“I hate this,” she said, coming out of her bedroom.
“I know, buddy,” is all I can say in return.
Just in the past few months or so, our teenage daughter has taken to talking on the phone, sleeping over and staying up late, and hanging out at the mall. When she is home, there is usually a door between us.
And it’s okay; I remember these days as a teenager myself. And there are also things about it that I can’t remember, but her dad can.
She is the perfect mix of both of us. Many days off she prefers to stay at home, to play video games, listen to music, stay in her pajamas. Other days she needs her crew. It’s interesting how she gets energy from both, a Gemini in intro-extrovert waves.
It also makes it hard to know just what to say to help.
“So if we’ve all been in quarantine for two weeks, can’t we get together this week?”
“I don’t think so, buddy. I mean, we could drive by their houses. We could maybe even meet at a park and you guys could sit apart from each other and at least talk.”
That did not seem to help. And why should it. She’s thirteen. Her friends are her whole world. And we are here, a place that usually feels like a mountain retreat, starting to feel more like a mile too many away.
“Are they hanging out without you?”
“Well that’s something. At least you’re all in this together. No one’s letting their kids go out.”
“Yeah, it just sucks.”
“I know. But it won’t be forever.”
Now I can hear her voice break into laughter in the other room. She’s back on the phone. Maybe it’s a video chat where one will teach the other how to do her eye makeup or how to turn a t-shirt into a hijab.
Maybe it’s a co-creation of a collective Minecraft world that is captivating their conversation.
Maybe it’s just small talk and time together, company with no trace of the misery of the morning.