As the mom of three teenagers, it was so hard to watch the droves of Spring Breakers on the news last week. Their entitled attitudes during all those television interviews where they say that they aren’t scared of the virus or that they believe it’s media hype. I watched as they danced in large crowds, just as I did nearly 25 years ago on the same beach. I actually laughed out loud when I read one young man say, “I’m drinking enough Corona to kill the Corona!”
At first it made me angry at their selfishness. Then, I wondered if they disobeyed their parents’ pleas or ignored their threats or simply just didn’t give a crap. I just can’t wrap my head around it.
But mostly, it makes me wonder if I have done enough with my three teens?
They are only a few years away from college, and then they’ll be leading their own lives after that.
I can’t help wondering what their choices would be during a time like this. Would they rush home to help care for others or would they drive to a beach in Tampa to dance atop 10-foot-tall speakers?
While my kids are spending a few hours each day eLearning, I also want them to understand the significance of this extreme exercise we are all being asked to participate in at this moment.
I hope they learn more than algebra and chemistry and literature.
I hope they learn that they are a part of something greater than themselves. That their choices, no matter how insignificant they think they are, have a domino effect on others, on the economy, on the environment.
I hope they learn that “missing out” is in the eye of the beholder, and that sometimes doing what is right requires sacrificing our own wants and desires.
I hope they learn that they now have many ways to enjoy themselves and find gratification besides their phone. Taking walks, exercising, playing card games, finishing a puzzle, reading books, baking, creating art. For many, these activities are more satisfying to the soul then loud parties or being ignored by people you don’t like very much anyway.
I hope they learn that we can live on less than what we have.
I hope they learn that it’s okay to laugh even when you’re scared. That it’s okay to smile even when things look bad.
I hope they learn that it’s okay to slow down.
I hope they learn that family is often what you put into it, instead of only what you get out of it.
And I hope they learn that bored is the most overused verb in our modern time. Learning to find what makes you happy–and then doing more of that–is the greatest way to feel satisfied with your life. One thing I know for sure is that we never find what we love by scrolling our phones to see what others are doing with their lives.
This whole thing sucks. Plain and simple.
I can only hope we learn to make the best of it, and that we continue to learn how much we love and need each other.