Michelle asked, “Mom, that wasn’t thunder and fireworks, was it?” Two frightened huge glowing eyes of a girl who jumped up in her pajamas looked at me.
“Yes, Misha, it’s a war. You have the task of holding children. You understand everything I say, you are an adult, but they will read your reaction. Don’t be afraid and don’t cry. Lie down to Sima and cuddle her”.
No one slept anymore. Everyone was up.
The morning began with a trip to the office to pick up paperwork and manage all the schools already from there. At lockdown we, after all the checks, became libraries and churches.
Now we are bomb shelters.
6 out of 7 schools are now open 24/7 to all families with kids, cats, and hamsters.
Knitting, baking pies, crying, hiding, making crafts, drinking tea, and getting in touch with kids and families online.
It wasn’t until lunchtime that I left the office after watering the flowers.
And went to the supermarket.
IT’S NATHAN’S BIRTHDAY TODAY 🙂
He’s been waiting for this day for a year, counting the days, nights, hours.
And I don’t want him to remember it the way I will remember it all my life.
We have a tradition of buying gifts together for the whole family, with the birthday boy getting the biggest one.
He also invited all of his friends together with Batman and Spiderman.
Between sirens, I still wanted to buy him a gift. After picking up a cart of food and gifts, I realized at the cashier that I could only pay in cash, and I popped out in my pajamas. I agreed with the guy at the cashier that I will send 1500 hryvnias on his card, everything that remained in the wallet. We hugged. This way the strategic reserve was enlarged with a Kinder and a Batman [toy], the only thing that fit the theme and I could tie to a story.
I fly in, and everything is bright and well.
The cake of our friends made it to us. The same one that couldn’t make it to their house for David’s birthday, with whom Nathan was born prematurely together, and with whom they raised money every year to save the babies.
Then Bolt moved in with us (the dog from school), the teacher came, friends came, our babysitter stopped by with a cake she baked herself.
Everyone is in touch.
The schools are gathering centers of “our people.”
Our house is full of children and people.
Waiting for the explosions.
But today is my son’s birthday!
Four years ago today, we both survived!
And I’m happy, even when it’s scary!
“Mom, I’m scared!”, shouted frightened Nathan (age 4) when he heard the siren. He was paralyzed. He couldn’t move from his seat. And it was time for us to run to the shelter.
“Look, it’s just a Siren-head walking through the streets and screaming, there’s nothing scary. He’s just screaming and scaring. We must go! When you hear it, you walk calmly. When you hear the explosions, you run calmly and hide. It’s not scary, it’s just a routine. Okay? Did you get it? Look at me!”
“Yeah, I’ll take the red jacket!”
“Mom, I’m in an online game, and there’s a girl who asked where I’m from. I said I’m from Ukraine, she said she was from Russia, and then she started running at me and wanted to kill me… Why? Others even let me enter their houses and shared with me”.
“Misha (10 years), this is the result of the depth of brainwashing in the whole society, like a zombie apocalypse. You’re going to encounter this kind of thing a lot. But now you know the value of the gift of critical thinking, and you understand why I’m rooting for “thinking” so much. It’s hard to think, but it is much more interesting. What time tomorrow is your class?”
“Mom, can I go to school today in a beautiful dress? There will be soldiers there. They’ll see me, and they will want to win because we are all waiting for a big party then! And this way they won’t forget about it! I will be reminding them about it :)”
“Sima (6 years old), put it on! It’s better to wear the most beautiful straight away. Fight the enemy on all fronts! A great way :)”
“Lara (8 years old), are you sick?”
That’s one of the reasons I’m not going away. Lara can have seizures during the move, and they can only be stopped by intravenous Cibazone. There can be pre-convulsions, vomiting, bedwetting, and needing to lie down. There is a threshold, indeed. I will carry her in my arms and “hold” any number of days at any cost if there will be “Irpin” happening. But our guys are holding Kyiv now, bringing victory closer, not allowing … Amazing boys and beautiful men, generating admiration and pride. That’s why I stay here with them. I get to “hold” the kids. In their minds, reality has changed, but there is no trauma. I’m good enough to hold them. It was interesting to check how I changed on day 17 of the war. I, a boundless lover of people, any, everywhere.
One day during the war, I cried. Nathan was very frightened. He hadn’t seen me cry yet. In front of me was a small man who didn’t know what to do with me.
“Mommy, my heart is crying with you.Take a picture”.
“So you know how I saw you and why I’m hurting. If I hug you, am I enough for you? I’ll call Sima, she’ll hug you, and everything will go away. Am I a sweet boy?!”
“Then I’ll give you a kiss, and you’ll feel better. I know! That’s how you heal me. See, it goes away. I told you. You have to listen to me from now on!”
Will I be able to shoot? Yes!
Timely? I don’t know! But I will!
Am I prepared to lose everything? Yes! It’s impossible to take anything from me now. But I won’t give it away! Do I feel hatred? No! I have no hate in me yet. I’ll shoot to defend without hating. But I will shoot.
“Will you go to the center? Can you swing by mine? Do you want more cupcakes? Sparkling, sweet, or dry? Here, these flowers are for you.”
“Lena, when was the last time you ate? Get up! Hot food is already on the table! I didn’t ask you. I pointed you in the right direction. Or, watch it, you’ll lose weight, and the guys won’t love you. And why that war without guys?! We are the important ones in peacetime, but now everything depends on them! Although… No, look, he likes a girl in the rear, and then starts shooting better. We still have a matriarchy. That’s why they cannot beat us. Would you want some sour cream with it?!”
“Don’t run around dressed too lightly! I see everything! And what kind of person are you so hardened !!! Well, what if I’m in flip-flops barefoot in the cold. I got this habit from you! That’s why I’m not sick!”
“Take it and take a photo-proof as you eat it/wear it… I know you! You will give everything to children and soldiers!!!”
“I sorted it out with a manicure. Here’s a legend. I know that you need it! Even during the war”.
“Can we have a couple of canned foods/yogurts/chocolates/socks.”
“How many of you?”
“Do you want to kill my soldiers already in the rear? Take everything and stay alive! God forbid someone gets sick, I’ll find you myself !!! Everyone at school is afraid of me. At first, though, they love me. But then, for sure, they are afraid of me!”
“We have already started, we can take more vitamins.”
“And who are you in normal life?”
“A school principal!”
“I would never have guessed. You better say it from the doorstep, and we’ll tell our people!”
“Lena, who will take the yogurts?! It is necessary to write it down clearly because they will give them only to children!”
“Pffff, here are the lists, we are going to them tomorrow!”
“Then take the sour cream. There is nothing but it”.
“Okay-okay! And why then… Well, we have the first stage of “acceptance”! We take it!”
“Lena, good afternoon. I was told that you always have everything, or had it or will have”.
“Good day. Someone has turned me in :))) I feel the depth of acquaintance :)))!”
“Hello! Can I ask you for XXX for XXX?”
“And what fund are you? We cooperate only with XXX!”
“Great, thank you! I’ll take it from them now :))) You can give it to anyone, and it will most likely come to me anyway. I’ll get it regardless. I just really need it… Yes, it’s for guys, but it feels like I need it myself… No, I don’t know each one of them… but I sleep at night in my bed, not in a shelter… It means that we all work well… Where should I come to pick it up? Thank you! I’ll pass some tangerines on to you:) Hug!”
“Lena, we started working, and I got cupcakes! Do you want to pick them up tomorrow?”
“Of course!!! I can say that I stayed in Kyiv for them!”