Father-daughter time in the age of coronavirus

Devante Carroll and his daughter, Mariah. Photo by Carroll

The novel coronavirus has impacted people and businesses across the world, and it has left many people unsure about the future.
But for me, I always try to find some good in the bad and make the most of it. COVID-19 has created more time for me to spend with my 7-year-old daughter.

I know that people that are used to being on the go on and are having a hard time trying to stay inside. But if you have kids or other family members in the household with you, then it shouldn’t be too bad. I am a full-time college student and I work on the weekends, and there were definitely times where I wish I had more time to spend with my daughter. So staying at home for the time being is actually working out for me.

With all schools in Leon County switching to online learning, my fiancé and I have had to adjust our daughter’s schedule. At first she didn’t understand when we told her that she would no longer be returning to school, but after explaining to her that many people could get sick if the regular schedule were to resume, she understood. We stress education in our home and the number one goal is to keep the education going.

So far, I have been helping my daughter, Mariah, with all of her homework, which I haven’t done in a while because this is my last semester, and it has been a roller coaster.
Mariah attends Governors Charter Academy and is in the first grade. I am enjoying every bit of helping her with her homework. I think it’s beyond interesting to watch her think and solve problems after explaining and coaching her through it. The best part about it is that we go through the lessons together.

After we do homework, she turns into my little helper with housing tasks that need to be done, including cleaning to keep her active. Because of the virus, we make sure to have our household extra clean on a daily basis. In between those times she is back and forth either playing educational games on her tablet or watching Netflix. She loves Netflix. Her mother is a registered nurse at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and is on the frontline for this pandemic. She is gone from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., so it’s just me and Mariah spending the mornings and early afternoons together until her mother returns.

The only bad thing about this situation for us is that we can’t really have any outside fun. With the weather getting hot, this would be the perfect time to take her to the beach or a waterpark. But of course due to the virus that is all canceled. We usually play games inside like Uno, or my all-time favorite, Guess Who.

My job as a chef at Kool Beanz Cafe is temporarily closed because of the virus, but the closure has put things in perspective for me as a father. I have more time to spend with my daughter and I have been teaching her things that I didn’t learn as a kid. For example, I’ve been teaching her how to cook, nothing major, just breakfast items like eggs and bacon for now. I didn’t learn how to cook until I left for college, so teaching her at an early age will benefit her when she is older.

I say all of that to say this: Sometimes it may take something serious to happen in the world for us to actually appreciate what we have at home and the love and relationships we have connected with one another.

Sometimes we may be moving too fast without any intent on slowing down until something forces us to slow down. COVID-19 has slowed a lot of us down, including myself. It has altered our everyday lives and schedules, but I embrace it and I ask that you try to do the same.