A Quarantined Life Part 4: Reliving Your Children’s Childhood

Dan Duffy
3 min readMar 25, 2020

A friend reached out to me today asking if I’d proofread something that he wanted to share on the ‘book, as he wrongly thought that my grammatical skills were somehow superior in any way to anyone… which they’re not.

When I asked how he was holding up, he said, “We have been having family game night every night.”

I remember talking to my folks about five years ago about how I was already starting to dread the things that hadn’t happened yet: our boys becoming more self-sufficient, less wanting to hang out with us, not needing us in all the ways they needed us now. My mom talked me off the ledge that day:

“Dan, you have to live where you are, and when you are. You’ll miss them when it’s time to miss them, but now’s not the time. Love them now. Cuddle them. Play games with them. Read to them. It all happens so fast, and you only get the chance to do it once for a little while, so make it count.”

That is… until COVID-19. Another friend put up some pics the other day of her picking up their freshman from college. Her daughter didn’t look very happy, as she felt like many people have for at least the past two weeks: that there is a choking air of uncertainty strangling so many of us.

While I know my pal is sad for her daughter, I also know she’s downright giddy to get some bonus time with her baby.

And I know it sounds weird to think of this time in our lives as any kind of bonus, but in certain ways it truly is. Sure, our children are like most in 2020; their screens are far more interesting than we are. But what they don’t know is that as their parents, my wife and I know that this new normal is not a sprint; it’s a marathon… and eventually, those screens are going to become as boring as they think their parents are… or dare I dream… used to be.

So while we have this time with the four of us under the same roof for what could be… a while… I’m going to bide my time, and I’m going to prod our kiddos into a game of Life or Uno or No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em.

Hey, someone’s gotta teach them that life skill.

Steph and I are going to introduce them to movies that we loved at their age, even if they don’t quite hold up like they used to. (See: Big Trouble in Little China.) (Or don’t. You’re not missing much.)

Spies Like Us, however, is still amazing by the way.

And we’re also going to take the time to find out what they’re interested in, and to have them share new things with us. They’ve already introduced a series on YouTube Red called Escape The Night, and it’s crazily addictive. And I have to say that we get a real kick out of the tables being turned, as they say, “Okay, guys… watch what the guy does in the corner!” instead of us saying, “Okay, boys… wait ’til you hear what Ron Burgundy thinks San Diego means in German!”

We don’t know how long the COVID quarantine is going to last, but while it’s here, we’re absolutely going to make it count. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to teach them the finer art of rolling the bones… another life skill not taught nearly enough.

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Dan Duffy

Hi, I’m Dan. I’m a husband, dad, cancer survivor, video producer, author, accidental activist, and fan of all things lovely.