Thursday 19 March 2020

Covid-19 Diaries - Lockdown Day 5

It was fathers' day today in Spain. I felt terrible when I realised I'd done nothing for it. My husband hadn't forgotten. He'd got out of bed first when he'd heard Sol wake up and she had rewarded his enthusiasm by crying extra loudly for MAAAMI MAAAMI.

Maybe I should have got Sol to make a card with some glitter or pasta glued onto it. Thing is I'd been looking ahead at other dates. My Mum's birthday on 21st March, for instance. She'd had a flight booked to come over and I'd been so excited because I haven't seen her since November. Cancelled, of course.  

Then after her birthday, we had been planning a special party for my husband's 40th at the beginning of April. Cancelled, too.

All these important birthdays, coupled with a pandemic and not being able to leave the flat... well, I hadn't been in the right frame of mind to remember fathers' day.

Even once I realised, I didn't do anything about it. Getting some work done is critical at the moment and I was struggling. My current assignment is writing place guides about places I can't visit. I need information about restaurants, shops, sight-seeing... I want to get into my car and drive over to these places and soak up the atmosphere. Instead I hunt for information online until my head hurts or track down friends of friends who live there.  

Mid morning I emerged from my office feeling frustrated with my lack of progress. I found my husband on the living room floor beside a new homemade toy. He had transformed a cardboard box into a series of animals with cut out mouths. My daughter was feeding them with food he'd drawn on pieces of paper. There were grapes, oranges and a banana. "They're all vegetarian," my husband informed me, before turning to our little daughter, "give the Mem-Mem a grape, go on!" (A Mem-mem is a frog. We have no idea why. ) 

I hope my hug transmitted to him this: I THINK YOU'RE AN INCREDIBLE FATHER TO OUR DAUGHTER AND YOU TOTALLY DESERVE A CARD WITH PASTA GLUED ONTO IT -  and next year, providing there's no pandemic, we will do a better job of celebrating it.  

And how can I not mention my own Dad in this post? My wonderful, eccentric, creative, deep-thinking, ever-surprising father, who I don't talk to half as much as I should. 

He's in London and has been self-isolating alongside my Mum for over a week. He hasn't stopped for a second. In the last picture mum sent us he was painting the kitchen ceiling.  "If he falls off the ladder, you'll have to treat him," my brother told my mum, "no hospitals!"

My Dad's celebrating a very big birthday in August and there's going to be a family reunion in a village in Catalunya. I hope so, anyway. I like to think of us all together around a long wooden table looking back at this time. "That was crazy, wasn't it?" we'll say, "but we managed it."

We'll share stories of what we felt during this lockdown, and what we did, and how we 
made the best of it. And the toast to my Dad on his birthday will grow into a toast for all the other things we came to value. We'll savour it; the freedom, the conversation, the love, the fresh air. We'll not take any of it for granted.    

Thanks for reading. You can find me on my Facebook Author Page or on Instagram.  

No comments: