Never written a blog before….so here goes…be kind!
Covid Bloody 19 – stealing loved ones to meet their maker far sooner than they or their families imagined, robbing the world of any day to day normality, businesses small and large struggling and likely to go under. Our NHS and everyone in it has never been more valuable than it is today and we thank the then health minister Nye Bevin, who in 1948 created a national health service based on need rather than ability to pay.
On the one side death, doom and gloom and on the other getting to spend quality time at home, chilling, taking up new at home hobbies, completing long overdue diy projects – both indoors and outdoors, watching far too much Netflix, drinking copious amounts of booze and experimenting with new found cooking skills on the non essential items lurking at the back of the kitchen cupboard; have found us evaluating just what our ‘old’ lives were about and how some of this ‘new me’ can be sustained once the world is back to normal.
We are learning, I believe, a lot more about ourselves….our resilience, our caring for others, our innovations and that typical what some love to call British Spirit of just getting on with what is thrown at us.
Me moaning about not being able to get that special hug from grandchildren seems quite trivial under the tragic circumstances fellow humans are suffering but its personal and real to me.
I love the way my grandsons….by the way did I tell you I have four beautiful, funny, adventurous grandkids – Tyler 10 or very nearly!, Jenson 8, Maxwell 6 and Rocco – 16 months……who ask me how I am today. (Well Rocco doesn’t he just sort of grunts, he can do flappy chicken bye bye waves though).
I ask – What have you been doing today?….not much is the general response… when in reality they have somehow managed to squeeze in life skills such as self control and focus; new challenges, ideas and solutions; alternative communication; routine and discipline; show kindness and sharing; resolve conflict (sometimes!) and of course gained lots more confidence.
I’m still seeing my grandchildren but of course through social distancing – through the front room window, on a walk where the scrabbling for exposure on the window ledge often results in a fist thump or two in the initial first few minutes of a visit. If they have been allowed time on their computer then I’m blown out and it’s a quick hi nana lol. It’s enough however and I will leave to go home contented.
We facetime and I get lots of pictures from their creative sessions – I’ve my rainbow in my kitchen window and I’ve delivered their cards and rainbow pics to their great grandmother. They aren’t into story time reading but love being outdoors and completing physical activities. Football, cycling, skateboarding, swimming. They have their own individual interests but share a huge interest in Lego and all are able to create amazing structures and not by following what I consider to be the difficult instruction booklets.
My only guilt is not being able to help out their mum and dad. Not being able to say I’ll take one or two off your hands for a few hours – for my sanity and health I’d never take all four boys out at the same time! Four boys to keep under control 24/7 is a mammoth task. Even with two parents. There’ll be those who are single parents who are in the same boat and I commend you entirely.
They’ve all been creating new spaces in the garden to grow their own vegetables and I look forward to some delicious surprises when lockdown is finally over. Just last night I recognised some fruit bushes which are inherited in their new home and there’s quite a few, so an abundance of soft fruit is anticipated during the summer and some tasty pudding recipes will be rooted out in readiness for any surplus supply.
The lack of physical contact with my grandchildren so far hasn’t been crippling and I love being able to supply them with a particular something that they need to help them with a task or project. I feel like that’s a meaningful contribution to their day and the expectation that I will deliver what they have asked for means the task of coming up with the right goods, all the more challenging.
I’m remembering trips to our local cemetery – morbid yes you may think but it has those great sprawling trees that the boys love to climb and they gather large wind fallen branch debris to lay on their late grandad Frank’s grave. Frank only met Tyler for a short few months but I know he would be so proud of all of the boys and their mum and dad. Not sure he’d have been their favourite grandad as his bark was worse than his bite but I know for sure they’d have learnt how to swear from him!
I’m also remembering family holidays to Center Parcs – a favourite in any season for us all, cosy Saturday nights in at Nana’s with picnic type suppers and treats that mum would scowl at. Pottering in my yarden, making bug and insect houses, planting bulbs and small plants that we can see growing together and just those cuddles at bedtime that make your heart sing and give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
I’m sort of lucky I suppose that I’m still at full time work so that’s keeping my head very busy but I do look forward to the time when I’ll be exhausted once more. We’ve a lockdown birthday to organise for Tyler – its going to be a birthday he will definitely remember and we’ve planned lots so that he will. Hoping for a day of surprise and laughter……cake, cake and more cake……a few party games and for Nana…….a celebratory glass of wine or too that the corona is hopefully on its way to doing one!
Wrote by Grandma Karen Klein