I did the school run more than four times in the past week. Brave, right?
It must be the 5G that made me do it! Yes, I’m finally fully vaxxed and feeling slightly less apprehensive.
As I ironed my clothes, because I would not be able to hide the creases in my all-day at-home gown, and I combed my hair, instead of tossing it into a ponytail, I realised that I missed this. Sure, as parents we’d bemoan the school run… struggling to wake your child up on some days, get dressed and out of the house on time… the rush of it all and especially the rush-hour traffic. Maybe we felt it was routine and robotic.
But, the school run is also an opportunity to treasure the little things… Like seeing my little one run to the school gate, eager to see his big brother, hearing my child’s excitement of the day straight after school, grabbing that cappuccino on the go and driving along Durban’s stunning coastline with the warmth of the sun peeping through my window.
Why then did it take me so long?
Leaving the house – even if it was just to school and back – was too risky for me. I have an auto-immune condition, I’m on daily medication and need regular blood tests and check-ups. I have been working from home since March 2020 and my son has been doing a hybrid of online and in-school learning depending on the lockdown level and active COVID-19 cases.
It’s been traumatic losing so many loved ones to COVID-19 – both young and old. Social media reveals the stories of strangers – families left devastated, others suffering with long-term COVID-19 symptoms. We mourn with them, and pray for them.
I live with fear and anxiety. It’s unhealthy – for my mind and body. So, I have been taking little steps to do things differently – with all COVID-19 protocols in place. And of course, you don’t know how much you miss something, until you stop doing it for a while. The school run fits into that category.
The early mornings have never been an issue for me. Let’s just put it down to insomnia which has been with me since childhood, and the fact that my body has adjusted to the routine of working the early morning shift as a journalist for many years. I’m not complaining. I love making lunch in the mornings, and getting a headstart with the day.
As fate would have it, I often do the afternoon school run while my husband does the mornings. Again, I’m not complaining.
I stopped at the garage to fill up my tank one afternoon after the school run. Spontaneously, I popped into the shop and grabbed a packet of Simba Mrs Balls Chutney flavoured chips – my favourite while growing up which is now my son’s – and Stoney Ginger Beer – a family tradition on my maternal side and an inside joke! As I watched my sons’ faces light up in the back seat – it warmed my heart in ways that I had almost forgotten.
I realised, once again, that I thrive not only on the adrenaline of live radio, but on the adrenaline of these simple moments in life… the perfect moments in all the imperfections, the moments that don’t upset your bank balance, the moments that remind you of the beauty that’s all around us, if we just pause to experience them…
COVID-19 has snatched so much away from us. Let’s hold onto what matters most – and smile more often on the school run. I know I will.