I have been stuck in the house with my family for 17 days now. It has been years since we have all been home at the same time for longer than a week. While at some moments we want to kill each other, it has actually been a great opportunity to grow closer. Getting older comes with the inevitability of growing apart from your family. It starts with seeing your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins less often. Then without even realizing, you start to lose touch with your immediate family. You may miss minor details in each other's lives and even stop talking on a daily basis. It's not because your love for them has grown weaker, it's just because you're growing in your own direction. Figuring out what life means to you and gaining responsibilities of your own. It does not make it any better that our generation is extremely caught up in their online presence instead of focusing on actually being present. However, there is only so much scrolling you can do before you’re bored out of your mind. At this point the only thing to do is wander into your living room and start annoying your family. 

Thankfully in my home, we had been preparing for COVID-19 weeks before it reached our actual location therefore, we already had multiple activities in mind while being quarantined. While we are usually busy during the day time, every night we do something together. This may consist of working on a puzzle, watching a TV show, playing a board game, or listening to a live concert stream but it is sometimes as small as just eating at the table together. Throughout all of these nights of going back to simpler times and just hanging out with my family, I have grown so much closer to them again. I’ve learned things about them that I never knew before or that I did know, but I forgot about. Being older has also allowed for a more honest relationship with my parents. We find ourselves telling stories we thought we would never share with each other and filling in parts of stories that we might not have told the entire truth about the first time. 

We have so much to learn from our families that we have yet to discover. Just as they have so much left to learn from us. If it wasn’t for this pandemic locking me in the house with my them again, I may not have found these things out until later in life (or maybe not at all). I encourage you all to ask uncomfortable questions like “Who was your first love?” or “What do you think happens when you die?” you might be surprised at how well you think you know your family. I’m by no means saying that we no longer fight because there are definitely some days when that is all we do but take advantage of the time you are given together because the demands of life do not always allow for it.