather everyday for lunch, I love laughing at videos with my mom, I love talking with my dad. Before lock-down I could still do these things, but not as much as I would have liked to, now I can. Without the distractions of everyday life I have been able to more fully concentrate on those I love.
About a week ago, my family went to my grandparents house for a socially distant dinner. During the course of our dinner, my grandfather opened his mouth then closed it again, trying to say something. Then after repeating this process about three times, he spoke. He asked us if the pandemic had made us closer. He said he had been playing scrabble with my grandmother, he cheats, something that he had not done before the pandemic. My mom spoke first she said it had, my father said the same, it went down the line all of us saying it had and sharing stories. It was beautiful.
I am lucky to have the opportunity to spend so much time with my family, for I know others cannot, and I am reminded as such every time I turn on NPR in the morning, but then at about seven o’clock my family comes down, and the news is turned off, and I feel lucky to be alive. We go down to school later but I am lucky to be able to sit a few feet from my siblings and see what they are doing. One of the best things about the lock-down is how we can have a family dinner every night. It is magical to sit around a table and to talk and eat with your family. It is also magical to go into the backyard, and with your sister, teach your brother to ride his bike, watch as he picks his legs off the ground, and to cheer him on.
When this is over I am sure I will miss it. I will beg to some universal force to let me be locked down again. I will remember this quarantine as some of the greatest days of my life. But like the Ikea commercial says “it is what we do in here that will make us better out there.” And even though I do not like Ikea, or “inspirational” sayings I feel that it is right. This lock-down will teach me more than I would like to admit: it will teach me about my family, maybe too much, but it will teach me my duty to my family, it will teach me how to value my time, it will teach me that my family is most important. And that is a lesson that although I knew before the lock-down, I have truly learned in the most wholesome and pure way possible. And for that I can not express how awesome, and beautiful and wonderful it is.