Since the final Diary of a Lockdown post, I think I’ve managed to cover the bit where we moved house (right after extra lockdown restrictions were imposed, cancelling our childcare!); the bit where we went on holiday, (right in time for the restrictions to be lifted, meaning we could see my side of the family); the bit where I went a bit mental in public and the bit where the government imposed a “rule of 6.“
In response to that last one, I dashed to the North East with one child in tow, as my parents could no longer come and stay for his birthday as planned. I had a little meltdown on the way, (as described in my previous post), but felt all the better for seeing the sea!
All of which was just as well really, as the North East was put into full social lockdown four days later- with 2 hours notice! So they wouldn’t have been able to come anyway; except in that situation, we wouldn’t have been able to tell The Boy this news until his actual birthday… so that was a small mercy.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and Husband’s parents came up to visit. It was the first time seeing them since Christmas and by this point, the Rule of 6 was in full force. Therefore, they stayed in a hotel (as opposed to the brand new guest room, with the freshly delivered brand new mattresses, just sitting laughing at me and my false hopes of hospitality!) We actually had a timetable for their visit, based on who was due to be in the house at different parts of the day- crossing like silly sheep-shaped ships in the night, as our rigid law-abidance demanded a one-in-one-out system!
The way it went, the children were at school and Husband was in his office during the day, so I would see them during this time, before picking the children up and heading out at tea time. Of course, I had a ton of ideas about all of the many exciting things I was going to do with my strangely extended child-free evenings! I packed a bag with novels, journals, a camera and an iPad… deciding at one point that I was definitely heading to the beach, and at another that I was definitely going to sit in a cinema by myself watching something called “The Broken Hearts Gallery.” (Because THAT wouldn’t be at all sad or embarrassing!) In the end, however, I just sat in my car while Husband delivered my tea through the window!
Daytimes with his folks were lovely; I am really very blessed in the in-law department. However, by Friday morning, we were receiving reports that a full social lockdown was heading our way too. Which it did – from midnight that night. And so his parents said goodbye and headed straight home on Saturday morning. It only shaved a few hours off the visit, and we acknowledge that we were very fortunate we got to see them at all; but the “see you in October” farewell felt a bit unrealistic to all of us. I fully deflated when they left and the weekend was a bit of a washout. (By which I mean that I moped about either crying or sleeping… until the Eldest coaxed me out of bed with my wedding dress, resurrected on its slow way to the loft! I mean, do I sound Miss Haversham enough for you yet?!)
So. That was last week. And this week… restrictions are getting tighter still. I mean, no the wonder we don’t know what to do with ourselves, hey?! Full lockdown, from March to July, felt momentous. A piece of history; a sleeves-rolled-up, let’s-do-this-together kind of happening. The easing of it felt at first too quick, and then a bit of a relief – we can see our families now. We can start to reform community. We can plan ahead. The worst bit is done and do you know what, it’s been a blessing in disguise!
To go back from that, however… and then forward, then back, then forward, and then back again … is a strain on even the most robust mental state, if you ask me. The inability to look forward to anything- especially where key relationships are concerned- because of the likelihood that they will be illegal by the time they come around, is also somewhat depressing. (As is the idea of catching and spreading the virus and inciting more tragic statistics, of course; but nobody actually wants to dwell on that.)
So… it’s no wonder we’re all over the place. I don’t know about anyone else, but as an over-thinker and a notorious planner, I find myself just swinging from one obsession to the next, with more intensity than is healthy and a less than firm grip on my rope! Last week, for instance, I spent a small fortune in the zero-waste refill shop- including, I realised later, eight whole British pounds on a tiny pot of loose leaf tea that wasn’t even caffeinated! What was I thinking?! This week, I found Husband’s secret stash of plastic-clad chocolate in the car and positively fumed with eco piety.
Then had to buy him some more.
Because I ate it all. In ten minutes.
Then ate half of that too.
Last week I drew up hefty plans to cut our carbon footprint. This week, I renewed my passport. Just in case we can’t visit the in-laws as planned but can blow all our savings on a next-day trip abroad instead! (I mean those flights are going anyway right?!)
I am quite possibly losing my marbles.
But on a positive note, the Bible in a Year is going excellently. As I wrote in my previous post, I have set about to rediscover my faith in salvation and restore some missing pieces, through reading the whole Bible again- with an online ‘small group’ of eighteen other people as it goes! (Sometimes, Facebook rants do have up-sides, it would seem!) We have read Genesis 1-40, so far, and as someone else pointed out, it does grip like a Netflix drama! In particular, I love how the Bible doesn’t shy away from the dark side of humanity… even with its big names and very beginnings. These people and these families were really, really messed up. “There’s nothing new under the sun!” commented another reader. Yet God was still there, still with them; speaking not only to His chosen few, but to oppressed slave women and servants and sinners. His story is told through very relatable people, in very relatable ways… and so I have hope enough that it still is.
Keeping with the positivity; life with the kids is a whole new level of wonderful. I love that the older two are in school as they are happy and thriving. I don’t miss them, but I do get really excited when I see them run out smiling at the end of the day! Especially since one gift of post lockdown life is that, without all of the groups and Church commitments running, we have settled in a lovely routine around school- you know, like normal people. We walk and scoot the 30 minute journey; they play, we have tea, we do reading and homework and then watch something before bed (which Husband is generally still around for). It’s a peacefulness that was certainly unfamiliar to me this time last year!
Of course, day times are slower still, with just the Youngest at home. We do one or two classes that have re-opened, but generally we just potter.
This is all kinds of lovely and precious and treasured… but also admittedly odd for a woman who is not only used to living in community, but is also used to a project or six! One day I’m in a full-sized Princess dress, sipping pretend tea and wishing this phase would never end… the next I’m wondering if it really is about time I got a job?!
None of it matters, as I do have one eye on the phone, expecting a call from the school sending the other two home any minute! We all know it’s going to happen eventually...
So… there you go. I think we are caught up!
Welcome back to Starsinclayjars take on 2020…
What a year so far, hey?! I wonder what on Earth the next three months will bring…
Thanks for following 🙂