A mother’s heartfelt letter to her daughter during the COVID-19 lockdown
When my little girl was a couple of months old, I decided to create an email address for her. One reason was I thought it would stand her in good stead when she starts applying for jobs. Nobody wants to put [email protected] on their CV.
The second reason was that it would give me the opportunity to write to her.
I wanted to share with her things that don’t get captured in photographs. Things she has said, things we have done and most recently things that have been happening in the world.
She is three now and I am sure a time will come when she is asked about the ‘pandemic of 2020’. It might not be in her school years, but it may be part of the curriculum in generations to come and how wonderful to think that I will have given her a glimpse into a history that no one else will know about. Her history.
Sure everyone will be able to read the Wikipedia pages, see the statistics and research the newspaper headlines, but where else will it be documented about how it felt, what it looked like and how we, her family, handled it?
It’s also been a place where I can collect my own thoughts and work out exactly what I want our future to look like on the other side…
I seem to have written to you quite a bit recently – I guess with so much going on in the world, it seems right to do so.
I’ve been thinking today about our daily lives and what I want our ‘new normal’ to be. Pre-‘lockdown’ we were so fast paced as a family: nursery, work, commuting, family, friends, shopping, housework…never really stopping. The lockdown has stopped all of that, well most of it anyway, and I actually quite like it.
I am hearing and reading about people feeling anxious over how long the lockdown will be for, but me, I’m anxious it will all be over too soon.
Don’t get me wrong, the virus and all it has brought with it can go, but the idea of going back to being so fast paced, fills me with dread. I guess that means our ‘normal’ wasn’t or isn’t the best thing for us, so it’s up to us to make our new ‘normal’ different. I’ll be sure to let you know when I’ve figured it out.
What I do know is this: I love watching you. Seeing how you interact with your world and what small things you take pleasure in. You love having a picnic in our back yard. ‘Hide and Seek’ is your favourite game, even if you haven’t quite grasped the concept of how it works yet (you always hide where you found me and then ask me to go away and count before I ‘find you’).
We have watched films in bed and had bizarre conversations, the latest being ‘mum, I have bad news, there are aliens in my bedroom’. We have played kinetic sand and dolls. We have just been together and that is something I would have missed before. Now I know it’s something I want to make sure comes through into our future.
One thing we won’t be taking into our future is a new skill, hobby or language. The internet has been riddled with ideas of how we can use this time positively: learn a new language, take up a new sport, read more books, learn to cook, etc. You’ll likely not be surprised to know I haven’t done any of those things. Because, this time isn’t without its challenges already and watching you is more than enough.
I hope when you read this email, we can look back and talk about the time the world stood still. I hope that we changed our future and that you still enjoy the little things. You love the little things at the moment, I’m not sure where that gets lost as we get older, but I hope for you it doesn’t ever go away – because I hope I teach you how to keep it.
There is a lot of hope in this email, isn’t there? I guess now I have to turn that hope into action.
I’ll leave it there for now.
Love ya always,