I hadn’t expected Friday afternoon to be so sad. Until the point of picking the kids up, it had all seemed surreal, that somehow school was closing for months and probably until after the summer holidays.
But watching the teachers choke back tears, kids blinking in the sunshine as parents welled up, there was no doubt that this was a moment unlike we – any one of us, parents or not – have faced.
I could make this a heavy column but frankly, we have enough serious news as it is. So I’ll focus instead on a day that anyone with kids will relate to – Monday morning when we woke to a new career as parents tasked with home-schooling.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with Evening Telegraph newsletter
Instructing my Primary 1 and 2 boys I could just about get my head round, but then there was the small matter of a three-year-old pal nicknamed Crazy Horse.
The boys were surprisingly excited about their first day at home school and asked approximately 2,092 times when classes would start from waking at 6am.
Finally, the bell (a ring tone on my mobile phone) sounded for 9am and we took our seats at the kitchen table, while the wee one played “zoos” with the backdrop of CBeebies.
I adopted a no-nonsense tone and a new name, Mrs Parker, for school hours to set some boundaries from the off.
We opened our writing booklets, provided by the school for the weeks, months ahead. Two sheets completed and they were hungry but they’d have to wait for break, just like school. Let’s write a poem, I suggested. A good chance to learn about words that rhyme.
Their eyes glazed over by verse two. The words “I’m bored” were muttered.
I remained firm and saw the poem (it was, actually, very boring) out.
My eldest looked upset. Could I maybe be mummy for a minute and give them a cuddle?
OK, I said, ask me a question, any question.
“Can we go and see Freddie Mercury’s grave?” my primary-oner asked, the Queen frontman having recently overtaken his obsession with cows.
“Maybe one day,” I replied.
“Will we see his moustache?”
“Probably not,” I said.
I thought I’d check the time.
In spite of the fact it felt like home time, I decided we’d get through it. Me, you, everyone. And we’ll be all the better for it – reconnecting with the things that really matter. Perhaps getting to know our kids like never before.