We are in the midst of compulsory school closures and are now heading into week 5. As a school, we have gone from one end of the spectrum, to the other, seemingly over night. From a busy, bustling community of humans- big ones, little ones and the in between ones, to a deathly quiet campus and students learning from home. As a family, like many others in our community, this virus has spun our normal lives into disarray. Its been hugely challenging, these past few weeks, as my 9 year old, my 6 year old and I have navigated more change, more uncertainty and tried to come to terms with yet another new normal in our already shaken lives.
‘School’ days at home look and feel so very different from what the children are used to- their normal routined, action packed and scheduled lives now calmer, fluid and less rushed. While I am at work, they have a go at their tasks, not really paying attention the carefully created schedules and activity sheets drawn up and blu tac’d to various surfaces. They play with friends and go on play dates and spend so much time with each other. Their movements are planned and organised in advance and carefully monitored by the watchful gaze of dear Ms. Hang.
Earlier today, as our Sunday afternoon drew to a close, the door bell rang. I made a move to get up, when my usually shy and tentative 9 year old jumped up to open the door. Her sweet friend, from about three blocks away, was at our gate. My daughter looked up at me and said, “Can we go out to play, Mum, just to the park?”. “Of course” I said, feigning casualness. Before I knew it, she was off, with her brother trailing behind her, skipping down our street, her friend in tow. I stood there for a minute, blinking back a tear and fighting the urge to follow her. She didn’t look back, didn’t need me to help her cross the street, didn’t need the usual reassuring smile, urging her to be brave enough to try something new. Over the last 4 weeks, our children, unable to go to school, have forged deeper friendships, found different routines and discovered new ways of being together. Somewhere in the midst of that, my daughter has found safety and security.
That is my silver lining, in the midst of all the uncertainty and stress. A renewed sense of community, a deep sense of gratitude and most of all a sense of love and pride for my little girl who is discovering a newfound confidence. This mama’s heart is tight with emotion watching her little one grow up. It is everything I want for her and yet heartbreaking at the same time.
They say every terrible experience comes with a silver lining, one just has to look. Its all about perspective, they say. Maybe, just maybe, they are right.