August has been all about trying to make the most of family time together. We’re still very much in our little family bubble at the moment whilst being aware that the bubble is about to pop. For the last few months, life has been focused on our little family unit with occasional ventures out into an outside world where we stay in our own little bubble and have minimal encounters with others. It’s been good in many ways to have that extended time together and although it has felt lonely at times, on the whole I’ve had little desire to step outside of the bubble.
In a couple of days’ time, all that will change. Sophie will be back at school and various classes, and we’ll be mixing with more people once again. I find myself clinging to this precious time together; these last couple of days where it is just us. Counting down to the start of school feels a little like counting down to Jessica’s hospital visits once did. The anxiety that lurks underneath, the desire to keep my family safe, the realisation that there is so much that is beyond my control; that my power to keep us all safe is very limited and always has been. An anxiety that I do my best to hide day-to-day, focusing on making the most of those moments together.
It has been nice to get out for family days together once more. They might be less spontaneous than they used to be and require a little more organisation, but it does us all good to get away from the house and explore somewhere different. No matter what the weather, we all feel better for time outside.
August is mixed month on the emotions front. There are the happy moments that I do my best to hold on to – the moments when the sun is shining, the children are playing happily together, and life feels about as good as it can feel when our family is forever incomplete. But August brings a sense of sadness too – the sadness that always comes as the summer draws to a close along with the countdown to Jessica’s birthday. Two things that bring an awareness of time carrying us along no matter how strong our desire to pause the moment or turn back the clock. August is very much a month of sunshine and showers.
As we stand on the cusp of change once more, I remind myself once more that whilst tomorrow might be challenges and change, worrying about them does not change that; it only takes away from the joys of today. And so we will stop and enjoy these last couple of days together, live in the moment and make the most of it.