The Kids Are Alright

This is my son and his best friends, all seniors in high school. I love these kids…they are respectful, funny, and kind.

Right now they should be sitting in history class, talking about prom, and getting ready for graduation.

Instead they sit on a driveway, six feet apart, masks covering their young faces, to wish one of their own a Happy 18th Birthday. It’s the first time they’ve seen each other in nearly two months.

As I sat in my car and watched this scene unfold, I found myself crying for the first time since this all started. I cried for the milestones these kids deserve, but won’t get to have. For being unaware that when they arrived at school one day in early March, it would be the last time they would walk through those doors. For the time lost with each other they won’t get back, as everybody heads off to college in different directions.

Yes, I cried. But they didn’t. No, instead, they took turns placing gifts in the center of the driveway. They laughed and did silly dances for their friend. And 10 minutes later, they bid their goodbyes, got in their separate cars and went back to their respective houses. The “party” was over. This is life for teens in 2020.

By the time my son got back in the car, I was crying for a different reason. Out of pride…watching these teens do their best to make lemonade out of lemons.

You know, as much as I joke about my kids driving me crazy, I will tell you something. Throughout this quarantine, I have marveled at my children’s ability to adapt. They watch movies with friends on “Netflix Party”, have virtual sleepovers, and Zoom with their grandparents. They muddle through online schooling day after day, even though it is boring and difficult and their mother is a horrible, impatient math teacher.

And though I know they are going nuts being stuck in this house, they have not asked to break the rules. They have not asked to tag along to the grocery store. They have somehow understood, from Day 1, that this is a time to step up. That even though the risk to them personally may be low, that they must do their part to protect others in society.

I often see a lot of negative comments on social media about “kids today”. People using words like “entitled” and “spoiled”. People lamenting about the future of our country.

Honestly – I’m not worried. Because these kids? They are overwhelmingly creative, resourceful, and resilient. Watching them, I can see the future. And it looks pretty bright to me.❤️