The lockdown blues

Who was it who said ‘Living with your adult children goes against nature’?

Oh yes, I think it was me.

A mother and son smiling in front of a Christmas tree

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.

A living area with a couch covered in brightly coloured cushions

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.

A trail of text messages

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.










6 thoughts on “The lockdown blues

  1. We love reading your stories. Feel blessed that you have him with you. Our two girls are in Melbourne and although Face time keeps us together, we miss the regular visits to the cold south to catch up with them….we hope that maybe our family Christmas together will not be cancelled by Covid…fingers crossed

  2. Hi Chris. My other son is living not too far from you. I haven’t seen my grandson since he was 6 months old – now he’s six months! But you’re right – I am lucky. I hope both our families can be reunited by Christmas. xx

  3. Lovely writing, as always, Elizabeth! I’m feeling so blessed to have my daughter and the grandies here with me (especially now I have my own working space — bit tougher when I was stuck behind the door in my bedroom!) but I’m REALLY missing my mum this second lockdown — we’ve been unwell with a noncovid headcold flu thing and haven’t dared keep her in our bubble like last time. I’m so grateful to have Georgia around — she keeps the household ticking over and cooks and we also meet in the middle to chat about all things under the sun — bloody marvellous.

  4. I loved reading that Clare. I think in some ways we will look back on this time and miss certain aspects of it – like the inter-generational connection that happens all too infrequently out in the real world. Not that any of us know what that looks like anymore.

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