Empty


I sat on the sofa looked and round my tidy living room. I had been cleaning the house all morning as I normally did on a Wednesday which was my half day off both of my part-time jobs.

Something wasn’t right…It was too quiet.

For the last six months, I’d had six children stuck at home creating havoc and testing me none stop! My role of mother and step-mother had suddenly expanding into primary and high school teachers, artist, examiner, organiser, peacekeeper and technician.

Today, though they had all gone back to school!

The house felt too big suddenly and I a mouse. Shutting my eyes, I took a few deep breaths and told myself I didn’t miss the stress of those days. Yes, it had been nice to spend time with them all but wasn’t nicer to have a few hours to myself now?

My second husband, Dean, had missed all of this. As a key worker he hadn’t stopped and ‘normal’ had carried on for him.

‘We can send them to school you know,’ Dean had said, ‘key worker children are allowed. Paula’s children go.’

‘I know, but I feel safer with them all here. Let’s see how it goes and maybe the older children can go to school in a month or so?’ I had replied.

‘You know they are saying this virus doesn’t really effect children? All of ours are under the age of eighteen so they are fine,’ Dean pointed out.

‘On the other hand, it’s a new bug and they don’t understand much at the moment. I know keeping them out of school isn’t good but for the time I just feel it’s the right thing,’ I explained, ‘when there’s more information we can decided then.’

Maybe, I was being a too protective mother hen? Or perhaps, I felt more prepared then other parents, having once been a school teacher before ill health and the death of my fourth child had impacted.

It didn’t matter now. It was September and they were back at school. The virus wasn’t gone though but at least it was mostly being controlled and understood. I was even going back to both my jobs tomorrow. My ‘office’ job was still work from home but my house cleaning one which had been on and off was regular again.

I looked at the clock. It was creeping past lunchtime and I should get something to eat before going on the computer.

I wonder what the children are doing right now.

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