Victoria B on 02 January 2021

I broke the rules today. Or rather I didn't stop my kids from breaking the rules. We work up to an inch of snow, the road, the garden, the field. Everything looked so magical, so peaceful. Like the vivid had suddenly gone away for a couple hours, until mud and grass and germs returned. Not how viruses work I know, but my logical brain took leave when I saw how happy my children were to snow ball fight with the neighbours kids. My two kids, and kids from two houses not in our bubble. I know I should have stopped them but I didn't have a heart too. I hope I'm not fined, it's a lot of money, but to see the children playing and having fun like kids are supposed too. It was priceless. It was nice to see neighbours smiling again also, as they watched the kids play in the field as I did from my garden. Then my neighbour who is also my bubble buddy (as I'm a single mum I'm allowed to have a bubble) and we sat in my garden, watching kids play and discussing everything from mental health, to the trauma of our estate experiences, to child development. It was just a lovely, refreshing taste of normalcy again. Short lived but very precious. Kinda gave me hope for my kids also. I was worried that social skills would have regressed a little this last year, even with the attempts at preventing this, but today showed me that such concerns weren't warranted. Not only do my kids behave as socially as is normal for their development, but my son was also able to verbalise some boundaries with the older kids which was something he used to struggle with. I'm very proud of him. I also feel like I might be able to start writing again. Precious I was writing a book but my mental health turned south and I didn't get to finish it. It's a summer book that one. So for now I think I'll start back at short stories, build up my confidence again. I've been sad for so long, I want to enjoy hope while it lasts. Cos logically I know, with or without covid-19, life will not get easier for me in the coming years. Benefit traps, poverty, grief, trauma, etc. They're hard cliffs to climb, it can be done but it takes time. For individuals and nations. We'll need time and hope. Two things very lacking these days . So I'll start small. I'll write a short story. Maybe one day it'll be two short stories. When I'm ready, a book. Get my voice, my artistic expression out in the world. So if this is the year I die, I can leave something of me behind for my children to hold on too.

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