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Sometimes there are world events that come crashing into your life and change everything. They give you so many chances to be humble, be selfless, be grateful, even while your heart is breaking into a million tiny pieces.

COVID-19 has taken the world into the First Circle of Hell and the NZ government took one look at the raging cluster fuck, rolled up its sleeves, and came up with an effective plan to shut that shit down but FAST.

And I'm grateful for that, in every sense but one.

Part of the hard decisions that were taken, was that children of separated parents could only move between households within the same community. For the NZ unfamiliar, La Sombra and Keith's household couldn't be said to be in the same community even when viewed from space.

There was no question in my mind in the run up to lockdown that Keith's was the better household for them to weather the storm, but did that come at a personal cost to me? Yes. And how large a cost, I would have no idea.

For weeks now we have had regular video calls, through patchy signal and ever restless children, hearing of trips to the beach and plans for lunch and Fortnite wins, and the ever-present declarations of love.

"I love you Stinky Face", I'll say to Olive, and for a second I see her eyes change to hurt, just a flash, like a nictitating membrane, that reaches through the internet and strangles my heart.

"I love you Alfredito", I say to my son, and in return, his mouth moves with words unsaid, his eyes and mine desperate for the warmth or arms wrapped tight and faces smooshed together.

"I love you Sassypants", Esme shouts mid-sentence as she runs from the room, my middle child being as uncomfortable with goodbyes as I have always been, brashness and humour covering the pain of nights missed where her hand would otherwise be resting on my heart as she drifts to sleep.

And what of me? Lately, the weight of our separation has begun to seep into my very bones. I find myself touching the screen of my phone hoping that if I can only push hard enough I might reach them.

It hits me in a carelessly discarded hair clip or a love note on the fridge as I wait for the kettle to boil. It hits me as I hold their favourite soft toys to my heart, or discover a craftily hidden snack wrapper.

It weighs on my heart that I am enjoying my time in lockdown, with the support of an amazing group of people, and that I wouldn't, for all the tea in China replace it for a second with the children while this risk to their health exists.

They are with their father, they are loved, they are safe, and for the first time, I truly understand the words of Elizabeth Stone "Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”


  1. Oh Tash. ♥️♥️♥️ Sounds like the Grown ups are doing awesome, heart wrenching Grown upping. Stay safe and well.

    1. And you lovely. I still don't feel like a an adulty adult right now, I'm too busy trying not to stamp my feet and pout xxxx

  2. So heart rendingly beautiful and sad. Your sacrifice earth shattering, your love so immense and unselfish. I want to cry for your heartbreak and applaud your strength.Your writing touches my very soul and I hope it helps you through such dark and unfair times. Xxx

    1. It's Andrea btw, Ammies Mom in Law

    2. Thank you so much Andrea. Please do me a favour and give the family some extra snugs from me. This too shall pass xxx


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