Who would have thought as we welcomed in the New Year that this is what we were about to be in for! What a year it has been…..
As a family we are 2 children of school age and a husband who works in London. I was fully booked with Bluebell shoots in April and had Newborn and family sessions booked in. Then the world shut down and we found ourselves having to adapt to something no one really knew how to handle. People started to show their true colours, some for the better, some sadly for the worst. Toilet paper and pasta became more valuable then gold and shelves lay bare.
Like millions of others we started out hugely positive although very unsure. We had timetables for the kids, starting the day right with Joe Wicks, followed by a variety of activities from English and Maths to learning about the world around us and getting creative. The enthusiasm lasted a few weeks before reality hit and I cried…hard. I missed my old life, I missed my friends, I missed a quiet house with time to think. Podcasts and walks on my own early in the morning became my saviour. It’s not that I didn’t love the slower pace of life, having the kids around and feeling relaxed. Matt was suddenly here for breakfast and dinner rather then commuting on a train to London which was incredible. My unease came from the growing sense of uncertainty. A world which no longer looked or felt like anything I had known.
As the weeks past I found myself chatting to the neighbours. People I had over the last 7years only managed a rushed wave with….good people. We started to develop a little support network for each other and a new community was born. Some of these people I am pleased to say will be friends for life. Good eggs that without this crazy Covid I would never have stopped to say hello to. That’s the sad part of normal life, we very rarely have time to stop and look around us, like really look around.
As the weeks progressed we found our groove and the kids stopped asking to go places and hang out with friends. They found each other which made my heart swell. In a time of need they strengthened one of the most important relationships they will ever have in their life.
Tik Tok dances, Zoom calls, Sussex walks, cooking, it all became life. THANK GOODNESS for the weather!!! (Anyone that knows me knows that I neeeeeeed sunshine on my face.)
My heart hurt daily for my family of which some were alone and spread around the world, but we got into the routine of regular calls and Facetimes, part of our new daily life. Izzy had a lockdown birthday which I was really worried about on the run up to, however it turned out to be ‘the best birthday ever’ in her words. So many friends popped by and waved from the end of the drive throughout the day. We had cake on Zoom with family, party games with friends on Zoom and then in the evening a movie night in the garden, just the 4 us with enough sweets to cover our sugar allowance for the year. A really special evening.
The home school weeks began to drag. No one was motivated or interested anymore and surviving became the only thing on the daily timetable. Thankfully the summer holidays arrived! Home schooling was over and we could start to see friends out and about from a distance. The holidays felt like a breeze and the 6 weeks flew by.
Back to school came, Izzy skipped back and into Year3. I could not have been prouder. This little person who had her whole life turned upside down overnight just walked back into her ‘normal life’. One week later Harry started school and following the footsteps of his big sister he walked in head held high.
That morning I cried…I cried a lot. I cried for the end of a phase in our life where I had children at home daily, I cried for the ending of a period of time where reflection was impossible to avoid. I cried because I felt an overwhelming sense of relief that there was once again some normal and routine, I cried because my children were happy and with their friends once again, I cried because who knows how long it will last, I cried because our bubble of 4 had popped and I didn’t know if I was really ready.
I tried to document our time in Lockdown through photos, it was fun to do and gave me a project to focus on. I also documented so many wonderful people on their doorsteps over a few months. Next week I will share more on this and the wonderful cause I did it for.
We are not through this and have a long way to go with a lot of uncertainty to come, but all I hope is people sit up and listen to the message our world is trying to send us.