I put the car in park, turn the engine off, and turn to face my oldest daughter, the last strains of Declan McKenna fading.
“But no one I know has Corona, I don’t understand why we can’t hang out at the park…”
“Because the governor has called for a stay at home order and that’s not practicing social distancing.”
“It’s just not fair.”
Silent tears burn her cheeks. It’s hard being a cooped up teen when springtime beckons. She heaves a heavy sigh and slams the car door shut, stomping off to the house. I take a sip of my sweet tea and open the door to join her.
She is in her room. Dinner is made in silence as children are dispersed. I cut up the tomatoes, making sure to cut up a few extra for my angsty teen, wondering whether it’s all for naught if dinner is to be shunned to underscore her previous point.
“Doodle, monkeys, dinner…” I call, hoping mealtime will calm the torrent of emotions this quarantine has caused.
The kitchen is filled with hungry kids as everyone dresses their tacos. She stands next to me, carefully adding tomatoes to the filled shells and as she turns to leave, she quietly says, “Thank you for dinner, Mommy.”
The ice is broken and I soon hear her laughing and facetiming on her phone, the only way she can connect these days. Adolescence in the new normal is not for the fainthearted.