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Last Day of School

1
It’s just Friday – that’s all. Busily looking for matching socks and a lost tie. Bust this is not an ordinary Friday. As I hunt for the missing items I hear the strains of You’ll Never Walk Alone from the radio. ‘At the end of a storm there’s a golden sky’, I really hope so.
I empty bags from the day before full of homework and web links for the next who knows how long.
The drive to school is eerily quiet, lots of people are self-isolating already or have decided to stay away. I bundle my daughter through the school gates unsure what to
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say, ‘Play lots’, ‘Say Thank You to your teachers’ is all I can manage. For the 289th time this week I try not to cry.
I decide on a run before work. Where the school run had been quiet the park is busy, full of runners trying to find exercise and fresh air in a sedentary day. We smile or say Hello as we pass. Strangers now in this together.
And so to work – or the desk in my bedroom. I can’t really concentrate, I’ll be alright when this day is over I tell myself. But what then.
I look at the clock at 2pm and for the next hour time seems
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to stand still waiting for the inevitable moment. As I start getting ready for pick up I’m suddenly distracted by the smallest of things. It’s as though if I don’t go to school this will all disappear and normality return. If only.
As I drive to school the reality hits and the tears begin. I see young children clutching a parents hand and a full bag of books, a look of bewilderment on their faces. The enormity of what is happening is unavoidable.
And then I enter the school yard. Never has this place seemed so fragile. Parents holding back tears
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so their children won’t see. Teachers stunned, exhausted and crying after the hardest of weeks. Year 6s taking group photos as though this is their last day. It probably is – but there has been no leavers service or party or residential. And young children caught up in a global crisis looking perplexed.
My daughter grips tightly to my hand as we walk to the gate. When will we return?
Walking down the road her arms wrap around me and she buries her face in my coat. ‘I don’t want to go’, she mutters. No neither do I.
Back at home I head
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upstairs to my new work space – and I cry. Tears for my children and for many other children. Tears for the things that won’t happen – the playground laughter, the summer trips, sports day and just sitting on the grass with their friends. Today it feels like a little piece of their childhood has been stolen.
Today I will allow myself to cry and to be angry. But tomorrow I must face what is to come. Make the most of what we have and make sure the children do to.
For this is the new normal.
SelfishMother.com
Alison Hulse

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- 21 Mar 20

It’s just Friday – that’s all. Busily looking for matching socks and a lost tie. Bust this is not an ordinary Friday. As I hunt for the missing items I hear the strains of You’ll Never Walk Alone from the radio. ‘At the end of a storm there’s a golden sky’, I really hope so.
I empty bags from the day before full of homework and web links for the next who knows how long.
The drive to school is eerily quiet, lots of people are self-isolating already or have decided to stay away. I bundle my daughter through the school gates unsure what to say, ‘Play lots’, ‘Say Thank You to your teachers’ is all I can manage. For the 289th time this week I try not to cry.
I decide on a run before work. Where the school run had been quiet the park is busy, full of runners trying to find exercise and fresh air in a sedentary day. We smile or say Hello as we pass. Strangers now in this together.
And so to work – or the desk in my bedroom. I can’t really concentrate, I’ll be alright when this day is over I tell myself. But what then.
I look at the clock at 2pm and for the next hour time seems to stand still waiting for the inevitable moment. As I start getting ready for pick up I’m suddenly distracted by the smallest of things. It’s as though if I don’t go to school this will all disappear and normality return. If only.
As I drive to school the reality hits and the tears begin. I see young children clutching a parents hand and a full bag of books, a look of bewilderment on their faces. The enormity of what is happening is unavoidable.
And then I enter the school yard. Never has this place seemed so fragile. Parents holding back tears so their children won’t see. Teachers stunned, exhausted and crying after the hardest of weeks. Year 6s taking group photos as though this is their last day. It probably is – but there has been no leavers service or party or residential. And young children caught up in a global crisis looking perplexed.
My daughter grips tightly to my hand as we walk to the gate. When will we return?
Walking down the road her arms wrap around me and she buries her face in my coat. ‘I don’t want to go’, she mutters. No neither do I.
Back at home I head upstairs to my new work space – and I cry. Tears for my children and for many other children. Tears for the things that won’t happen – the playground laughter, the summer trips, sports day and just sitting on the grass with their friends. Today it feels like a little piece of their childhood has been stolen.
Today I will allow myself to cry and to be angry. But tomorrow I must face what is to come. Make the most of what we have and make sure the children do to.
For this is the new normal.

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Alison Hulse

I'm Alison. Mum of 3 – friend – freelance writer and facilitator – lover of indie music – festival goer – love reading but never have enough time … – so read magazines instead! – tea drinker – Liverpool FC follower – runner – and more!

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