Day 2

March 20, 2020

It is my son's 'last' day at school today - for how long we don't know, schools are shutting because of the Coronavirus. He's 12 and this is his first year at Secondary school.  He worries he will not go back again before the summer, that he will have 'lost' the foundations that you build in Year 7.  He feels he is missing out and that he will miss his friends - the excitement of school closing feels muted now, now there is no boundary, no date to return by.  To me it feels as if a safety net has vanished and our son asks if everything is going to be o.k..  And that is another difficult part of all of this - not having the answers, sitting with not knowing and being positive about that, or finding the positive in that.

 

'You have done pizza for tea though haven't you?', he asks, breaking in to my thoughts.

 

I ponder on his ability to gear change through the emotions so quickly, but I know being a teenager in all but birthday numerals isn't easy at the best of times and must be even less so at the moment.  Being cooped up with us, his parents, boomers, 'rents, must be a particularly drastic reality check for him.  I then add to this sense of impending doom by explaining he will be doing school work in the day, not playing on his xbox, and that there will be no youth club or going out to meet up with his friends.  He rolls his eyes and mutters something about going out to socialise being overrated anyway...  I get the sense he is making the point that we shall all be glad he has an xbox now...

 

Later, when he comes home from school, we are all quiet.  It is a strange evening, we can't settle and feel very tired.  He tells us he has packs of work to do that he has brought home, only he seems to be using the word 'we' a lot.  'Not we', I remind him.  'It's your work'.  But he knows we will help.  We always do.  I realise I am glad he does.  We need the familiar, those compass points we navigate by that reassure and make us feel we belong.  But then my resolve is immediately tested when he bellows, 'We are doing the Medieval period in history mum so you will be able to give me a first hand account...'.  He sits on the settee, feet up, ignoring the adoring looks his black Labrador bestows on him as he munches his way through a biscuit - I assume the two aren't connected as far as our dog is concerned.  Oh yes, I remember now, humour.  We need to be able to laugh, most importantly at ourselves and with each other.  I just don't tell him this right now...

 

 

 

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