personal narrative by Maddie Cramer | art by Kelly Johantges
I think it’s safe to say that most people’s relationships have changed quite a bit since Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine issued the stay at home order on March 22. Personally, not being able to see my friends has slowly been driving me insane. Therefore, I’ve had to turn to my siblings for entertainment. I have two younger siblings, Kyle and Megan, who are both 13 years old. Before the coronavirus was even a thing, we were extremely close, so being quarantined in a house with them isn’t much different than a usual summer for me. However, it has presented some challenges that I never thought I would have to deal with, the biggest one being my sister.
Despite Kyle and Megan being twins, it is a running joke in my family that Kyle and I should have been the twins instead. We like the same TV shows, video games, LEGO sets, and we’ve wrestled and chased each other around since before he could walk. These activities are perfect for being in quarantine, seeing as they’re all indoor and can easily be done together. Not to mention, I don’t think I will ever get bored of Scooby-Doo marathons, afternoons of playing Minecraft, and teasing him about cutting his hair to look like Joe Exotic from “Tiger King.”’.
Spending time with Megan is where it gets difficult. She prefers to spend her time reading, biking around the neighborhood, and writing in her journal. While she can be exceptionally loud and wild at times, she mostly keeps to herself in the privacy of her room. As the oldest sibling, I feel awful if I don’t spend equal time with my siblings. But, it is much more difficult to do things together with Megan.
We can’t read books together, and biking around the same two parts of the neighborhood day after day gets old very quickly. This is why I created “Sister Days,” or days where I would take Megan out to eat or shop at Liberty Center. She likes spending what seems like hours at Bath and Body Works, I like buying bubble tea from the stand in the Foundry, and we get to spend time together, so it’s a win-win in my opinion. In fact, we had had plans to get dinner and go see “Little Women” over spring break. Now, with restaurants only doing carry out and delivery and most recreational spaces like movie theaters closed, we can’t hang out together like we used to. It’s affected how we spend time with each other.
I had to get creative. Megan and I don’t share a lot of interests, but the last thing I wanted was for her to feel like I preferred Kyle over her. She likes movies, so we asked our dad to stop by Redbox after getting groceries to pick up “Little Women” for our family movie night. Megan also recently finished reading “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” so we watched that together too, and even though I have seen that movie at least a hundred times, watching her smile as the credits rolled made it completely worth it.
Another thing we’ve tried to do is have a “picnic” outside on our hammock. Since the weather in Ohio can never make up its mind, our picnic hasn’t happened yet. It still fills me up with joy to see how excited Megan is about the idea of eating her lunch in the shade of the tree in our front yard.
The best thing to come out of this quarantine has been the time my siblings and I have spent as a trio. For my family’s Easter dinner, we wanted to make a dessert, and both Kyle and Megan absolutely love brookies, brownies with chocolate chip cookies baked on top. It didn’t even take us an hour to make our Betty Crocker box mix of cookies and brownies, but it was one of the best hours I’ve ever spent with them.
So yes, COVID-19 took away my taekwondo. It took away my friends. It took away my freedom. But it made me appreciate my siblings, and most importantly the time we spend together. Recently, it seems like the news is full of tragedy and suffering, and as Megan says, it’s times like these we need to hear good news more than ever.