Lessons from Lockdown

Twelve days in. Sixteen days to go. And I’ve been wondering if we’ll look back on this rahui as a family adventure? If so, what have we learned on the journey?

We begin with gratefulness. We’re grateful that we live in a smallish country with a smallish population, far away on the bottom of the world. We’re grateful for stable Government and good decisions on both sides of the house. We’re grateful that if we close our borders we have so much to explore right here, from glorious mountains and alpine lakes, to endless coastline and remote bays with golden sand. We’re grateful that as an island we can close those borders, protecting ourselves and our vulnerable Pacific neighbours. We’re grateful that our friends and families remain well.  And we’re grateful the number of new cases have fallen.

On a more superficial note I’m also grateful for Netflix and comedian Tom Sainsbury.

I’ve learned how to play the perilous game of supermarket dodgems and how to spot the best fruit without touching. I’ve learned not to shop at affluent supermarkets where every third person has just returned from a cruise or flown in from Europe. That’s a stereotype by the way. Not actual fact. Although it’s a pretty accurate account of the line I was standing in.

We’ve spent real time together. Pulling together toward a common cause of staying well. Our bubble is not only an abstract construct but it’s real. We venture outdoors together, play together, and identify with each other as part of one team. Our children think they understand what’s going on but are sometimes plunged into the reality of not seeing friends and family for an indefinite time. That’s where having a sibling has come to the fore.

We’ve learned that there’s lots to do at home, we just don’t spend enough time there to do it. We’ve got better at swing-ball, table tennis and trampoline acrobatics. We’re exhausting the craft kits that have gathered dust for too long. We value our small patch of lawn and the endless ways we can build backyard huts from blankets and chairs.

Technology is less scary. We’re beginning to understand its potential to connect us and keep us fit. We’re using it for lessons in anything from ballet and recorder, to learning sign language and algebra. We hope that technology will keep us connected with the rest of the planet until this virus has been conquered. But I still miss real sport and won’t be following E-Games any time soon.

I’ve learned that I like home schooling. No really. It’s also made me re-think my need for accurate school reports and benchmark testing. This loose Rudolf Steiner style school day really rocks for us. We’ve even turned jelly making into an ethical discussion about the consumption of animal products and a science experiment in one.

We’ve caught up on maintenance at home. Those niggly things you accept as part of the fabric of living, like a sticky door or broken drawer, are now off the to do list. However, aspirations for a tidy house have gone out the window. But then no one but the perpetrators of the mess are there to see it anyway.

54 cases today. Hoping for less tomorrow. In the words of famous others…..We’ve got this!


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