This morning, it really hit me. This lockdown situation is rubbish but it REALLY hit me today just how much our lives have changed in 8 weeks. And as I stood in there wondering what the future holds, I also thought about everything we have missed out on. Fortunately my two children are too young to really understand right now and probably won't even remember it when they are older, but I decided to write them a letter. About everything we would have done. Could have done. Should have done. I needed to write it for my own piece of mind that one day I can explain to them why I was a mum who didn't take them out. I know others will be feeling the same way so I thought I would share it with you.
To my gorgeous children,
I'm sorry. You should not have had to live through the disaster that we are living through. You are so young and have everything to look forward to. You should be out running along the beach, feeling the sand between your toes, climbing trees, learning to ride a bike, seeing friends and family, having picnics in the park and feeling that fresh breeze on your cheeks. But it has all been torn from us. Sitting here now writing this, I can only imagine what you are truly thinking.
'Why are we so boring now? We don't do anything other than stay home. We used to go to the zoo once a week, to the cafe for lunch every few days or pop into town for a hot chocolate. We would visit the aquarium, go to our beach hut for the day, go to granny and grandad's place and see nanny every day. We haven't done that for ages. Why can't we go out. I don't want to walk around the block anymore. I want to go and feed the squirrels and play hide and seek in the trees. Like we used to mummy. I want to see my friends and laugh and shout at the top of our voices. We love being at home with you but we want to go out too. We have spent so long inside. The sun is out and it is warmer now so why aren't we going out? Please mummy, let's do something different again...like we used to.'
My children, how I wish we could. I am not the boring mummy I have become. I so want to take you outside to all the places we used to go. I too am yearning to be free again. I too feel cramped up inside 4 walls and can see no light of getting out soon. I too want to spend hours on the beach watching you smile and run and laugh by the sea. I miss the animals, the familiar paths we walked endlessly. Only now I wish I had never ever complained about the repetition of you wanting to visit the same places day in, day out.
How I long for a hot chocolate made by someone else as we chat and sing together. I miss getting in the car and wonder if I will even remember how to drive! I too am fed up of seeing our house, on a constant conveyor belt of eat, play, tidy, sleep, repeat. I no longer want to be an adult with the responsibility of knowing how horrendous this all is. I only wish to have the innocence of a child your age where you don't truly understand the danger...'
Then I stopped writing and thought about it. About what my children are actually thinking about right now.
'Mummy, we are so excited to have daddy home nearly every day. We know he has to go off to the office to work and we need to be quiet but just to have him here makes us happy. We love how inventive your games have become, we have never used our toys so much before. We love our picnics in the garden and our camp outs over night in the lounge...why didn't we do this before? We love our snuggles on the sofa watching our favourite films on repeat, with your arms around us. You always make every hot chocolate special with cream and marshmallows, just like they do at the cafe. Mummy, have you seen we can pedal our trikes now all by ourselves where we have been on so many walks around the block. We know which parts we can do on our own and which hills we need your help with. We miss seeing the animals and feeding the squirrels but have you seen how many birds come to visit us in the garden and the bugs and butterflies that are around. We never noticed them before. We even get to see our family every day rather than just once a week. We love you mummy and whilst we don't truly understand what is happening in the world, you are our world and its perfect for us.'
So I decided to end my letter like this...
'But I am your mummy and my job is to protect you from the danger. One day, everything will be open again and we will be free to roam the places we used to. But for now I will keep you safe in my arms; in our home. You are still so young and have everything to look forward to. You will be out running on the beaches again very soon, feeling the sand under your feet. You will be a pro on your trike and soon move to a bike, you will run and hug your family like you have never done before. We will have so many picnics in the park whenever it is sunny. We will never complain about the repetitiveness of your requests to go to the zoo. For now I will keep you safe, but one day...we will go out again.'