There’s Nothing Normal About ‘The New Norm’
The other day I received a text message from an old buddy of mine who is the father of two kids in the Guilderland School District. He wanted to pass along a message regarding his teenage daughter who happens to be a huge country music fan. His daughter has been quarantined in her own house for approximately 7 days since it was learned she came into contact with a student whose family members tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the unfortunate world our children are growing up in, or as many people are putting it, the 'new norm'.
It wasn't all doom and gloom though, he texted me to say 'thank you'. He wanted to inform me that his daughter watched the Luke Combs live Instagram concert from her bedroom on Tuesday night and was appreciative that GNA alerted her that is was happening. While rocking out in her room to Combs, she finally had something to lift her spirits.
The more he and I texted one another, the more I was stunned at the reality of what he and his family (and many other families ) are experiencing. The text exchange turned into a phone call because there was so much more I felt like he wanted to share, and I wanted to learn.
He misses the hell out of his own daughter, an 8th grader, who is literally inside the house. Thank God he said for FaceTime because, "that's how me, my wife and son communicate with her."
Heartbroken, he told me she keeps busy by watching Netflix, coloring, playing Fortnite, and FaceTiming other friends from school also quarantined. Oh, and he told me she takes baths to pass the time. Lots and lots of baths.
When it's time to eat he explained, they leave food by her bedroom door like "she's in solitary confinement."
Hopefully in a few days, symptom free, the quarantine will pass and she'll be able to move about the house freely, or "released" as he put it. Remaining optimistic, but also angst ridden with uncertainty, this damn good father of two children is concerned that many of the things his family loves will be compromised.
He coaches his daughter's softball team, he's on the driving range daily with his son, and he and his wife have a large and loving family that they may not be able to see or hang out with for some time.
Me and this buddy go back 30 plus years. We played a lot of baseball together growing up, have many mutual friends, and remain in relatively close contact through social media. He and I chat from time to time about sports, life, kids, old high school friends, our baseball days at Albany High School and even hit the links together once in a blue moon.
We've often mentioned how when we were teenagers playing ball, back in the late 80's and 90's, we wished there were more pics and videos of games and moments on the field together that we could relive. It's a different time now I said, "kids today have everything on video, an entire lifetime put in a capsule for future viewing...they're so lucky." He agreed.
Shortly after our text exchange and phone call, it dawned on me. Sure, while being a kid today does afford a whole host of cool technologies and incredible innovations, it's a crazy world out there...and shit just keeps getter weirder.
And while we have no choice but to adapt our lifestyles to overcome whatever is thrown our way, I think I like the 'old norm' a helluva lot better than the 'new norm'.