Recent news; the school’s out for summer. What! it’s not May. We usually look forward to May and the finalizing of closing up classrooms and telling friends we have to meet during the summer so that the kiddos keep up the social contact.

Not anymore.

Not anymore of the playdates or pool parties or gaming nights, boys form of pajama party.

The past three weeks my teens are on their computers from 10 and until 10 pm. Claims of doing homework and schoolwork get slipped into unwanted tabs along with their screens. When I sneak up to check the screen tabs, there are always more tabs than seems necessary.

“Are you working on your schoolwork?”

“Yes, Mom.”

“Really? I’m going to check.”

“Okay. I’m doing it!”

“No, really! Why are your teachers calling and writing to me in emails if you were doing it?!”

“I don’t know…They like to bother me.”

This is truly an excuse to join the fifty percent dropouts in the county because Florida is a “right to work” state.

I’d like to think if I took the computer away, it would change them. I’d like to think that this situation is temporary and a miracle vaccine will show up so that there will be no more threat to all human life by sneezing, coughing or touching. But this nightmare to get my sons to realize that this working online is an incentive to make a better show of what they know and turn their grades into something so much more spectacular. They’re thrown off and seem like they’re trying to find a normal in all this.

I get it. I understand they’ve lost all contact with their friends. They don’t have extracurricular activities anymore, not to mention sports. They are upset at what life is throwing at them. It’s war, but there isn’t bloodshed like other wars of the past. Yet, people are dying.

It’s a scary world for them. No wonder they want to play computer games all day. No wonder they want to boost their emotions through cortisol. But the outcome will be harder and abstract until a new normal is established.

Meanwhile, I grab hold of my patience tighter than my tolerance for the hormonal whiplash that arrives every morning. I give them love through the Mom acts of favorite muffins and new activities such as learn a card game, hoping they’ll grab hold of the lifeline they need to swim through these chaotic waters.