Sunday, 22nd March 2020. Mother’s Day.
Day 5 in the house (cue Geordie accent. Anyone reading this old enough to remember Big Brother? Or am I the old out-of-touch one who doesn’t know that it’s still running and now in its 52nd year?). Cold, but sunny (what is it about keeping diaries that makes us fascinated by the weather?).
6:32 Am brought tea, card and chocolates in bed. Could definitely be worse.
9:03 Tweet from random woman (paraphrasing): Do your Mum a favour and stay the fuck away from her this Mother’s Day. I reply: That’s what I tell my kids every Mother’s Day. Spend shower fretting that it’ll be misinterpreted (despite being true, but without the swearing; okay, not always without the swearing*) and try to find random tweet but can’t. Effects of shower negated by sweating about tweet. Find new function on Twitter (useful): Messages and Replies. Delete my reply. Phew.
9:30 Visit my mum. Sit on other side of the room. Don’t hug, don’t kiss. Worry this is overstepping guidelines, so can’t really relax, but my mum, my sister and I will be sharing childcare of my nephew, so it’s not like we can avoid seeing each other.
14:00 Husband leaves to have cup of tea in the garden with his mother (2 metres apart) and says: Don’t let the kids watch TV all afternoon. Of course I won’t, I reply. Wait until the car has turned at the end of the road, I say to my 5yo, and then we put a film on and I read a book (need to reduce that tbr pile somehow and it is Mother’s Day). Make up for it by taking them out into the field behind us after (our garden backs onto the school playing field) and they build sandcastles in the long jump pit (the only good thing about the schools being closed is that we can use the field any time).
22:30 Me: Every now and then I get a moment of panic when I think about the kids or our mums getting this.
Husband: You know out of all us, the most likely people to die are us because we both have asthma.
Me: Thanks for that. Panic escalates until my brain shuts it down and I sleep, dreaming of a zombie attack.
* Just to clarify: I don’t hate my kids, but sometimes I do need a little time away from them and as part of getting old am learning to accept myself for who I am (which is a little sweary).
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, as well as in print and in various anthologies. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. She tweets @laurabesley