Friday, March 12, 2021

AN ARMCHAIR LEWIS HAMILTON

If you read this post anytime in 2021 you won't need me to tell you that there's a pandemic going on.  I suspect that someone reading this in the not too distant future will wonder "What's she going on about?"

Blogs tend to hang around in the ether, what a great tool they'll be for the social historians who'll try to assess how humanity dealt with this bizzare episode in our history.

Fostering seems to be weathering the storm that is a global pandemic pretty well, in many ways it's business as usual. 

The fact is the needs of children in care are so intense that us foster mums and dads can often be almost oblivious of the obvious dangers of Covid.

I drove off to the supermarket earlier today and it simply never ocurred to me to make sure I had a mask in my pocket. When I arrived I blithely got out of the car, grabbed my shopping bags and was halfway to the doors when I noticed a customer coming towards me with her trolley and I found myself saying to myself;

"What's she got that mask on for…?"

And the penny dropped. I'd been so wrapped up in fostering stuff I'd momentarily forgotten about Covid!

Luckily I keep spare masks in the car so all was well.

What had distracted me?

This morning I did a school run with eldest foster child. He's an absolutely fantastic person, I feel so lucky to know him. And know him I do, probably better than anyone else on earth. The courage he summons to deal with terrible things that have happened to him. The blazing intelligence he posseses. His wit. His joi de vivre. His incessant carping...

I said to him as we drove along:

"I want you to know you're dealing with this pandemic better than anyone I know."

He really is. Now he's back at school he takes every precaution against bringing the virus into our house. He has improved his diet because he wasn't getting as much exercise as when he has PE. He does all his school work and homework on time and does it well. He asked if he could have a bottle of white Listerene to keep his mouth healthy and his teeth white. He has built a set of virtual friends to keep his social skills on the move. He tidies his room. He might be the only teenager in the UK who does, but so he does. He looks after his pet lizard, he brings his plates down if he snacks in his room. 

However, when I gave him a word of praise he responded as I knew he would, he told me to shut up.

We drove on in silence for a bit. Then the usual criticisms of my driving began. According to him I either drive too slowly or too fast. I use my indicator unecessarily. I change gear too often. I am always in the wrong lane.

This is just a game we play, I come back at him calling him an armchair Lewis Hamilton, telling him he's the worst passenger I've ever had. 

Getting close to his school I tell him I'm going to drop him at the bus stop layby. He replies;

"Unless there's a bus behind."

I say "I know that, if there's a bus behind I'll go past the layby and drop you in the side road."

He says "Use your mirror to see if there's a bus behind."

I reply; "What, that mirror up there? I always wondered what that was for." 

He nearly smiled.

I dropped him off and drove home wrapped up in the joys fostering can bring if you keep your wits about you. 

And half an hour later set off for the supermarket still giving myself little hugs and clean forgot there's a flippin' pandemic on.

No harm done. 

Quite a bit of good, all things considered.


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