Picture this: Stepping out the door after 149 days of home-schooling

Stage 4 restrictions made contact with loved ones strange and different. It feels so unnatural for children to keep their distance from family, either through a pane of glass or over a video call, when all they really want is to be wrapped up in a huge hug.
With kids back to school today, parents across the city are breathing a sigh of relief. Lauren Rush chronicled the months her children were at home this year.

Our family has spent 149 days at home so far this year, with just eight weeks at school.

Today, the school age residents are being released back into the world. 

Over the past months on the Corona-coaster, we’ve spent our days making things – bread, earrings, pizza fractions, books, art projects and a camp in the lounge room. 

We planted snow peas, painted our nails, sent letters to our friends, tried our hand at piano, rescued a frog from inside a wardrobe, joined virtual dance parties, soaked up the sun when it shone, decorated biscuits and spent hours on video calls with family and friends. 

We’ve walked more laps of our neighbourhood than I ever thought possible. 

During a time that has felt so uncertain and riddled with grief, there is one thing that we’ve learnt – and that is how incredibly lucky we are. 

Given the chance, would I change it at all?

I’ll tell you at 3pm, when I pick those little people up from school. 

Despite being cooped up indoors for a quarter of his lifetime, Beau still spends his days giggling with his favourite people. 
The silence will be deafening when Indie, Quinn and Beau return to school after hours and hours of what can only be described as chaos. Very loud chaos. 
Every piece of furniture in the house has been jumped on, or off, as the children created improvised playgrounds to amuse themselves. 
The days have been long, the weeks have been slow and the months have felt like they might never end. I’ve started to wonder if we’ll ever actually return to what life was once like. 
While at home, the lessons didn’t always come from the school curriculum. Quinn learnt how to fold sourdough at intervals throughout the day. 
We’ve spent hours and hours walking through our local streets and parks and it somehow never feels like enough fresh air.
The elation that came when the playgrounds reopened on September 14 felt like pure magic.
There was nothing easy about online learning, there were times when it was incredibly overwhelming for everyone. It took weeks to work out that they didn’t need me to be their teacher; they just needed me to be their mother. 
There’s a spring in our step as the doors finally reopen and the children can return to school