Baby in Lockdown

To my baby,

They say when you’re born, your whole world changes. Everything you knew, everything you feel- new. It’s big and it’s scary, a cacophony of colour and sound and people and feelings. You don’t know this place.

It’s a bit like that for me right now. My world is a little frightening too, although it actually got a lot smaller recently. From being the oyster, right down to the grain of sand before it becomes the pearl. The people I see are few and far between, and I don’t see their smiles as they hurry past. I hear new phrases everyday, like ‘stay safe’ and ‘isolate’. This isn’t the world I saw for you. I don’t know this place.

And as you’re learning to live, I’m learning too. I’m learning every day, in our new and unfamiliar world. How to work twice as hard on half as much sleep. How to understand a need without hearing any words. How to keep you safe from monsters I never anticipated. My instinct is in overdrive, as I am forced to make decisions and choices based on little input from the people I assumed would be there to help, if we needed it.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but the monster has ravaged this one. We’re safe in our houses, but outside remains under his control. Nobody is coming to see you. I know they’re desperate to, but the message is clear- stay safe, stay indoors. The health visitor lives in the phone now. Friends and family through social media. The world in a box.

But you’re so happy. And healthy, and smiley, and growing and changing every day. You’ve got no idea that the world is so insane right now; if anything, it’ll be scarier to you once we go back to what it used to be. Right now, you don’t even know that other people exist. Beyond me, your dad, and the few select inanimate objects in our home that you’ve chosen to befriend, nobody else is here.

And you’re thriving. Oh my baby, you are magical. You’re ahead of your leaps, your milestones, everything. And this house is so full of love, a true unbreakable bond. It’s everything you could possibly deserve in these first few weeks. A space to grow into the person you were destined to be, free of distractions and noise and people. We move at our own pace, finding our rhythm free of interruption. No well meaning but dreaded knock at the door, no passing you around like the parcel at a child’s birthday party, no fuss in our schedule. If anything, it’s better this way.

My wish to self isolate came true. I had wanted a fortnight to get to know you, and now we’re seven weeks in, and still, you’re all ours. One day, you’ll visit new places, meet new people, and experience everything the big wide world has to offer. But for now, you’re mine.

So, yes. The world has changed. It got scarier, and its size has certainly shifted. It’s new, and it’s uncertain. There’s less protection; where there once was comfort and calm, there’s chaos and condolences. But there’s laughs and cuddles, and a new family that is growing together. Their hearts are fuller than they could have ever possibly imagined.

And that perfect world, for now, is enough.