Thirteen in Quarantine

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2020 – The Year of the Quarantine Birthday

Nick’s birthday is May 5.

I’m not sure if it will be his best birthday, but it will certainly be memorable.

If there is a good age for a child to be in quarantine, 13 might be it.

He’s old enough to understand what’s going on. He doesn’t ask to do things he knows are not possible right now.

He’s also not old enough to have created a social life outside of the house as a teenager might.

He’s at the age where he likes to hole up in his room and play video games.

So, he seems relatively content.

The NTI was really stressful the first couple of weeks. But, we’ve developed a routine and he fusses less now.

He still fusses – just less.

He can pick me up and carry me across the kitchen floor. He’s almost as tall and almost weighs as much as me.

He likes to look me in the eye and say “Get Noob.” I have no real understanding of what that means. So, I tell him to “Get Noob.” He finds that both shocking and hilarious.

He’s developed a great sense of humor. Not only does he laugh and understand sarcasm, but he can be witty with a completely straight face.

I find that I don’t just love him – I really like him and find him good company.

We’ve had some precious moments being quarantined in the house together. We break out into random dance parties in the living room. He talks to me a lot more.  He actually takes the long walk with me on occasion.

I can trust him with more chores. He can make macaroni and cheese. He can wash, dry and fold his laundry. He can unload the dishwasher and mop the floor. He calls himself the “Ultimate Dish Master.” I dig it.

I feel bad that he’s missing the birthday sleepover. Vacations are cancelled and summer activities will change.

But, I’m glad he gets the opportunity to deal with disappointment now and to learn how to respond to it before going off on his own.

He’s learning to dance in the rain, sing in the storm and weather the pain.

And ultimately, that might be the best birthday present one can get.

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