My son turned three-years-old in January this year. This is the year that he starts to form long-term memories and grow as a human being. This is the year that he forms lasting friendships in preschool that could last an entire lifetime. This is the year that he explores the playland at Chick-Fil-A and goes to Target occasionally to pick out a new Paw Patrol toy. This is the year that he makes his first attempt at playing a (semi)-organized sport. This is the year that he rides his bike to the park and makes new friends, while going down the circular slide together and running to jump off the “wishing” rock.
He won’t get to do any of that for months.
For the rest of his life, he will remember missing six months of preschool with his friends and Mrs. Lisa because of the virus. He will live his entire childhood with that extra bit of anxiety deep down knowing that life is not always guaranteed, and that the carefree living he deserves, as does every child, can be taken away in an instant.
I am not sure when this is going to end. Optimistic estimates are 12-18 months from now, but who knows.
I am sad for the 18-year-olds who worked their entire childhood to walk across the graduation stage. I am more sad for the parents of those 18-year-olds who have worked their asses off to provide an environment that their child can thrive in, in order to see them walk across that stage.
I am sad for the five-year-old who likely will not be able to experience a typical first day of kindergarten this fall.
I am sad for the eleven-year-old who made the middle school baseball team this year, only to have the season cancelled the following week.
I am sad for the sophomores and juniors in high school who only have one last football season to try and prove to college scouts that they can compete. That one opportunity could be their last opportunity to make it out of their poverty-stricken neighborhood, and that last opportunity will likely be cancelled.
The younger generation will survive, and is taking a lot of the brunt and shame on social media from people, while the kids are trying to keep some semblance of a childhood by playing outside.
These kids don’t, nor should they have to, possess the mental bandwidth to realize that staying home will literally save the lives of their grandparents. They shouldn’t have to realize that, but today they are being asked to grow up and grasp things that the majority of the older generations have not had to think about until a much later point in their life.
When I was a kid, I was worried about getting poison ivy; or if the girl down the street wanted to be my “girlfriend.” I was talking about baseball and basketball, or even in my early-early days — Pokemon. Today, kids are talking about the Coronavirus, the virus that has shut down their schools for several months and shut down all of their social events on the calendar. The virus that is killing thousands of people everyday, and is only expected to be worse.
I am so sad for all of the lives being lost and I fully support shutting down the world to try and stop the spread — but still….
I am sad for the kids.