Re-emerging with Lessons from Lockdown

I won’t pretend this whole lockdown has been easy.

I haven’t even managed to finish my lockdown diary that I started. I might, sometime. Or not.

We’ve re-emerged from the cocoons we built ourselves and our families. We built them to hold us tight together, and to keep us apart.

We look different, we’re wearing masks, we’re more tanned and we have a lot more hair. We feel different. We’re not sure how to feel and every single interaction is socially awkward. Standing back when we used to go in for the hug. We can go places but we need to add “mask” to the “keys, phone wallet” checklist as we go out the door. We can go places now, but not everywhere because some places haven’t reopened. Spontaneity is gone, we need to guess today what time we want to eat dinner on Thursday if we’re going out. A browse in the shops results in

There are bits of lockdown that we will treasure. The time not lost to commuting. The time not spent at activities. The time not spent learning spellings. The time showing the kids how to boil an egg, or how to make soup.

There are bits that we are glad to bid farewell to, the homeschooling, the Zoom meeting urgent interruptions to tell who had elbowed who or to ask for another snack. The missing family and the closing in.

But we used the time, just not to learn a language or paint. We didn’t do a garden project or redecorate the entire house.

We worked through, the kids at school work, my husband and I at work-work except we shared a home office. We realised quite unexpectedly that  we are BOTH married to the most annoying and loudest person in the office, what were the odds?

The kids though, they’ve just gotten through this so remarkably. They’ve adapted. They’ve enjoyed (much) additional screen time and additional trampoline time. They’ve worked on hurling skills and made all sorts of creations from paper and a lot of glue. They’ve made slime and made dinner, made messes and made protests when asked to tidy them up.

They’ve re-emerged to society now at GAA training and gymnastics, embracing the new ways of doing things and so glad to see people their own age that they are not related to. They were sick of the sight of each other and vocal about it.

Yet they have gotten closer during this time, not by choice. The smaller two run around the garden trying to fish creatures out of our (inherited and very smelly) garden pond. They swing on the rope swing that I deemed an essential purchase in Lidl on one of my midweek bread and milk runs.

The older two play hurling in between fights over whose turn it is on the rebounder, and shout instructions at each other over mics on Fortnite despite sitting in the same room.

The three together sit on the couch watching Captain Underpants laughing so loudly it wakes me. in the morning. It’s lovely. Until someone puts their foot to close to someone else’s random other bodypart and then the volume increases and it might as well be Fortnite for the shouting.

That’s lockdown life for you.

That’s life for you.

Ups and downs.

Lockdown or not, we need our space, be it on the couch, in the office or in our brains. As we re-emerge (before our next “I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-a-full-lockdown-type local lockdown event) we remember that we need to close that door sometimes too, without being told to and without minding.

Lockdown life wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t all good either.


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