We have just come out of a 7 day lockdown, which our State leaders initiated to reduce the spread of the COVID virus. It was interesting to see how everyone in the family coped. All of us under one roof for 7 days straight. No going to school, uni, sport practice, no sport and for one day we even had no power. We are fortunate to live and work on the farm. In these instances there is a huge sense of freedom. Directly out our back door there are big paddocks to walk, ride or drive in. Plenty of space to be by yourself if you need to get out of the house without leaving the property.
My “handsome farmer husband” does not need space. He is a people person. As we are classified essential workers he still had to do his farm work every day, but he had someone to watch a film with every night, someone to go bike riding with or go for a walk with in the mornings. He had our youngest son to talk to whenever he wanted (“number 4 child”was supposed to be doing his school work). I am still not sure whether he was learning school lessons or life lessons from his Dad.
I liked “lockdown”. I liked not having to drive anywhere, no plans, no meetings. I didn’t feel obligated to go places. I had an excuse. I loved having all my children home under the one roof. They did well. I am proud of them. I wasn’t sure how long the ‘niceness’ would last with four siblings all in the one house. Four young adults who are used to having their own space, sharing a bathroom, wi-fi and the couch/T.V. I have to say there were no arguments, everyone was (sort of) nice to each other and for me it was nice to see them interacting. Each of them have a different connection with their siblings and being around to see them bonding made me smile.
Over the last few years it is rare that everyone is home at the same time, mainly due to Boarding school, University and grown up children with social lives. Since the beginning of the Covid outbreak last year our time together has been a lot more frequent. And for me, I am grateful for the time we get together. It wont be long before they will be gone from our house, their family home, permanently.
I keep being grateful for any time I have with our family as a whole. While in lockdown we did stuff, together, we all sat on the couch and watched a movie, had a cocktail and pizza night, a woodcutting day and cooked dinner with each other. I am sure that those memories will be some of the most important to me in the future. Life is a whirlwind when you’re children are young and those of you who have kids already know that the time goes so fast. One day you are juggling nappies and tantrums and then in a blink of an eye they are adults.
For me there are at least 18 months of early childhood years that I cannot clearly remember. The first two years with our first born baby boy were relatively sedate. Although both “handsome husband” and I were new to the parenting job, I think we did OK. When our twins were born my brain and body went on auto-mum, it wasn’t a bad time, just busy with lots of broken sleep. The twins had turned three years of age when our number 4 baby was born and by a miracle we had four children under the age of 5.
As I sit here writing at my kitchen table I smile to myself. The house is back to empty. It feels strange and I keep waiting for the “mum, can you help me?” Or the fridge door opening and “there is nothing to eat”. Two of our children have gone back to study; school and University, three hours away. The other two big boys are out working on the farm. It is a wintery windy day and I am listening to the washing machine wash yet another load of clothes. It is weird but nice but also lonely but a bit nice. Did I say nice?