Being stuck home with my teens amid coronavirus is the best

Edward Tully, a 54-year-old real estate agent in Park Slope, has seen business hit hard by the pandemic. However, the father of two teenagers discovered an unexpected upside: time with his kids.

Let’s be honest: teenagers rarely hang out at home with their parents. That has changed, and I’m grateful. My son Daniel, a college freshman, came home in March. My daughter, Caitlin, a high school senior, is taking classes from home. While I would never wish the current situation on anyone, the surprise benefit is that it’s given us time together that we never expected.

Every night, we have dinner as a family, and we all pitch in to prepare meals, too. We play Scattergories and watch television together. We’ve been watching “Seinfeld” reruns together when, normally, Caitlin would binge on “Friends” in her bedroom. She had never seen “Seinfeld” before. Now she’s mad for it.

My son and my wife have been getting up early, having coffee together and watching an online Mass each week. We’re Catholic and, ordinarily, we all attend different Masses.

For the first time since my kids were young, there is something foundational about our time at home. Before, I’d tell Caitlin to turn off her phone; she’d accuse me of being insensitive. Now, I see more of her personality and what she needs. I think we will remember this as a time when a lot was lost — my son’s freshman year of college got cut short; my daughter won’t get back her graduation or prom. But relationships were also gained. Having fewer options for how to spend our time has made us more of a cohesive unit. — As told to Michael Kaplan

Read more about silver linings from the coronavirus pandemic



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