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Moms circle cars in lot, kids roll down windows for coronavirus-safe playdate

Coronavirus playdate

Three moms circles cars outside Lancaster Catholic High School for a safe-distancing playdate for their sons. At left are Nikki Axford with Charlie, 5, and Henry, 8. In center car is Anya Karlesky with Mason, 10, on roof, and Liam, 8. At right is Erin Detwiler with Miles, 8, Kai, 10, on the roof, and Luka, 6. Friday, March 27, 2020.

Schools have been closed for a couple of weeks. Little League was canceled. Playgrounds are off limits.

What’s a mom to do?

Three Manheim Township women on Friday morning got their sons into their cars, met in a parking lot, formed a circle, rolled down windows and let the seven boys catch up at a safe distance.

“It's fun!” said Henry Axford, 8. He quickly added, “It’s kind of outrageous.”

Henry’s mother, Nikki, proposed the rendezvous, and Erin Detwiler and Anya Kalesky were game. They met in the parking lot at Lancaster Catholic High School, near Schaeffer Elementary School, which the boys, ages 5 to 10, attend.

The absurdity of the coronavirus-era play date wasn’t lost on anyone.

“It’s kind of fun because we’re all together,” Kai Detwiler, 10, said, “but we can’t touch each other. We can be on top of (car) roofs.”

Yes, that was a novel departure from normal times.

The moms and boys were glad for any change from the routine that’s starting to set in at home.

“You have something to do for a while” at home, Kai said, “but then you just kind of get bored of doing the same thing over and over.”

Perched on his mom’s car roof, Mason Karlesky, 10, agreed being home is getting old.

“This isn’t like a big vacation,” he said. “This is like we have to do this.”

The women, not currently employed outside of the home, don’t have to balance jobs while being home with children. But they’re concerned about the unknown.

Axford said her husband, a pharmacist, showers as soon as he gets home, and he sleeps in the guest room.

“Otherwise, I would say we’re making the most of it,” she said, “and have the time to enjoy each other.”

Nevertheless, they hope that car-bound play dates will soon be just a memory of the weirdness that was the spring of 2020.


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