This is really strange, it’s technically the last day of the six weeks holidays, yet five full months out of school.
I could say I’m not ready to send him as he’ll go back Monday and I don’t have any new uniform. Part of me is saying I’m not going to buy uniform as I don’t feel they will be at school long enough to wear it.
I’m not worried about the virus, I’m worried about what the long term mental health implications this has already had on Z and what is to come.
Friday 20th March I collected a coughing Z out of school and that was it. For weeks he didn’t see anyone, when he did he wasn’t the same kid as when I took him home that Friday in March. His whole world changed, his beloved McDonald’s closed, he didn’t see respite or the inside of a shop for months.
The day he saw his grandparents after around 10 weeks he had the most excited laugh ever. That soon changed because he wouldn’t stay, he wouldn’t even stay an hour never mind the night.
The day he saw E for the first time socially distanced he just looked and gave her a huge hug, how do you tell a 7 year old who’s not seen his best friend in 10 weeks, who he sees at least two to three days on a normal week, you can’t do that you have to stay 2 metres apart. You can’t.
Six weeks later respite resumed for his mental health, that’s the only person he saw, she would take him for a walk. At that point he was refusing to leave the house to go for a walk with me, refusing to get out of the car to run around a field, so respite was needed.
As things slowly started easing in what July, three months after he came out of school on that Friday and his whole world crashed, parks started to reopen, his world slowly got back to normal, he was seeing his grandparents regularly he still hadn’t slept the night because he refused. He was back to seeing E as she could come play in the pool, for the children’s sake we bubbled up, we were free to go sit in gardens.
We’re at that place that every time Z sees E he gives her a smile, he hugs her, he says E, my family, I love you. Other than his cousin for a week he’s not interacted with any other kids, he’s watched them at the park, soft play and the beach but that’s it.
School Monday, they’ll be in a bubble, he’s free to play with the children in that class, that’s it, no mixing classes. I have no idea what else he’ll be allowed to do, he’ll be greeted with staff in masks, staff he’s not really met before no idea if those people are actually smiling at him. Class, that’s fine they can play and do what ever in that bubble, but if one person becomes ill in that bubble do the rest of the bubble have to isolate? Will he just be getting used to a new strange school and then be off for another two weeks? If the answer there is yes, then what’s stopping the same thing happening what nine times? That’s not taking into consideration transport, or the people his dad and I meet daily.
If he has to self isolate for two weeks just after starting school again will he think that we’re back to March? Will he be expecting ages off school again, will this worry him? I don’t know. It’s worrying me. As an adult I’m struggling to get my head around it all as hard as I’m trying, how do I even start to try and tell Z? Yes back to school Monday, but theres a chance that you may not even do a full week.
He needs to go back, to be able to learn to socialise with other children again, to have that little bit of independence that being away from me gives him. Learn in ways I can’t teach him, be a child and have fun and no worries. Will he have that? I’m just hoping he will.