Bringing Family Together


Jimena and her mom make flan. While they’ve baked together before, this was the first time they made it together. “I like baking with my mom because it’s usually only us two and we just talk about everything while we bake.”

The coronavirus has caused a lot of damage to people all over the world. The virus has taken the lives of a lot of people and caused people to lose their jobs while still needing to support themselves or their families financially. The stay-at-home order which is being put on a lot of the states has forced a lot of people to stay indoors, only going out for essential things. 

While most people despise the stay-at-home order, it can also be seen as a positive thing for people. Because of this order families get the chance to spend more time with one another, and while seeing the same people constantly can be a little too much where arguments are unavoidable, it can also bring families closer. 

In my home, both of my parents are currently not working, and college classes have gone online so my brother, Adrian, is also home. During this time, my parents have been really worried about everything in general, but having the whole family together has made my parents very happy. While Adrian does come home for holidays and a few times on the weekends, he usually makes plans with friends to go eat or go to someone’s house, so he isn’t home that much when he visits. Now, since he can’t go see his friends, he has no other option than staying home. My parents are usually the ones who go out and buy groceries, but that is the only reason that they have left the house. My brother and I have not gone anywhere since this all started in March, apart from going on a few walks.

 Being together with family is always good and fun, but seeing the same people 24/7 can cause arguments to happen very easily. Arguing with my brother is nothing new, but it seems like there is a lot more since quarantine began. They usually happen because we either said or did something that the other person gets offended by. However, arguments between us don’t really last a long time, the day after it happened it will most likely be forgotten about. 

Although arguments happen, we do have many times when we feel at home with each other, like when we play board games. This has become normal for the family. There’s a lot of time in the day where nobody is doing anything, and one day my parents just called my brother and I to the living room where they had a bunch of board games out. From that day forward we have played together at least three times every week. Some of my favorite games that we play are Monopoly and UNO, mostly because those are the ones that I am very good at and I have a winning streak in UNO. And even though my brother calls me out and tells me that I’ve cheated (when I very much have not), I still maintained the streak. Before quarantine I had never played a board game with just my family. When we would play together there would also be more people involved. Playing with them exclusively has made us become more playful with one another and it has also made quarantine fun. 

Another activity that we now do together during this time is cooking food and baking different kinds of treats. Cooking and baking has always been something that I enjoy helping my mom with and doing on my own as well. Through these times cooking with my family (mostly my mom) has happened a lot. I enjoy cooking with them because I can learn how to make really good food while also talking to everyone about everything really. I’m usually the only one who wants to bake things, but more recently my brother has started to join me. Baking has always been a hobby of mine and being able to share that with my brother has made us extremely closer. Whenever we bake he’s always telling me stories or showing me pictures of something that happened to him at college. The stories he tells are always so interesting and funny, but not very appropriate since they’re about college kids. At the end of the day my parents call everyone together to eat dinner and that is my favorite part of the day, since we’re just joking around and talking with one another during this. 

Another large change that my family has accustomed into doing in our daily lives is taking walks. My parents enjoy taking walks to get fresh air and to distract themselves. I join them sometimes, when I have nothing to do or I feel bored. My brother rarely joins, although he has a few times, because he’d rather stay inside and play video games. I don’t think I had ever just gone to walk around the neighborhood before, so it was fun getting something new in our schedule during a time that we are stuck inside for most of the time. Walking outside is something I really enjoy because during this time my parents usually talk about how my family is in Mexico, which I only really talk to when we visit them. I always like hearing about how they’re doing because they live very different lives so learning more about them is nice. 

Quarantine has allowed me to learn new things about my family member that I did not know before. It has also allowed us to be closer in my opinion. I feel like I can now talk to everyone about most things without being too embarrassed or shy. During these times it’s important to look at the better side of things instead of complaining about everything, so I’m glad I’m able to do this alongside my family.