Big Beauty Tuesday: My Mother, My Quarantine Buddy

Maiysha Kai
·2 min read

Tell the truth: Could you peacefully quarantine with one of your parents? Maybe you already are—after all, the last year has had pretty much everyone reevaluating their living conditions and life, in general. For some, that’s meant leaving big cities, crowded apartments, overpriced rents, and otherwise suddenly untenable situations to return to the family home for a much-needed regroup, financially and/or emotionally. For others, that’s meant moving closer to family after a year that has reminded us exactly how precious those bonds are.

As The Root’s resident trend-watcher, I guess one could therefore say I was well ahead of the curve when I made the somewhat abrupt decision in 2017 to pack up my two-decades-plus life in Brooklyn and return to Chicago, eager to see what my one-time hometown had to offer. My reasons were multifold—including New York burnout and a long-distance romance (which quickly burned out in close proximity). But amid all the chaos and near mid-life crisis, there was one grounding cord: my mom.

Read more

Truthfully, I wasn’t even sure I wasn’t going to stay in Chicago—especially when I became an editor at The Root six months after departing New York (where our parent company is based). This likely explains why I wasn’t that pressed about putting down roots and getting my own place—especially given the fact that I was traveling back and forth so often those first couple of years. (Plus, the contrast between supporting myself solo in New York and splitting living expenses in Chicago? Priceless.) Call it prescience, but something told me to hang in there with Mom, even upgrading to a significantly bigger apartment (with separate spaces and entrances—woot-woot!). After all, she’s a pretty great roommate—and, as a veteran journalist, also my mentor. (I truly do get it from my mama). Plus, it was just temporary, right?

And the gods laughed...and a global pandemic hit.

Now, I’ve been grown a long time, but I’m not sure what the past year and change would’ve looked like without my mom close by. During the most difficult year most of us will ever face, she has been my quarantine companion, comrade, comfort and pure comedy, and I have never been more grateful to have the relationship we do. It may not have been the plan to share a home with my mother at this stage of life, but I know I’ll never regret it. So, as another Mother’s Day in quarantine nears, this one goes out to my mom and all the others who’ve held it down this past year...because you’re magic.

(Video production by Max Jean-Louis)