The lockdown diaries – Day 4: An imperfect celebration in isolation

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of our daughter, a joyous, yet different affair to what we had had in mind. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, baking, decorating and fabricating sweet goodies for her party, I had realised the evening before that I had not thought of her cake or bought enough wrapping paper for presents I luckily had bought months earlier. I am not proud to admit that Covid 19 had shifted my focus and priorities. They are, and have been, since the beginning of lockdown, to homeschool my daughter, whilst keeping my son entertained, whilst being there for my students and trying not to lose my marbles with the constant news updates and buzzing mobile from WhatsApp groups. I can’t keep up with the amount of messages from every social media app available, suggestions for various activities, resources and hints and tips from every (wo)man and his (her) dog. There are moments where I just want to turn the lot off and go for a walk, but, admittedly, I have been super grateful for messages from near and far. I have enjoyed phone calls with friends and family I haven’t spoken to in a while and loved seeing photos of my children’s friends. We are able to keep them connected with their peers and encourage them, through writing letters and drawing pictures to maintain contact with those they love.

Once I had gotten over my guilt of not having focused on the yearly anniversary of giving birth to my oldest child, I realized that she really didn’t mind being at home and didn’t give a tiny rat’s arse that the wrapping paper was blue instead of sparkly pink, that her birthday cake didn’t have a princess on top and that she would have to wait for her party until the virus had finished his business. She was perfectly happy and content and as excited as expected when she got the Frozen Soundtrack CD (yes, I still buy CDs…). And so, at home, in the totally ordinary chaos and every day mess, we got our gladrags on, turned up the music and danced around (granted, I did most of the dancing and prancing) and played some games, enjoying our company and giggling in moments of silliness.

I don’t have it all figured out and I forget and get flustered and confused. And that is OK. As long as I don’t forget that perfect doesn’t exist during lockdown, I think we will come out of this isolation malarkey unscathed. Sparkly pink paper and princesses on top of cakes will just have to wait.

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