All over the world people struggle with life. Life isn’t easy. There are people around the world without a home, who go to bed hungry, without access to basic needs. The world is filled with sadness.
For months many of us have lived sheltered lives because of the coronavirus pandemic. Struggles have been in abundance, gratitude has been in abundance and so many uncertainties are in abundance.
Today I had a go at my son because I felt he was being selfish. If he isn’t doing homeschooling, sleeping, eating, showering and having toilet breaks, he is stuck in front of a tv screen – watching movies, series, YouTube and playing playstation. And I had enough. Enough of a situation that I allowed because life outside was snatched away.
But what I discovered today was heartbreaking. My son asked me why I felt the way I did. But before I could answer he became incredibly emotional. My 15 year old started weeping. As the tears streamed down his face, he spoke of how he missed his friends and I was shattering on the inside. The friends he missed was those back home in South Africa. He continued to talk about how he felt vulnerable not knowing where he was going often because everything here for the last year has been so new. And four months of that year has been in lockdown. He misses South Africa, he misses the people and he misses the culture.
My children’s screen time before lockdown was limited to just a little bit of tv in the evening. Everything else, especially gaming was a weekend pleasure. As a parent I thought I was doing the right thing allowing it everyday after school during the lockdown. Gaming is a fun activity and it keeps their friendships going virtually.
I lie in bed now reflecting on just how much our life has changed and how much lockdown has created a stumbling block for many in different ways. For my son and for my family it is that a full transition in terms of security, fulfillment and a new normal is not quite the way we would have wanted.
My son clearly needs a great deal for the transition to become one that makes him feel he is home in the UK. For us as a family we need to reflect more and get out there to create the life we want and to feel on track.
Covid-19 has caused so much pain, so many setbacks and so much uncertainties still. And yes, we have so much to be grateful for. But my son has reminded me today that it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to feel and say you’re not happy about certain things. And it most certainly is okay to miss things that you no longer are close to, no longer have and crave to have back. What I take away from it now though is to acknowledge it will take time and to have the patience that life comes with change and how that change impacts your life is up to you. That we will find other ways to keep close to what we miss, we can aim higher to achieve what we had and we can ensure we do our best to work towards feeling fulfilled in what we do wherever we are in life, physically, mentally and emotionally.
I feel I failed my son though. Not knowing how he has been feeling. He enjoys his new school, he made friends but had that for six months only when life changed in a way that nobody could ever have anticipated. For my son it’s been a year of change, a year of adapting and a year of trying to settle. I feel so sad but I know that this too will pass and life will get back on track. Because it must.
Yours in Adapting & Being