You locked us up!
You locked me up! And my brother, he’s younger you know. Oh yeah and my mum, too.
For weeks and weeks, while you were busy elsewhere.
After we had been in there a bit my mum stopped working.
Some weeks from that I stopped missing my friends so much.
You told us nothing but to stay in there.
My brother is not as old as me, you know. He can’t do what I can. And he doesn’t want to, so he fights my mum.
I fight him and her, and then we can do what we want for a while but somehow it hurts.
While you were busy elsewhere, we were less and less busy in there.
You were doing important things every day and telling my parents about it every night.
But you talked only of other people.
My mum held my brother, and fought the school people, then one day she stopped teaching my brother. On the TV you talked about everyone else.
Those who were having a hard time with the whole virus thing that is going on.
Less angry maybe at State & Life, more angry probably at wild children rubbing sand down each other’s necks. We have to drive back in a car! A car! For people!
Bringing kids out of a long lockdown is honestly proving more complicated than keeping them there, which was very hard.
Things are hard.
We wrestle by the main street.
We air our grievances in the summer house.
I sob in the bakery. Wearing a friggin double cotton mask and some ridiculously huge see-through gloves. Like some inadequately equipped builder. Desperate for a break from a never-ending, payless shift at the world’s most beautiful AND COMPLICATED building site.
After seven in the evening, I threaten sand-coated people in the beach shower. People who suddenly seem to have lost all ability to compromise. We are the three uncompromising beach goers on empty stretches of waves and seashells and millions of grains of sand that want to come home with us.
I wouldn’t call this healing.
Maybe shared, love-based suffering in glorious natural surroundings?
That’s what I burst out to and left. Furious, with bags, and keys and grievances, I left for our family weekend at our summer place – all alone.
It’s fair to say that these Corona Avoidance months in Cyprus have not been my personal best.
Just today, who was that?
I’ve thought about it here, surrounded by frowning swimming toys and their silent accusations.
So, there is a bit of anger.
What to do with it now that we are free again?
How will you remember all this?
All those germs you couldn’t see
Classmates looking dazed on their screens
Your teacher saying he loves you all
Little vampires at night
Too much of what you wanted
Let’s wait until they pass
I am too tired now to talk my love
Painting on the roof
Don’t touch ANYTHING
Cats darting through doors
All those people out there, trying to get back home
“How dare they! How dare they! They have no idea what it’s like to have kids holed up in an apartment! How old are these men? What makes them think they can do this to us?”
“Babe. You’re in denial.”
“I am not in denial! This is nuts! Such overkill I never saw in my life! What about mothers? What about our jobs? Who is going to do our jobs, and what will happen to the country if we suddenly just stop working? They think oh those women, what work do they do anyway. It’s what they are for, to care for their kids anytime, all the time, always there, no problem, just shove this on them. We are going to be in here for six and a half weeks. Six and a half weeks!”
“This thing is dangerous. Seen what’s going on in Italy? We are a small country. We don’t have the capacity for that.”
“How many cases have you guys got? How many?”
“We just got to hunker down for two weeks, dear. The borders are closing now and this thing will peak in two weeks. You will call me, I will call you. Then it will get easier.”
“That does make sense. That does make me feel a bit better actually. Thanks.”
“The sun is in my eyes! I want my cap!”
“Darling, you can’t put a cap on a bicycle helmet. I brought you sunglasses! Look, love.”
“They are too big! They fall off! It’s too bright!”
“They are just fine, love. Look, I’ll put them under here. No way they can fall off now.”
“They make me dizzy! I can’t see! Why didn’t you bring me a cap!”
“We aren’t going back for a cap now, so please quit whining. Isn’t it nice to be outside?”
“Not nice! Useless! These stupid glasses make so dizzy! They are useless! You are useless, do you hear me! Mama!”
“Okay take them off then, love, and let’s carry on. And that hurt my feelings.”
“Haha! Good! You hurt my feelings with this stupid brightness!”
“X just tested positive for coronavirus.”
“How is he?”
“He’s okay. So far so good.”
“Do you know what this thing can do to our family if you keep going around? Do you think I will make it if I catch it? And what about you? We can’t die! They need me! They need… me.”
“I’m so careful. And there’s nearly no-one there anymore. The doors are all open so we don’t have to touch them at all. I clean my hands all the time.”
“I’m going to put my mattress on the floor!”
“Mama, is there coronavirus in Finland?”
“Are Mummu and Vaari going to catch it?”
“No love, I don’t think so. They only go out to go to the woods and run after birds with cameras, don’t they? They just sit at home or go bird watching. You can’t catch it if you don’t see anyone.”
In 2019 I figured out I need to grow up a little bit – become stronger as my own person.
Such a wonderful opportunity for growth! Which I am fighting like my 3-month-old kitten fights his rattly mouse: in vain. The mouse keeps on rattling. I keep on trying to lean on another person. Who is putting on their suit jacket.
I need to find a strong core within and feel calm at all times. Calm and confident that I can do this, regardless of if it’s just me or not! Work, kids, kittens, home, plans, tickets, sheets, friends, hobbies and health – Just Do It! Just get doin’! Do, do, do!
And I do…
But no-one said I have to like it!
So this is how we – in three quite unplanned steps – got ourselves a large family in the course of 2019!
Happy new year!
I can update so rarely. This draft is from August!
Children growing up in loving families take for granted that everything is going to be alright. They may be terrified of small things like barking dogs or sudden noises, or being called a baby by others.
But when it comes to the big scaries, for them it is happily clear that their parents can stop any old tidal wave heading their way. And often, metaphorically, we can. We sure would happily die trying!
But some things are stronger than us.
Sea currents, say.
Or disappointments not addressed for weeks, months, years. The pain of changing and feeling unseen as the person you’ve proudly become.
It’s the hottest month in Cyprus. I float happily face down in shifting water. My ears and my mind are both filled with currents.
The tingling of a million pebbles forever looking for their place in the order of things.
I can make out dim outlines of little fishes quickly swimming past. My body is pulled and pushed by impatient waves. The archaic appetite of this mass wants to suck in me, my family.
My most beloved friends. Every body on this beach, this coast, warm and sweaty and fragile. And at the end, all alone.
Some things are stronger than us.
But which things?
https://open.spotify.com/track/6bewkREJxEPKRYZcypacXm?si=qNjGvXqZQyaJ4SaZJ1opNA Music for floating in warm sea water during the hottest month of the year