I would normally write an end of year post, reliving happy memories of the months before. Couldn’t bring myself to write that post this time around. Whilst there have been happy times and new, good memories made, it would not have been possible to miss out all the sadness and loss that came with 2020. There are family friends who didn’t want the year to end because it would mean starting a new year without loved ones lost. I get that, but I’m so desperate to see living family, I need to focus on the future and my wishes for 2021 as a new year dawns.
I think we’d all like to see brighter days ahead. Hope. The Covid-19 vaccines bring hope that our loved ones will be safe and that everything we took for granted a year ago can be restored at some point this year. My biggest hope is that all of my family and friends stay well and receive their vaccinations as soon as is possible. I’m as keen to see the rollout in Spain as I am in the UK. To know that my parents are protected, to hope that I can get vaccinated and be safe to travel by August. What a hope and a wish that is. The current calculation estimates I’m due for vaccination between mid-June and mid-July, so there’s a chance. I’m holding on to that chance and if a friend tells me that they’ve not seen their parents for a couple of months, I’ll try to be more charitable than I’ve felt recently. I’ll also try to remember how lucky I am when so many friends don’t have parents to talk to on Skype these days, don’t have parents to send birthday cards to that take six weeks to arrive.
My wishes for 2021 as a new year dawns would have to include spending time with the family I do have here in the UK. Whoever could have believed that it would be impossible to meet my brother, SIL, and their dog and go for a walk. They live fifteen minutes away! To be able to finally celebrate my brother’s 50th and my nephew’s 18th. To see my niece’s new flat in Birmingham. To enjoy our family weekend at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, again, just up the road from us all. To share hugs, sit next to each other on the sofa and laugh over a cuppa. Normality was taken from us all. Freedoms we never even knew we were taking for granted.
To be able to visit my Auntie in her care home, to see my Uncle in his bungalow. To feel that Kent is only a long drive away, rather than a different planet.
To see my friends, to see more than one of them at a time, to share a cuppa or a glass of wine, to have a curry night with the girls in my house, in anyone’s house. To pop round on the spur of the moment, to laugh and cry together, to hug and share moments together in person rather than via a zoom call.
To see my best friend, freely. For my son to see her, to watch them wandering off ahead of me on a new adventure. I’m praying we get to go on our hiking break in May, the break we should have shared last May. A few days away, it seemed like such a treat when we booked it, now it feels like pure luxury. Please let it be.
To be able to see my oldest friend, with her godson in tow. Or just the two of us having a catch-up, walking in the countryside but being able to shelter from the rain in the warm, because it always rains when we’re together.
A diary full of adventures that can be planned ahead and not cancelled. To be able to plan for the future with any confidence would be nice, to have some certainty that plans might actually come to fruition. How wonderful it would feel to be in control of some part of our lives again. To look forward with hope and excitement. But to also be able to be spontaneous once again. To wake up in the morning and decide to visit the seaside, how I miss the sea! To just get in the car and walk around Stowe whenever we like. To not think about where there are toilets and take away cafes and just go and enjoy and discover. To not think about boundaries and borders and tiers and exclusions. To roam free once more.
My wishes for 2021 as a new year dawns have to also focus on my eleven-year-old son. My hopes and dreams for him as he goes into his last seven months at Primary school. I couldn’t care less about SATS, I do care about his mental wellbeing. I hope that he gets to finish Year Six with some sort of normality, to have his leavers do, to have one last Sports day (seeing as he actually enjoys it these days – who’d have thought!). I hope we both get to say some proper goodbyes to the school that has been at the centre of our lives for so long. But my biggest hope for him right now is looming large. March 1st. The day we learn which Secondary school he’s been allocated to. Please, please let him get his first choice. I’m not sure I have the energy for a fight on that one. Also, how wonderful would it be for after school play dates, sleepovers and fun in the holidays with best friend to return, to be normality, rather than a distant memory. To plan birthday meals and treats and happy times with his best friend. Fingers crossed on that score.
For Brewster to keep being his grumpy self, to show us who is really in charge. To remembering our little bear with smiles rather than tears. To hold his memory close. Maybe there will be more pawprints on our hearts to arrive this year. Maybe.
Seems like quite a lot to wish for doesn’t it. All those things I would have taken for granted on 1st January last year. We have to have hope, don’t we?