I have something to confess; Bryan and I left Thanet this week. Yes, indeed, we travelled from here to Rochester and back in a day, using the wonderful Volunteer Transport Scheme provided by the Kent Coastal Volunteering service.
I felt strangely odd leaving Thanet after following the lockdown rules so precisely over the past few months. It was for an entirely good reason – Bryan needed some dental work that could only be done by this specialist clinic – so of course that’s where we needed to go. I had an email on my phone that could prove our story if we needed to, but we weren’t stopped at all along the way. I think I checked that my phone was working half a dozen times, to ensure that I could prove that ours was an essential journey.
Still, it was nice to get out for a while, even if it was for a medical appointment. Bryan was fascinated by our wonderful driver’s car; he was fascinated by the dials, gadgets, and starship-like controls – the two of them spent so much time chatting that I was happy to let them talk and just listen.
Later that day, I treated Bryan to an ice cream down at the bandstand in Broadstairs (we tried Morelli’s first, but they were sadly closed – on the plus side, a lovely passing lady told us that the bandstand was open, and that’s where we spent a very lovely hour); it was the least we deserved given the huge travels and extensive work on his mouth. Seeing him run around in the sunshine was beautiful; we have the best opportunity to spend time together right now, and I value this more than you can possibly imagine.
Children are also natural scientists and teachers; Bryan is always trying to teach me things, even if it’s things he’s forgotten that I have taught him in the first place. We were walking across a field yesterday and spent ages talking about the season for planting seeds, etc – it suddenly made me realise the holes in my knowledge, and I wondered if I’d ever known more. Kids always ask why – the question that eventually results in the confession, “I don’t know.”
It’s Bryan birthday next week, and the questions in the lead-up to that are incessant; “What presents have I got, Daddy?” “What are we doing for my birthday, Daddy?” “When am I seeing my brother & sister / nanny & granddad?” All that sort of thing and more; he tries to catch me out on a regular basis, including once when I was waking up in the week – he opened his eyes, smiled at me, and said, “Can I have a present now, Daddy?” I am constantly on guard to falling foul of his torturous questions; I am terrified that he will catch me out beforehand and am thinking of asking for some spy training to prevent me cracking under these pressures.
What are the first things you’re planning to do when lockdown starts to ease over the coming months? Stay indoors until a particular date when you feel more confident? Rush outside as soon as you’re allowed? For Bryan and I, it’s about being sensible; he wants to go down to the arcades in Broadstairs and the tennis courts in Herne Bay – I’m more likely to try the tennis courts first, as it’s outside and gives us more fresh air – then I’ll let the arcades wait for a few weeks before we get down there – but the allure will eventually get too strong, and we’ll find ourselves with a bagful of pennies. Personally, I’m rather excited by that – what’s exciting for you?