When I think of what I’ve done today, it’s a pretty normal day.  I ran errands, put away groceries, cleaned the kitchen, worked on a sewing project, played with the dogs…

But then when I really think about it, here’s the change from last year at this time:  my daughter also did all those things.

And—wait for it–here’s the especially wonderful difference: we didn’t fight about anything, at all, all day long.

Now, perhaps some of you reading will not find that statement odd.  (If you are in that category, congratulations—and send me a message about how you managed to pull that off, would you please?  But for our house, since our daughter hit about thirteen, we’ve had a few moments of … let’s call it “unpleasantness.”

It’s perhaps the most astonishing silver lining that I realize has happened over the past year.  I think it’s a combination of factors, of course, but nearly all of them come back to the pandemic.  I’m calmer, more present and less quick to react.  She’s less distracted by the social “things” that come with being a teenager.  She is concentrating on the academic part of school, and her grades reflect her efforts.  That, in turn, means that she has an easier time in her classes and a better relationship with her teachers and classmates.

A more fun relationship with my daughter? That’s a silver lining I didn’t expect but will happily accept—and hope to continue developing when we get to the other side.