Our son is on the phone again. "Are you doing Take Out for dinner?" he asks. We are. "Don't go into the restaurant" he tells us. "Have it delivered."
We are looking forward to the short drive to the restaurant. It's what passes for an outing in these times of social-distancing. The dash into the restaurant to pick up the food that's been pre-ordered and pre-paid: We're okay with that. We don't argue with out son. We don't have to. He's not our parent. We'll do as we think best when we click off FaceTime.
But here's the thing. Our friends are experiencing similar "parenting" phone calls, many even more directive. Their sons and daughters are telling them to stay home, quarantine themselves, don't go to the supermarket, abide by the strictest set of isolation rules--rules beyond those suggested for the general shelter-in-place population. Of course, we are all well over 60 so our children are worried about us, as public health officials have suggested they should be. We are staying home--except for daily walks, supermarket runs and the occasional take out dinner--and are healthy with no underlying conditions. So are they, but now they are parenting us.
Should they? The Lt. Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, says that he, at 69 year of age, is willing to, well, take one for the team if it means saving the economy. He suggests we should be willing to do it too. I guess that means we should spend our money on the economy and if we get sick, no ventilators for us. We "oldies" should be willing to cull the senior herd. No sacrifice too great for our kids.
Our kids and our grandkids are sending a different message: They like having their Nanas and PopPops around. New York's Governor Cuomo hit an emotional high note when he told a press conference, "My mother is not expendable and your mother is not expendable."
Thank you, Governor.
Now we're going to go pick up our sushi dinners at the Japanese restaurant where every surface in sight is wiped down and where we customers (and the men and women who deliver for GrubHub, DoorDash and the like) are kept at a safe distance.
For us, picking it up ourselves means one less contact with the package of food. We are staying safe as best we can. We are not Dan Patricks and our kids don't want us to be.
Thank you for letting us know, kids.