Digested week: As silly season ends, the dread is beginning to return | John Crace

Posted by on August 28, 2020 6:08 am
Categories: Global Stories

We’re in for a long winter of lockdowns and unemployment – and I miss my children

For just over a week this summer, I almost managed to forget the ongoing horrors of the coronavirus and the government’s seemingly limitless capacity for incompetence as we stayed with friends in their rental cottage in Norfolk. Almost. I slept better, occasionally waking up not feeling too anxious, and my wife even reported hearing me laugh for the first time in months. Though I have no memory of that. We didn’t actually do that much other than sit on the beach when it was sunny and go for walks when it was wet or cloudy – and sometimes vice-versa – and a seal even poked its head up just yards from where we were swimming. Or in my case bobbing. In the evenings, we ate, played cards and talked the ideal mixture of sense and nonsense. Now that we’re back, though, I feel the dread returning. The nights are closing in, the weather has become more autumnal and I fear we are in for a long winter of further lockdowns and high unemployment. Most of all, though, I miss my children. Even if my daughter, Anna, does make it over here from Minneapolis for Christmas – and we aren’t banking on that being possible – it will have been a year since I last saw her. My son we have seen just three times this year, partly because of lockdown but also because he is busy and now has a life of his own. While I feel proud that they have grown up to be independent of us – it’s what I always wanted for them and I’m confident that if they were still living at home we’d be getting on each others’ nerves big time – I still experience it as a loss. Last week, we went down to Brighton for a couple of days to see Robbie and his girlfriend and I spent most of the drive home in tears. In some ways, seeing the children has become as painful as not seeing them. Getting older is proving tougher than I thought.

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