One week ago today, I awoke to an e-mail from my daughter’s primary school, saying that the school may not reopen on Wednesday as planned. When we were on lockdown last spring, hours of the day had been consumed with my littlest one’s education and I inwardly groaned. That wasn’t how I had envisioned the next week or two, but it hadn’t yet been decided, so there was hope that she would go back as planned. I was picking up a “click and collect” order of a new school uniform jumper (sweater) for my son, because he has this new habit of outgrowing everything in a few months. The woman at the till was quite chatty and mentioned that Boris Johnson had yet another announcement that night.
“Who knows what he is going to say, but I won’t be surprised if we are in full lockdown again,” she said with wide eyes.
I wandered into my favorite clothing store on my way home, not because I needed a thing, but just to browse, because I still could. I also stopped and bought toilet paper. . .
That evening, I watched the announcement alone in my living room while the rest of my family occupied themselves with other things. Sure enough, we were going back into lockdown and all schools would be closed until at least the 22nd of February. I know that it is needful, but it felt like too much. Everything was going to change drastically for the next two months, and it was too little notice.
I had to laugh at a very British meme that was promptly posted that evening: “Monday, you have excelled yourself.” Indeed.
When my kids were toddlers, I had a friend who was always giving her tiny kids all kinds of warnings of a change of scene; the end of a playtime, nap time coming, etc. “It helps with the tantrums. I would throw a fit too, if someone suddenly told me I had to stop doing what I had been enjoying and do something else.” She had a point. The sentiments of my heart for the next few days resembled that of a toddler throwing a tantrum. Please note I didn’t throw a tantrum, but that is what I felt like doing. When control is taken away and everything changes with no notice, I totter close to the line of toddler.
The week progressed and it felt like the wheels continued falling off our wagon:
Virtual school had moments that seemed virtually impossible. There were lots of tears.
Teenagers are close enough to being adults to feel also like toddlers losing all of their control, which made for some interactions which were not my favorite parenting moments.
Wednesday manifested great division in the land that I love, but where I don’t get to live and those newsreels felt hard. My sweet daughter’s birthday was also on Wednesday. The only excitement we could offer her were favorite foods and a game of badminton in the garden. She and I got to watch Bethany Hamilton’s documentary, Unstoppable, on Netfix, which was a highlight of the week. She was such a champ and truly had a great lockdown birthday.
On Friday, they forecasted snow for the entire day! “Yes!” I thought. “Real fun to offer these poor kids. We can sled for our outdoor exercise and have a ball.” I even ordered an inflatable snow tube on Amazon Prime. We had, perhaps, two flakes. There was no enormous fun on Friday.
There is a new bagel/donut shop in town. On Saturday, we waited in line for 35 minutes in the cold for them to sell out before we got to the front.
Saturday also brought news of how bad COVID-19 has gotten in our area and the decision to take church to online only was made late in the afternoon, which led to a late night of video editing and uploading on internet that is not the greatest, because our house is older than the aforementioned land that I love.
On Sunday, I just ached to go to church. I miss those people and the normal we all used to enjoy.
And so, here I am, a week into lockdown #3 for the UK and it has been shakier than where I want to continue to live. Something that led to stability and strength for me during the end of 2020 was that I read, reflected, and wrote about one Psalm a day on Instagram. I hope that others found it uplifting, but it doesn’t matter, it breathed life, hope and joy into my soul. I will never not read a Psalm a day from here on out, but I would like to cover some fresh territory through this winter lockdown. So, starting tomorrow, I will be “standing on the promises.” Each day of UK Lockdown 3.0, I will read, reflect and write about a promise that God has made on Instagram. You can join me here: https://www.instagram.com/amymullens/