If January was a month of struggling with lockdown restrictions, February was a month where we settled into them; finding ways to make lockdown life more bearable. We shifted our home-learning routine around; moving the more stressful subjects to the morning. A little change that made a big difference, as did having Wednesday and Friday afternoons as screen-free afternoons focusing on the craft project that Sophie had been set. Sitting down and doing crafts together is something we both enjoy and she loved making her rainforest in a shoebox. Although the changes did make life easier, it was still a relief to get to half-term and be able to enjoy a week off from home-learning!
It has been strange not venturing out during half-term though. Most of our outdoor time has been spent in the garden, with occasional scooter rides around the estates or a walk to a nearby green space. The children seem happy on the whole but we all miss not being able see family and friends.
Hubby and I have got a little better at providing each other with opportunities for time out. Each of us is trying to make space to allow the other to get out for a walk or a run each day without the children in tow. It’s been good just to have that little break. Another little change that has made a big difference.
Having a little more sunshine over the last week has helped too. Being outside in the garden is much more appealing when the weather is nice. The spring flowers are starting to bloom in the garden (as best they can with a toddler constantly trying to trample them anyway!) Spring is on the way. Of course, the arrival of spring these days brings very mixed feelings as Jessica died in spring. The coming weeks are likely to be a bit of a rollercoaster ride on the grief front as we approach the third anniversary of her death.
Jessica visited me in my dreams recently. In my dream, she was the age that she would be now (9). She looked a little more grown-up, but she was still very much the Jessica we knew and loved. In my dream, I saw her playing with Sophie and Thomas, saw her little face light up as she got the giggles and when she hugged me, I really tried to savour the feeling of her arms around me, knowing just how precious that moment was. That was when I realised how much taller she had grown – the top of her head was just under my chin. Looking at Sophie yesterday, I realised that she would be about a head taller than her sister.
Dream visits are so very special. We don’t get them very often but they always bring so much comfort. It feels very much like being given a short period of time with Jessica once again. This recent one also felt like a little opportunity to see Jessica growing up with her siblings. What a precious gift that is.