In 2020 I learned that a community can be many things. It can be a neighborhood, a school, a family, an affinity group, a class, a soccer team, a choir, a band. I also learned that I really care about my family. I never really understood that until the pandemic happened. The pandemic has allowed me to spend more time with my family than I ever have before.
I also learned new things about each individual family member. For example, my brother loves video games like Roblox and Among Us. My father loves singing, playing guitar, and playing all different sports with me and my brother. My mother loves movies, helping with homework, and reading. My dog loves eating Cheerios and sleeping next to me.
I also set a goal for myself to become a professional soccer player when I am older. To achieve that goal I’ve practiced more during the week and worked extra hard every day at practice. There were new things that I even learned about myself. I learned that I love to bake, especially my choco treats, which I created and added to my menu for the baking business I started last June. I baked cakes and sold them to customers like some of our family friends. I would bake cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and my famous choco treats for $20. I did most of my baking during the summer to keep me occupied.
My family lives in Washington, D.C., and my father works in Connecticut. Before the pandemic, he would be home only on the weekends. My father had never worked in D.C. or anywhere near my house. He’s only worked in Denmark, China, Singapore, and now Connecticut. He would never be home to take me to soccer, help with homework, wake me up in the morning, drive me to school, or make dinner for the family. He would leave early Monday mornings before I woke up and come home late Friday nights right before we would go to bed. He used to work in Denmark (where he’s from and where we lived for two and a half years) and had to leave a day earlier so that he could make it to work, and I would always cry when he left even though I knew he would be coming back a week later. I always missed him so much, but I got used to it and sometimes forgot that he was not home.
My mother is a teacher at John Hopkins University. She teaches sociology. I missed her all the time too even though she was the one who cooked most of our dinners and put us to bed. She would take me to school every day and help me with homework. I never really realized that I wanted to be with my family so much until we heard some news.
The coronavirus outbreak happened, and we were all sent home. I didn’t know when I was going to see my friends again or go back to school. My father and mother started to work from home. We were all so confused, but I was happy that my father and mother were home. We stayed home and had to learn online. One night I heard that we were going to be like this for a while, and I missed my school so much and all of my friends. My family helped me still have fun no matter what, and they really helped me focus on other things. We would play family games, watch movies, play basketball, do karaoke, do homework, play in the pool, play soccer, play in our band, and eat every single meal of the day together.
With my parents home all the time, my dad is able to take me to soccer and he makes dinner a lot. He also puts me and my brother to bed at night sometimes and wakes us up by singing one of our favorite songs from when we were little. He helps with homework (especially science and math), and he helps make the best ski run when it snows. I now realize how much I missed my father and my mother and how important my family is to me. I am so grateful.