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COVID-19's Got Nothin' on the Latchkey Generation

I’ve always known that growing up as a latchkey kid would serve me well (I'm from the tail-end of the baby-boomer latchkey generation).


I learned to cook – without a microwave (but, cereal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner were my go-to meals).


I learned to entertain myself for hours on end with games, books and about 5 television stations (and fighting with my brother).


I learned that I could move around the apartment (all 850 sq. ft. – fuck tiny house nation) while on the phone (if the phone cord was long enough – until I convinced my parents to get one, I had to hide in the closet next to the kitchen threshold) – my phone was on the kitchen wall – where was yours?


I learned that I could fake sleeping or fake being sick when necessary (not sure how this applies to the COVID-19 situation, but yanevahknow).


I learned that even when I couldn’t hang out with my friends – for whatever the reason (like being “punished” – that’s what we called it, not “grounded” – to be grounded suggests something positive like, “grounded in your values,” or “grounded by your actions” – let’s call it what it is, people!), I knew that I was part of a big family, living in one big building, and no one was too far away, and I always felt safe.


In all of this craziness, I do feel safe. It’s like we’re all living in this great big building – each in our own little cracker-box of an apartment, knowing that everyone is a just phone call, or a facetime, or a Zoom gathering away.


I am so grateful for each-and-every one of you. My life is filled with joy. Checking in on family and friends brings me joy. Creating a way for me to stay connected with my students brings me joy. Talking to a parent who needs a little comfort and support brings me joy. Knowing that I can still contribute to our economy and our community by ordering take-out brings me joy.


Yesterday, when I was on line (not in line – ON LINE - I'm from NY), the cashier seemed stressed and she made the comment to the guy in front of me, who had a bunch of energy drinks and 2 half-gallon bottles of vodka, “Now you’ve got the right idea because it’s going to get worse before it gets better.” I said to her as she was ringing up my stuff, “I don’t think it will get worse, it can only get better because it’s always been good.” And, I do believe that it will get better. Every new change will bring a new normal and we will adjust because that's what we do.


Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay Connected, take time to Stay Still (that’s where your power really is), and we will create calm out of the chaos.I will continue to check-in on you. If you need someone to talk to, I'm just a private message away. ❤


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