Who was it who said ‘Living with your adult children goes against nature’?
Oh yes, I think it was me.
It was long before the financial implications of choosing a life in The Yarts had hit home to two generations of my family: my muso son and me. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. The writing/music life fixes you in its gaze and you are powerless to look away. So here we are in lockdown together.
We’ve had a bit of adjusting to do.
My son and I, both single, are doing our best to navigate what promises to be a prolonged period of isolation. Misery could so easily have been the order of the day. Both working from home, our ‘offices’ are separated by two sets of stairs and a living area. The open plan nature of the interior design of the apartment doesn’t lend itself to uniform heating, so we tend to stay in our separate warm burrows for much of the day.
But daily we meet in the middle. If it’s breakfast time we just nod a greeting – in our house the one-hour rule applies: I’m banned from launching into conversation until he has been awake for at least an hour. If it’s time for the 7pm television news, he moves along the couch so I can sit in my favourite spot. Occasionally we meet by the kettle and talk about our projects. Sometimes we even talk about life.
The tedium of lockdown has been punctuated by some colourful and happy memories. We’re social distancing as best we can, but I’ve had a couple of long wordless hugs that rate among the best I’ve ever had.
I’ve got to know this young man better than I did before.
And he – bless him – has got to know me better than he ever wanted to. I recently had a very personal first person story published in The Guardian. (See last week’s post for the background to this story.) In the past, my children have always been happy for my small writing successes but – at least in the case of my sons – haven’t shown much interest in reading them. This was one time I was counting on their lack of interest.
No such luck.
All in all, life under lockdown at my place hasn’t been dull. In amongst the blues are colourful highlights and the occasional warm fuzzy. And some really excellent hugs.