Letter to Sebastian Jaya – Lockdown 2.0

To dear Sebastian Jaya,

I’ve written this letter over many months, snippets of our lives, taking us from coming out of our first coronavirus Stage 3 lockdown {we began self isolating on the 13th March – you can read about it here} and then going back into lockdown again. It has been quite the year, a very rough road over the last six months, ….since I last wrote to you.

This letter is filled with lots of dates, I think it was my way of keeping track of all the changes that were occurring. Changes to our lives…

On the 13th May, three days after Mother’s Day {which your Gran spent alone} and two days after what would have been your Pop-Pop’s birthday, restrictions eased, allowing us a fifth reason to leave home; visiting friends and family with a maximum gathering of up to 10 outdoors and 5 visitors in a home. We had waited anxiously, hoping that restrictions would be eased before Mother’s Day. The timing of it all hurt a lot.

So, after two months of lockdown, the day after the restrictions eased, we went to visit your Gran; there were tears and hugs {we weren’t supposed to hug – but we did! How could we not?}. So, our weekly visits to see your Gran started up again. I would do the shopping for your Gran. People over 70 years old had been ordered to stay at home. You, Sebby, would spent hours happily playing in the backyard. They were happy days but they always ended in tears as none us knew what lay ahead for us. We were still filled with fear and worry.

With the easing of restrictions, this meant that playgrounds opened up again. You were so happy, my little man. So, for a time you had a little more freedom, a weekly visit to see your Gran, trips to the playground and of course; scooter rides around our neighbourhood and down to the beach.

We retained the regulations of us not going to the supermarket together as a family. Just one of us would do it, alone, the other at home with you, Seb. I continued to live with the motto; “If it’s not essential then stay at home” and really thinking about what is essential and what isn’t.

On the 1st of June there were more easing of restrictions; restaurants and cafes re-opened with strict guidelines and restrictions {20 patrons inside}.

So, we had about a month of slowly going out into the world again and having some freedoms but I was still very cautious and very careful. And to be honest, Sebby, still very scared. The news was still very grim from around the world and I felt like we, well Australia, had escaped this evil virus far too easily. {Yep, sorry, sadly the pessimistic side of me!} – but I was also just trying to be realistic about what was happening around the whole world.

On the 30th of June, it was announced that from the 1st of July some Melbourne postcodes would return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions again. Meaning only 4 reasons to leave home;

  • shopping for food and supplies
  • care and caregiving
  • exercise
  • study and work – if you can’t do it from home

A few days later, more postcodes were added to the Stage 3 lock-down. The positive cases were increasing rapidly, with evidence of community transmission. There were outbreaks at the commission flats {The Towers around North Melbourne and Carlton}, schools, Aged Care homes, hospitals and work places. It was starting to get scary and we knew that it wouldn’t be long before the whole of Melbourne was back in lock down.

On the 8th of July, return of Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions was enforced for the whole of Metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. We were back in lock down for at least six weeks. I didn’t want to tell you, Sebby, I avoided telling you for days what was happening as I just didn’t want to break your heart all over again. After a few days, we did tell you that people were getting sick from the virus again and so our weekly visits to see your Gran had to stop and daily trips to the playground had to stop, as playgrounds were closed again.

Our last trip to the playground and I let you have the BEST time!

It has been hard, there have been tears, from both of us. Maybe more from me than you. Lock down second time round is definitely harder than the first. But, my little love, there has also been lots of laughs, lots of fun and lots of mess!

Even on the hardest days when we have both broken down and cried, I will never regret any decision to pull you out of Kinder back in March and to keep you at home with me for the remainder of the year. For you are my joy, for me there’s no other choice than to keep you at home safe with me.

And as this goes on and on, month after month, now heading towards the end of the year, I feel that you, my little Sebby, will be home with me for another year.

I don’t want you to be going off to school in a face mask, practising social distancing with friends and teachers. I don’t want to send you off to school, a place that I can’t even enter. I don’t want your routine to be messed around with covid outbreaks thus school closures for a couple of days while they do a deep clean and then send you back again. This is the reality of school at the moment and I don’t want any of this for you, my little man. It just breaks my heart that this is all happening, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

You, my little wildling; my free spirited, adventurer, jet-setting traveller – this is not what I want for you, Sebby. So, all I can do is keep you at home, where we can pretend that life is normal {even though I know it’s far from normal, it may never be normal again}. I just want you to play and have fun, laugh and learn along the way. And so, thus is what we do.

When we had about two weeks until the end of lockdown, things yet again changed pretty quickly for the worst.

On the 19th of July, mask wearing became mandatory when leaving home. This filled me with relief, as I had been wearing a face mask to the supermarket for months. Now people didn’t have to look at me like I was a freak, everyone was being forced to wear one.

From 6pm Sunday 2nd August, a state of disaster was announced for 6 weeks. Metro Melbourne was placed into Stage 4 restrictions. A curfew was put in place between 8pm to 5am. The only reason to leave your home during these hours was for work, medical care and care giving. Essential workers – those that were still allowed to work now have to carry a ‘work permit” – so your Dada now has to carry around a work permit to prove he is permitted to work.

Waiting for Dada to get home from work.

Everything is changing, Seb – our world closing in on us. I’m feeling like we are really locked down – in our homes, in a radius of 5kms from our home, with the only reasons to leave home are for essential shopping and daily exercise, which is now 1 hour per day. All borders closed; Victorian state borders and Australian borders.

We’ve been at home isolating now since the 13th March, except for a few weeks of easing of restrictions back in June, it’s essentially been 7 months in lock down. It’s now October, this just blows my mind! I feel like we have spent most of 2020 in lock down.

Toilet paper delivery – always a good day!

And here we are, in mid-October and we are still in lockdown and we still don’t know when we’re gong to get out of this. And as frustrating and as difficult as it can be, we stay put in our safe bubble at home. Our days are filled with play; building train tracks, playing cars and emergency vehicles, we do jigsaw puzzles, Play Doh, LEGO and drawing, some incidental learning – maths {addition and subtraction}, spelling and reading, we play hide and seek and other games, we sing, we dance, we laugh and we hug A LOT!

And amongst all the chaos, my days are filled with special moments of watching you play and learn and grow more into the special, funny, clever, intuitive little person that you are.

Lately I’m feeling like the longer we are in lock down, the greater your imaginative play world grows. You have a wild imagination and I just love it.

You’ve become just a tad addicted to Instagram – lock down will do that to you! Ha! Everyday you just have to check out some new Insta filters and create crazy videos of yourself. I possibly currently have hundreds of Insta videos saved to my iPhone. But these videos have given us hours of laughter and I know in years to come we’ll look back at those videos and remember these crazy days of lockdown life.

It’s a sad and scary time and yet I can still see the blessings amongst all the darkness; it’s spending my days with you my little Sebby. I don’t know what I’d do without you, my little sweetheart.

Many months ago, back in June, early one Friday morning, we lay in bed having cuddles and you told me that you could see a rainbow all around me, shining brightly and that I was all yellow and orange. You continued to tell me; “You can be happy now, Mama, no more being sad!” – I love you with all my heart Seb and I will never forget this precious moment. Sebby, you are one very special little boy, with the most loving heart; bringing me hope for the future – even in the middle of a global pandemic.

We are now counting down until your birthday! It’s not long now and I don”t know who is more excited, you or me. I have so many surprises hidden away for you. I want to give you a birthday full of rainbows my sweet boy – for you are my rainbow boy. For you deserve all the rainbows after the storms we have endured over the last two years.

Thank you for being you, Sebastian Jaya, I’m so grateful every day for you, my little love.

3 sleeps to go…for the big 5!

Love always and forever, Mama xxx

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