April 3, 2020. My first blog post in the Coronatimes.
Every time someone asks me if my daughter is home from school since most universities have gone to online classes for the rest of the semester, I just roll my eyes and say, “Not yet.” Talking my daughter into coming home has been a hard and most stressful job over the last week.
She’s 20, a junior in college, and ripping her away from her friends, her boyfriend, some seniors she likely will never see again, her sorority, her job, and her freedom, only to send her to the dungeon of Chateau d’If of home is pure torture. This pandemic is a huge inconvenience for her.
She has run the gamut of staying an extra week till they officially close the school to staying for free with some friends in an apartment to secretly staying the dorms with other students who have an exemption to stay on campus. Staying a few extra days, okay. Staying for free with friends, okay, but we aren’t giving you any money for living expenses or food – that’s what we paid the room and board for, okay – a no go for her financially. Secretly staying the dorms, Absolutely not.
The negotiation skills of this 20 year old have been amazing. My husband and I have marveled at the ingenuity of her arguments. She has made every single argument while assuring us that she’s only thinking of our health safety in flying up to get her; that she has worked really hard to come up with the best solution for everybody. She just simply doesn’t want to come home. Coronavirus be damned.
It reminds me of of a story Jen Sincero told in her book, You are a Badass at Making Money. Jen was talking about becoming a badass at making money, teaching about tenacity. One of the points of tenacity is “Risking being Unpopular”. She tells a story about this nine-year-old kid who refused to sit in the middle seat on an airplane. He wanted a window seat. She said she had “never seen such unshakable, calm resolve in the face of such great danger – an entire airplane full of pissed off grown-ups. Without being bratty or pitching a fit, this kid held his ground until someone switched seats with him”. She said “he had the stick-to-itiveness to poo poo the need to be liked and fit in”. That was my daughter for an entire week with us. In fact, that’s been her life. She’s definitely a pill.
Anyway, finally the parents had to put their collective feet down and my husband is flying to her location and they will be driving the 15 hours home tomorrow. She was frustrated at not getting what she wanted, but she knows where her bread is buttered and will be better than I was a 20. She’ll come home. And when she gets home and out of her college bubble, she may just realize what the hell is going on in the world and how it really affects everyone.
In a couple of weeks when the pandemic is in full force, I hope she is able to see that bringing her home when we did possibly pre-empted a lot more stress on all of us. What would we do if she got sick so far from home without a place to really lie her head? What would we do then with our back up against the wall? If this were any other time or situation, we may have given her more freedom, but in the wake of an international health crisis, we had to step in and make the final decision for her. Perhaps, maybe, someday she’ll understand and even grateful.
But back to the tenacity…you go, girl. Keep arguing. You’ll lose some, but you’ll win some too.