Had to set an alarm this morning. Well, I say I had to set one. I set one, but it was unnecessary, D having decided to wake up with the birds and invite the rest of us to celebrate the new day with him. Yawn.
A carer, with full PPE. Full PPE turns out to be apron, gloves, and a face mask. So not that different to every day shower wear, apart from the mask, and the need to put it all on just inside the front door before walking any further into the house. Twenty years of having carers, and for the first time, I was unable to offer a cup of tea. It's not drinkable through a mask. We did the social distance do-si-do; she retreating down the hallway so I could pass into A's bedroom, me stepping back into my room so she could get through to the bathroom; D weaving his confused path through all of us and proving why we cannot risk taking him for a walk outside even if I did feel comfortable leaving A alone in order to do so (I don't).
Dreadful news this morning of the death of a friend's precious son, not from CV, although I'm sure its malign presence in the hospitals and community didn't help. And now an impossible task for them, to begin to plan a funeral from which most family members will be excluded. Unthinkable.
Fear, I think, from A; joining the many dots and beginning to understand why it is the government say she is extra special and needs extra special looking after over these next few months. Not that she admits to fear. But a certain extra rigidity of thought and habit, a tenseness and unwillingness to bend, a reluctance for company and an outright refusal to go to bed; these are the signs that something is on her mind, whether she is hiding it from herself as well as the rest of us or not.
And merry oblivion from D, who pulls us out of gloom and worry and firmly back into the now. Tugging hands and pulling me into the garden, inviting me to chase him up the climbing frame, to match his bounces on the trampoline with my step aerobics on the decking, to push and push him on the swing, watching as the branches sway with his weight. Attempting to calculate the force on the branch, and how many swings it will take before he is too heavy, before he pulls me back again into the present, puts my hand on his tummy for a tickle, and fills our garden and our hearts with joyous giggles. He lives completely in the moment. This is, I think, why he finds the separation of preschool so unbearably hard; I have gone away and he cannot comprehend that I will be back, only that I am not here. It is the same in the small hours of the night when he wakes, and is inconsolable until I lug him into my own bed, where he pulls my arm around him, snuggles tightly into my armpit, reaches up with his hands to twist them into my nightie, to ensure I cannot disappear. But when I am present; joy. When I match my steps with his, and together we stomp stomp stomp up the decking ramp and round the corner, step up onto the concrete and down again, then race our way back to jump on the manhole cover and make a different noise, then, all is well in the world and it cannot be any other way. Not even the presence of a grumpy teen hovering in the kitchen muttering about how we are going to be out there All Day and what's for lunch (and a refusal to come into the garden because there might be a wasp. Or a duck), not even this can spoil the joy which comes from just entering this little man's world and resting in it for a time. His joy can even capture the grumpiest of teens, if she can be persuaded to take the music out of her ears and watch him for a moment or two.