My bumper weekend of fun across Sussex: One Thing or a Mother
Like so many other people, the last time I saw my family was more than three months ago, at Christmas time.
And I know for a lot of other people, it will have been significantly longer than that.
So it was with huge excitement that I, along with so many other people up and down the country, made plans to be reunited with my family over the Easter weekend, following the easing of restrictions a few days before.
Unlike Christmas, which felt very much like a promise that never delivered, Easter felt much more full of optimism and hope.
At Christmas, coronavirus levels were on the up, and although we were allowed to welcome family into our homes on the big day itself, the joy was almost overriden by a sense of foreboding at another lockdown that was almost sure to come.
Now, with so many people being vaccinated daily, spring in the air and a sense of normality starting to appear on the horizon, meeting up felt so much more carefree and joyful. It was so lovely to finally see my parents again, but perhaps even better was seeing the huge smiles on my children’s faces when they saw nana and grandad for the first time in months.
It’s hard enough for adults to understand and bear the fact that we’ve had to be separated from our loved ones for such lengthy periods of time. For young children in particular, it has been totally baffling and sometimes upsetting.
My little boy has asked repeatedly to go to my parents’ house, so he can sit on his grandad’s lap, have toast and watch Paw Patrol. It really isn’t much to ask, and it’s been really hard to try to explain to him that he can’t. He’s two – he’s just not able to understand the complexities of coronavirus.
As well as seeing my parents, we had a visit from my brother and his fiancée on Easter Sunday. It’s been even longer since we’ve been able to see them, thanks to London being locked down over Christmas, and my children absolutely revelled in just having them around and taking them to the park with us.
As we all sat in our garden having lunch later that day, with the sun shining down on us, we all agreed being back together, and enjoying this simple act of having food together, was good for the soul.
Plus, throw in an Easter egg hunt, and enough chocolate to create some serious hyper-activity, and it was another amazing day.
And as if that wasn’t enough fun for one weekend, we also arranged to meet our really good family friends for a day on Shoreham Beach (finally, I had things to book into the as-yet-unused 2021 calendar!).
More playing in the park, chips by the river, an ice cream from the fab new place in Ferry Road Cotts&Lynz (Mini Eggs ice cream? Yes please!!!) and a sit down on the beach while the children played and we finally headed home after almost six hours out of the house.
I’d forgotten how tiring a day out and so much continuous fresh air can be. But it was definitely a good kind of exhausted. And it was so nice to all be together again.
I rounded off my bumper weekend of fun and human contact with a get together in a friend’s garden for one of my best friend’s birthdays.
An afternoon of prosecco, cake, nibbles and chat was just what we all needed (although I could probably have done without the wine headache the next day...!)
Let’s hope this is just the start of a fun-packed year spent with the people we love the most.