When I was ten, I traded my old dirt bike for a new and bigger Raleigh. It was a sophisticated silver and blue with gears that shifted smoothly. Most importantly, it had a rack on the back for newspapers and my basketball. Most days, I’d hit the courts for a couple of hours after I finished my paper route.
Even at that young age, I was busy.
I learned early on that I could be busy doing my stuff or I could be busy doing chores for my Mom and Dad. So I always had my day jammed leaving the bare minimum of time for my mother to assign tasks. Deliver papers and earn money? Check. Shoot hoops? Check. Sit on the couch and complaining of boredom? Not an option in my childhood home.
My early training stuck with me: it just kills me to sit idle. I can’t even watch other people sit. There’s no greater torture to me than to watch my own children sit around the house bored and listless. Yet, here we are, seven weeks into the coronavirus quarantine and that’s the situation.
I checked in with my mother the other day by phone, and we had a raucous debate about how and when to end the coronavirus quarantine. I’m eager to get back to work, with precautions, of course. She’s more on the cautious side. Everyone, she says, should just stay at home until the danger has passed. When I reminded her that I had three rambunctious boys who’ve been sitting around the house doing nothing since late March, she had to concede, though, that a situation like that would have broken her spirit.
If my kids aren’t back to school by fall, I’ll have to start protesting at the State House. I’ll probably even drag the kids with me. After all, there’s strength in numbers and it’ll give them a reason to stand.