It's been a changeable week. Small scale ups and downs of productivity and inaction. As a family we are slowly adjusting to the altered rhythms of our lives. We are lucky enough to have had no illness, no big dramas, no financial ruin, no huge anxieties. My extended family are nearly all neighbours. I feel lucky to have brief social moments over hedges, through car windows and across gardens. Not everyone has such opportunity for such connections at the moment. But it's still an awfully large shift in consciousness. This is actually end of term Friday for us all, but we've not felt the usual feelings it brings.
I've always had a joke with my favourite cousin about 'keeping it shallow' as a way of approaching life. It seems that we are good at that here. We've invested energy in dying hair, laughing at the dye splatters on the floor and on the youngest child's face, where I've not been such an excellent hairdresser. We share jokes, and dinner daily, teasing each other gently. And we giggle whilst we send the silliest videos and giffs to our favourite people. I realise I've stopped watching the news and even reading my favourite newspaper. I used to spend time skimming the news and features, as part of my morning routine, but it's not doing it for me just now.
The boy and I read the government's guidance of A-level exam assessments. As he had expected. He's not too concerned. I'm pleased that he's worked like a trojan since the age of 7. It should stand him in good stead. He's learned about tractor driving, shovelling sh*t, fencing and loft insulation clearing this week. That should be a start of some real life skills to be developing in the next few months. I wonder if the young people will rethink what kind of jobs and careers they might want to do in the future? He did send me a link about F1 teams working to develop and build ventilators, so hopefully he's still inspired to study engineering.
The girls continue to keep it really shallow. Waking by early to mid afternoon. Feeding, watching and occasionally working. I had a giggle when I received an email from the school to say how well they were both working remotely and that they should be congratulated. I'm a bit perplexed about the different viewpoints about 'working' that teachers and parents have in this detached new world. I shared it with the girls anyway. They took it as a nod to the success of their strict lazing around and sleeping routines. They then ate all the food in the cupboards and drank all the drinks.
I ventured out for supplies. I dropped a bag of onions all over the floor and bumped into one of the kids mates. He picked up the onions with me. He's happily working in the supermarket, doing as many extra shifts he can since the cancellation of A-levels.
I spotted my bestest friend ever in the car park on the way out. We parked in adjacent bays and caught up through the car windows. Observing the 2m distancing rule. What a treat! It seemed our happy coincidence was bit like a covert spy mission to catch up and socialise. I came away with a smile and a plan to have a 'house party' with her and some others for my impending birthday.
School work was a series of online meetings,which'll take some adjusting to. There were no children to educate today, so we all worked from home. I think it's clear we all miss each other and all of our lovely classes a lot more than we'd have thought. The end of term feeling hasn't come for us. We're setting work and meeting every week online. We are sharing ideas of how to connect with and support our children, particularly the most vulnerable of them.
I've talked long distance boyfriend woes with my daughter. Both of our favourite people are far, far away in Spain. There's not even an inkling of an idea about when we will all meet again. The skies are silent. The girl and I have kept it shallow with 'poor me' bantering "...I saw him 4 weeks ago....well I haven't seen him for over 6 weeks..." Her boyfriend visited in March. He then had one day at home before Spain locked down. I tell her that was lucky. It passes the time, but leaves us both with a touch of sadness of unknown future plans, but an understanding of each other too. It gives me a connection, more than our interest in binge watching, with my teenage daughter.
The clouds are gone again and I take a moment in the garden with my raspberry beer. The sunset creates such amazing light and shadows on the landscape at this time of day. And I take joy in all the flowers I have this Friday in my garden.