Hold on

So I’ve really struggled finding words to write. I have a couple of silly topics tumbling around in my head but my mood has just not let me find the right words. This blogging took me by surprise this year. I’ve discovered I really enjoy writing. I know some of it is nonsense. A lot of it probably. Rich’s probably quite relieved for the temporary reprieve for his ears. But it’s really surprised me how cathartic it is. Even if it’s nonsense. Even if nobody reads it. Better out than in as they say, (although in our house, that term usually refers to farts and I often strongly dispute that argument). Maybe it applies to my writing too.

Writing has been a way of managing my time. I try and think of a topic and spend a couple of days just thinking about what I’ll write before sitting down on a Monday at the computer. These last couple of weeks, the ideas have been there but the words just wouldn’t come. Nothing sounded right. I was gutted. I just couldn’t do it. Then today, knowing that I’m really missing writing I decided to think about what I do care about at the minute-may be that way, I could find some words….

Hold on…here goes nothing….

So the boys are getting older and despite my over protective need to be there for them, they don’t appear to need me like they did in previous summers. I remember the times when they were younger that I felt I was losing myself. I never seemed to have time to do anything for me. Maybe that was my own doing: poor time management or whatever. The times I would have given anything just to go around Sainsburys on my own. But as a working mum, it was quite rightly, always the kids and work that were prioritized. In fairness, those still are my priorities but like I said, the buggars are growing increasingly independent and Covid and summer have temporarily relieved me of work pressures. So here I am. Summer will end and my boys will continue in their unintentional mission to leave me. But I don’t say that in a morose kind of way. I’m holding on…

I say it to give myself hope. When the boys were little, times seemed hard. Times often were hard. But we got through it. These days, I’d give anything to have them come with me to the store. In fact, often it’s a Starbucks bribe. These days, it’s the extra few minutes in the car journey where they tell me about their random thoughts. It’s going round the store and finding out what food they really love and how their friends’ mom makes a different kind of pasta that might be nice to try. Losing them in the toy aisle as they’ve still not quite left that part of childhood behind…has anyone? I love watching them grow up. Every age we’ve entered seems to be my new favourite: them learning to smile, to walk, to talk (a few regrets there maybe). Learning how to make friends. Just simply learning how to be. Maybe I’ll review that with the teenage years…where on earth do they learn them eye rolls- I sincerely could have happily done without them learning those! But I realize as I share these moments now, they are worth all the trials we went through to get here. They allow me to see the crack of bright blue sky following the rain. That same rain that makes the flowers bloom. And as I try to hold on to the past and present, I know there are moments waiting for me in the future that will make me smile heartily and beam with pride so I’ll hold on for those….

But what about school? It’s just been delayed by another 3 weeks. The kids’ll have been out of school for at least 6 months. We have to do home school again because the number of cases of covid in our area means they’ll don’t feel it’s safe to be in a class room. Home school for one of my boys was fine but the other struggled. Is this going to happen again? I also have to work. I’m holding on so tight for this one. I know I don’t know when this is going to end.

What I do know, however is that the teachers last year probably have never worked as hard as they did last spring to make sure our kids were able to participate and feel safe. I know that they have probably spent all summer worrying what this semester is going to look like and how they are going to provide the best possible education given these incredible circumstances. Many a sleepless night I expect. I know they’ve had meetings they’re not getting paid for and text chats trying to work out how on earth they’re going to be the best teachers they can be for our kids. For their kids too. I know this year may not go as planned for my boys and goals may not be met. But years can be repeated-school years, that is…not 2020, please no repetition of 2020 ever! But by staying home, I know they’ll be safe so I’m holding on to that.

And then there’s work…I miss it. I miss working with the kids every day and seeing them overcome challenges. I was really lucky to work with such great kids. They taught me so much. Corny, I know, but true nonetheless. When we left for Spring Break, I never imagined I wouldn’t see them again. I won’t get to see them rise to new challenges and smash them. Knowing that each week we do virtual school is a week they’re not working on their goals, gaining the skills they need for whatever independence looks like for them, is heartbreaking.

But I know they’re going back at some point. I know there’s a team who’s missed them and can’t wait to sit next to them and get them back on track. And I know eventually I’m going back to a new classroom where there’ll be new friends for me to make. I’m excited I’ll get to see new faces smile when they achieve a target (whether it’s an academic one or me-I’m sure I’ll learn there are different missiles to dodge in junior high). I’ll get to come home and regale my hubby with what “my kids” got up to and he’ll have to double check again if I’m referring to my kids at home or my kids at work because that’s given him trouble before. . I’m gonna hold on for that…

Finally I’m holding on for those hugs we’ve missed this year. Plans we made with friends and family that had to be shelved. Celebrations we’ve missed. But, then I think of the new ways we’ve learned to make connections. The Zoom calls, messenger chats and face times we’ve enjoyed being part of. Rich did wonder if he needed to call the police the first time I enthusiastically told him we took part in a drive by. All the crying through the worries we’ve shared but also, the crying with laughter through the jokes we’ve shared too. Watching people around the world come together in the worst of times to sing a song or clap for essential workers.

Admittedly, it’s all been quite surreal. This has been the strangest of times, the most worrying and confusing of times. All I know is that when we are able to hug again, hug we shall and I will definitely be holding on and I’m not convinced I’ll ever let go!

Hold on with me…

The beautiful bright sky after the storm passed