Today I cried.
That wasn’t the plan, but it’s just been such an overwhelmingly emotional day I couldn’t help it.
Things started off quite normally with me taking the kids to school, but then took a slightly different turn when my phone rang as I was stood on the playground and it was the deputy head. This morning was my son’s class assembly. The one that normally parents are invited to so they can show off their learning. The kids had been practicing for ages, but with everything that has happened parents were told that they could no longer attend. We totally understood the reason for that, but there were a lot of sad parents and kids all the same.
The reason for the deputy head’s call though was a genius solution. Could I, as a parent, please go in and record the assembly on my phone to then possibly share it with other parents in the class. Parents are normally allowed to film things for personal use and this would get around any problems with school recording it and then trying to distribute it. As a school governor I have been in and out of school all week helping with things, and in particular covering for MSAs yesterday and today, so I wasn’t adding a new contamination risk for the kids. I recruited a fellow governor to also record (he too has a child in the same class and is also covering MSA duties) and between us we had the pressure of making sure that we captured the whole thing. Behind the scenes staff were making sure that all checks were made to make sure all parents gave permission for their children to be filmed and that there were no safeguarding risks associated with doing so.
It felt like one hell of a responsibility, but I’m so glad that I was able to capture it for everyone. The kids are in Year 2 and this might well be their last ever assembly at the Infant School. That added one level of emotion, but this term they’ve been studying World War 2 so to seem them hold up things like a junk model gas mask and their own version of a Dig for Victory poster pushed me over the edge. I also realised that your arm aches like hell when you’re trying to hold your phone really still and record something!
The second thing that had me reaching for the tissues was a letter written to all Year 2 children by the head teacher. She’s currently working from home as she’s heavily pregnant so isn’t able to come into school to say goodbye to this cohort. For many of them they have been at the school since their pre-school year and the thought of them leaving and not having all the normal things like a leaver’s disco and a leaver’s assembly is heartbreaking. They didn’t even get their class photos this year as they were supposed to be taken this week. The Head Teacher’s letter hits the spot perfectly. She’s written about how things are all strange at the moment, but how everyone is working to keep everyone else safe. She goes on to explain how the children will go back to school when it is safe to do so, but that might mean that it is next school year. This might make some of the children sad, but they’re not to worry as when we’re allowed to the school will have a party for them. A picnic if the weather allows and possibly even a bouncy castle on the school field. She pitched it so perfectly. And at the same time, as an adult reading it, with a fuller understanding of everything going on in the world right now, it was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever read.
In between all the tears I also went out on a mission to buy flowers to give to my kids’ class teachers from all the parents to say thank you. I know supermarkets are restricting how much people can buy, but I wasn’t expecting to be told that I couldn’t buy two of the same bunch of flowers in Tesco due to the restrictions! I understand it on food items, but are people stockpiling fresh flowers???
The other thing that has blown me away today is people’s kindness. We’ve been struggling to find nappies for our youngest. Today a school mum messaged me to tell me that she’d picked me up a packet when in Aldi, and I had my neighbour messaging me to ask if I wanted her to try to add some to her supermarket click and collect order for tomorrow. So kind in both cases.
For now though, it’s Friday night and I just want to concentrate on something else for a while. This evening the government has announced the closure of cafes, restaurants, pubs, leisure centres and basically anywhere that people gather socially. It had to happen, but I guess it just shows how much things are ramping up here. In a way it doesn’t bother me personally too much as I haven’t been in a cafe or anything for weeks, but I’m a tad annoyed that I can’t now go to the library tomorrow to swap books. I had been meaning to get there today, but just couldn’t make the time.
I’m looking forward to a weekend that involves less rushing around like a mad woman. We need to make it to the Post Office to post a few parcels (as a side business I sell vintage board games online and the last 24 hours have seen a bit of a rush on sales after a dead week – I need it, the Government’s help for self employed people is pretty much non-existent!) but otherwise we have no plans. Other than maybe catching my breath before home schooling starts on Monday. Ideally I’d come up with some sort of a plan for Monday at least, but that can wait for tomorrow.