As the weather begins to warm and we rake away the leaves, to see the tiny green buds reaching for the sun, we revel in the opportunity to spend time outside. It’s been almost two weeks since school was forced closed and March Break Camps canceled due to the request to stay home and ‘flatten the curve’ during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Everything is still grey, though the sun does try to make an appearance every now and then.
I remind the kids that rain will make the flowers grow and the dirt will become green and alive with flowers returning from the year before. Daffodils. Crocuses. Lady bells.
I recently sprained my ankle so getting out and about has been challenging. While I can’t take the kids for a walk around the block with Seb’s service dog, Ewok, I can lean on a rake and pull the leaves into great big piles, left sitting until a yard bag can be procured. Not an easy task while all non-essential businesses are closed and we hunker down in our home to keep the most vulnerable, like our son, safe from the disease. While Sebastian prefers a roll around the hood with his dog; his sister, Tallula, is happy to dig out the fairies and gnomes hiding in the garden shed from the summer previous. Since I can’t carry the big wooden crate with all of the painted rocks and tiny figurines, there’s even a Smurfette among them, she makes several trips between the back and front gardens.
Sebastian likes to be doing something most of the time. But he needs help to do everything.
While watching his sister build the fairy garden isn’t his favourite thing to do, as people walk by, moving to the middle of the street to keep their distance, they say hello and that brightens all of our moods. We feel a little less alone in all of this. Ewok settles in next to Seb in our walkway, and I take to decorating the rocks with sidewalk chalk to add a little more colour.
Sometimes it’s hard; I feel guilty with Sebastian just watching while we move about and build a fairy garden. But I have to be ok with it. Because it’s also for his sister, (and I also have a sprained ankle and am not Wonder Woman). Giving Tallula the space and time to create something, whether or not her brother can be directly involved, is important. Because sometimes it’s about her. It has to be.