as our new normal has started to feel a little more normal and a little less new, i’ve been trying to (extremely gratefully, recognizing how incredibly privileged i am) embrace this unique time. i feel so helpless and sad as i think of all the profound suffering happening in our world. but i’m trying really hard to do my part by avoiding any contact with humans outside my household, and i’m trying really hard to cherish this weird but wonderful-in-some-ways slice of life when i’m stuck at home with my three boys and an empty calendar. i want to find meaning and growth, and i’m so incredibly grateful that my lack of current personal tragedy is allowing me to do that. i’m feeling myself to deepen as i recognise what i miss and what i don’t miss, as i consider the richness of human connection and cooperation, as i surrender to the uncomfortability of uncertainty.
here’s some photos and tidbits from our london lockdown life lately.
wisteria season burst and filled our world with gorgeous, heavenly aroma-ed, purple happiness. buckle your seatbelts for lots of wisteria pictures in this post. i am so grateful that we can still get out to exercise every day. the weather has been phenomenal and enjoying london spring – surely one of the most glorious and joyous things on our planet earth – has been restoring and enlivening.
ian has taken moses and gabriel to richmond park a few times since the lockdown began in london. it’s a haven for sure, with miles and miles of wide open green spaces and lots of nooks and crannies for our little ones to explore without coming anywhere near another human being. these all-day outings have been a lot of fun for all three boys, and a fantastic break for me (back at home doing yoga, catching up on projects, resting and indulging in some needed self-care and alone time). some photos ian sent me from one of their richmond park adventures:
aren’t these log structures that park visitors have created over time so cool and fun?!
gabriel is obsessed with the herd of deer that roam wild in richmond park. he talks about them every day and could sit and watch them for hours!
we have had a couple of virtual double date nights with some dear friends. we order takeout delivery dinners and get into deep, meaningful conversations that we have to tear ourselves away from before it gets too late (all knowing that our kids will wake us early!).
a sunday morning at battersea park … moses is always picking dandelion bouquets for me 🙂 with all the amazing parks that we can get to without too much of a walk/bike ride, along with the flowers blooming everywhere on and around the city buildings, i really feel like we aren’t hurting too much for nature being stuck in a big metropolis. london is amazing like that.
wisteria snaps from the walk to and from battersea park that sunny day:
the photo i texted to ian from the hospital after my ultrasound. baby a and baby b. what!!!
from daily wisteria walks/runs towards the end of april:
craft wall number three! i’m so glad both moses and gabriel are so excited about creating (with any materials we can find!) right now. they could sit at the table and paint/draw/cut/paste for hours.
mornings in our garden – here gabriel is showing off his nose and his new sandals 🙂
more wisteria…! i wish the smell could come through your screen! it’s divine.
we even have some in our garden!
visiting not just the wisteria but also the resident peacock at holland park:
other pretty (these ones so tiny and delicate!) blooms from our garden:
probably my favourite wisteria house in london:
tulips in holland park:
moses picked up a long, fat stick in green park during a sunday family bike ride excursion and decided it was a baseball bat! he worked on his skills for a while with daddy 🙂
we rode our bikes (we purchased a bike and bike trailer, and for our second bike we use our bike rental subscription!) to regents park one day … and on the way we happened upon these elephant statues near marble arch. i think if mo and gabe were to describe their most desired wonderland, it may be a bunch of elephants to play with/around. it was such an awesome serendipity to bike past this!
moses climbing a magical tree in regents park. that kid is almost always in a tree these days. i feel like the lockdown has forced our kids to make the natural world into their playground. who needs swings and slides when you have trees, rocks and sticks? i love it.
pretty blooms and cutie boys in our garden…
… and around the neighbourhood …
craft wall number four! (moses’s bed is in this photo because we had to have some construction happening in our boys’ bedroom for a few days at the end of april – such bad timing and made me so so anxious, but it was the only way we could get gas (i.e. hot water, oven, heating) permanently restored to our flat. the boys slept in the living room for five nights and actually totally loved it, haha. we’ll take any exciting switch-up we can these days…!)
one day it rained all day. at 5pm as soon as it cleared up i took the boys out to the mews street around the corner to puddle jump! they got soaked head to toe and had a blast.
you’re not sick of wisteria pictures yet, are you?! 😉
we made a big colourful rainbow for our front window. (not sure if its a thing elsewhere, but in the uk lots of homes and businesses have put rainbows in their windows as a sign of thanks to health care and other key workers, and as a sign of hope for everyone!)
-moses has been included “please bless that the sickness will go away” every prayer. more recently he has paused after this has-become-quite-rote plea to say, “really, pleeeeeease bless that.” he really has been such a champ throughout the last nearly two months of lockdown – i cannot recall one time that he has complained that we can’t go to most of his favourite places or play with his friends. he did say once, “mom, i wish i could go to school.” me too, bud, me too.
-so far, we have cancelled: ian and gabriel’s daddy date trip to belarus, a much-anticipated week-long road trip through poland, a stay at the most charming airbnb in tuscany and exploring around there, a trip to switzerland to visit my brother and his family who live there, and an adventure my brother and ian planned together glacier kayaking and polar bear spotting in svalbard (at which point ian would have completed his goal of visiting every country in europe!). it feels sooo stupid to feel sad about having to forgo these trips, but i have to say, i do, a bit. especially as we prepare to welcome two new babies to our family, it’s a (tiny, insignificant, but still real) bummer to not be able to get some travel in while we are four rather than six.
-ian and i are taking a “peaceful parenting” course together, and that has been so awesome. we’ve been learning a lot about ourselves, each other, and our kids. we’ve also been trying to come up with creative/exciting at-home date nights and doing some at-home workouts together.
-i have a weekly wednesday night zoom call with my mom, sisters, and sisters-in-law. we listen to a podcast during the week and then discuss it together. it’s so great.
-i consider it a great win if i brush my hair, put on non-leisure apparel, and maybe even wear mascara on a given day – ha!
another wisteria run (yes, i stop every two minutes to snap pictures…!):
making friends with squirrels in holland park:
i joined the three boys on their most recent excursion to richmond park. it was a great day out with so much space between us and others moving their bodies and enjoying the sunshine.
a boy and his beloved deer:
so much crafting, so much wisteria. weird but still wonderful times for the wrights in london.
Beautiful pictures! Those buildings are gorgeous and so is your family. I am trying to embrace this extra time with my little family as well!
Hi. I love the idea about listening to a podcast and discussing it. Would you mind sharing the podcasts you love?
Oh my Wisteria! Incredible! Love those little guys! You will look back on this pandemic with wonder someday! That gorgeous rainbow is amazing!
Lovely thoughts and photos. It really is ok and valid to feel disappointed, frustrated, and in general bummed out about the challenges you face. This is hard!! Even though others have even more serious/scary challenges; this is still super hard!
I agree with Jenny Also. Other people may have have different/more serious challenges, but feeling disappointed is a legitimate feeling right now. Things are hard and scary. I love that Mo asks so sincerely for the sickness to go away. My girl (she’s about Mo’s age) tells me all the time how much she hates the sickness.
Beautiful pictures, Charity.
I’ve been wondering, do Mo and Gabe have an English accent or an American accent? I spent most of my childhood in England and although my accent has softened, its still there.
Just FYI with those new babies you may need this for the boys and then te trailer for babes
we had one and loved it There is even a bike seat attachement for when kids cant pedal
After seeing your beautiful photos, I will put London on my bucket list 🙂 one of my closest friends had twins after her first two children and unfortunate circumstances have led her to single parenthood but she rocks it. I am sure you and Ian will too! Would you mind sharing the name of your peaceful parenting class?