Author: Ann Thomas
As I type right now, both my children are sleeping. One is ten and the other three. They will sleep till they are shaken up by a dream or simply satiated.
The one that wakes up first will call out my name. Both of them do that – shout out for me whenever they are up. On rare days, they will find me, walk up to where I am and snuggle up to me.
At 10.30 most schools have finished one session of an online class, atleast.
But my children DON’T attend.
They don’t have fixed schedules or agendas.
No Timetables either.
Neither do I. My life works around their schedules. I am not a working parent in the real sense of it. But I always have things to do – I read. I write. I mentor. This week, I am trying to figure making a website from scratch. And they will probably assist me on it.
Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT spending every minute with them. I CAN’T. It would drive me mad. So they have hours in the day that they deal with themselves. They play with toys, pretend play, entertain each other or with other folks at home. And they watch videos for more time than I’d like. But I am alright with it.
I have tons of resources that come into my inbox, educational material, worksheets and lots of links to free classes that they could sign up for.
Nope, we are not going there, either.
The Little one has a school bag and a tiny table. And when he says, I go school? I say let’s go and we walk to the living room, set up the table and he and I hold a pencil and draw lines. When he is done, I am done.
My older one signed up for coding. And he does that for a few hours in the week.
It’s been a month. Harry Potter got read. And then we snuggled and watched movie after movie. Hunger Games was finished and then we piled on to the sofa and the floors with blankets and watched all the movies.
Audible and dear friends have supplied more books. He is yet to pick up another series.
That’s it. I don’t tell them what to do. How to spend their time. When I feel they are watching too much, the screens get off. There is an argument and then slowly they fall into doing something.
Other times, they know that they can jump in and do whatever I am doing with me. They are up now and I need to finish. So they are watching their favorite shows. I can hear both, Minecraft videos and Mila and Morphle, playing in the living room.
It’s been a month but we won’t be locked in forever. In a few months, the memories of this time will fade away. My kids will not have learnt maths, science, languages or history in the traditional sense. They may lack in discipline or may not be prepared for another school year.
But when this is over, I hope that they would learnt the power of love and togetherness.
I hope that when they remember the COVID times, they will remember the warmth of family.
I hope they remember their mother pushing around furniture to make space to run and dance. The pleasure of running through corridors, skateboarding and cycling through little spaces. The joy of cooking and baking together.
Their father and his choice of music, movies and PS3 games. They will know that joy can be found in conversations and learning can happen through life and discussions.
They will know that when it counts people will help, with provisions, with books, with care. They will know that no matter how difficult the situation, they will have themselves and each other to take them through it.
They will know they do not have to conform to make the right choices. Or that not a lot is needed to find happiness.