what will my children remember of isolation

What Will My Children Remember About Isolation

blossom treesOh Windsor, look at you in all your blooming glory. Your blossom trees remind me of proud peacocks showing off their pretty patterned plumage.

I grabbed this picture swiftly and guiltily, aware I must not dawdle yet felt the need to document. I sped through Alexandra Gardens power-walking towards the river, two small hands in mine, the sun beating on our cheeks, awakening us. ‘Urgh I’m going to walk beneath that tree before I melt’ whined Oliver, sloping off for cover. It struck me, I always seem to chase the heat, the light, the sun when others seek the shade. The story of my life. Speaking of which, blossom trees and sweetpeas must be my all-time ‘if I could have had them in my wedding bouquet I would have’ most favoured of flowers.

They weren’t in bloom when I married my husband and we had two weddings. It wasn’t to be. The dream bouquets, not the marriage. So, it’s official. Xander wanted to know and it was a tie between blossom and sweet-peas. My final answer. It can’t be coincidental that sweet-peas were the first flowers my mother taught me how to grow at three. The towering climbing frame they weaved their scented selves into felt like a fairytale come true. Later at school, I spent hours creating a blossom tree collage composed only of tiny pink balls of tissue paper and thick white glue. These moments never leave you…

I often wonder how this lockdown will be remembered by my usually sociable sons. It’s a formative time for them.

Hopefully they’ll remember their agility in the face of change, their own blossoming bond as brothers, each other’s only friend, and the gentle joy we’ve shared together, watching comedies on the projector, enjoying the carpet picnics of crustless sandwiches and crudités stuck in hummus and the stories we’ve invented of rule breaking Queen Bees and ferocious grannies. I hope my boys remember the tenderness and love I’ve wrapped them in. And the blossom trees. The blossom dancing through our windows, and lining the empty streets . Blossom for miles and miles and weeks and weeks. I hope that they’ll remember.

I’ll have to pull the pink tissue paper from the art box tomorrow to be sure.


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