Sunday 26 April 2020

Covid-19 Diaries - Lockdown Day 43 - a big day out for the kids

One day we'll go to the park, one day we'll see friends, one day we'll go up a mountain, one day we'll go outside...

"Today is ONE DAY!" I told my toddler, excitedly. "We're going to the sea!"

She looked at me, unsure.  

"We're going on an adventure! Sol and mummy! Outside!"

A smile spread slowly across her face and she started to turn around in circles.

My stomach was hurting with anticipation. She hadn't been outside the apartment block for six weeks. I had been to the supermarket twice and the second time I'd been stopped by the police. I felt nervous about what awaited us. I worried how we would be able to keep the 1-2 metre social distancing rules with other children running about.

The Rule is: 1 adult, 1 hour, maximum 1 kilometre from home.

It had been so long since I'd prepared the nappy bag. I packed an apple, corn cakes, and a change of clothes. The last thing I wanted was hunger or a poo cutting short our maiden voyage.

Sol seemed surprised when, rather than peer through the grills of the apartment block gate, I took out the keys and unlocked it. I carried her through the small kids' play park she wasn't allowed to play in, and set her down on the pavement beyond.

She started to point excitedly.  A dog walker was approaching with a fluffy white dog. Her joy was contagious and he gave her a big smile as he passed.

Next, a car sped by.

"Beep-beep!" Sol cried. "Beep-beep!" 

I'd forgotten she hadn't seen any in six weeks.

As we turned the corner, we saw them... Children! Little children at the water's edge. Some were digging, some were splashing, some were simply staring out at sea. High-pitched giggles filled the air.  

Sol ignored all of them. She knew what she wanted. As soon as we'd crossed to an open space, she walked straight into the water fully clothed. For a moment I worried about her getting sunburnt if I took off her t-shirt. But then I noticed the plump baby sitting in just her nappy nearby, looking very pleased with herself. I threw caution to the wind.

I took off Sol's soggy clothes and let her enjoy herself in the full glorious nude. She loved every minute.  After her swim and her apple, we headed back home, stopping on the way back to stare at a big black cat.  The experience was so stimulating that she was unable to nap. Her face glowed for the rest of the day.  

And I feel like shouting I'M NOT TAKING THIS FOR GRANTED!

They say from the 2nd May, everyone will be entitled to exercise in the fresh air. I can't wait. This is a tough time. It's frustrating for the 14 and 15 year olds who aren't grouped in with the other children. It's demoralising for the group of seniors that would normally be at that beach, walking up and down chatting, or reading the paper with their feet in the sand.

I also think of what my neighbour told me yesterday, of a poor man facing lockdown in his car. No home. Just a car and weeks of waiting. A man who probably has no legal papers and little money and who can't risk getting caught by police for going for a walk. So he sits in his car and he waits.

Everyone hopes things go back to normal. But I'm not so sure our normal was so wonderful. After the lockdown lifts, let's strive for better than normal. Let's show solidarity with each other like never before.   

 Thanks so much for reading. Get in touch on my Facebook Author Page!  

Continue reading blog posts from the Lockdown:

Or, escape the lockdown with a copy of The Hen Party - set in the beautiful island of Mallorca! 

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