Our family of three ventured out together in Central London after five and a half months of observing social-distancing during this pandemic of Coronavirus. While stepping out of the house has been limited strictly to occasional visits to local supermarkets for buying essentials and Aryan’s stroll in the park every other day, spending a lovely day out in the heart of our beloved city became a far cry amidst these unusual times we are passing now.
Well, we made sure that all the safety measures of hygiene, masks, gloves and social distancing were respected while we stepped out of our house and got into the tube. This was the first time Aryan and I used a transport in 5.5 months since we returned from Paris in mid-March after celebrating Aryan’s first birthday.
It certainly felt weird as evident from the look in Aryan’s eyes, all passengers wearing face coverings, masks and for us as well, this is not the London we are used to seeing. Our destination for this much needed day out was Regent’s Park, one of our favourite green spaces in central London. Aryan has certainly developed his sensory skills in huge leaps since the last time he visited this place with us. As soon as we released him from his stroller and he started walking with his tiny steps, he transformed into a different toddler that we never thought we knew.
Right from the very first touchdown, Aryan turbo charged himself to chase the fearless pigeons who were in search of some lunch. Very much like a compass on turmoil, Aryan Baba kept rushing towards any direction that he fancied from one moment to another. Now doing peek-a-boo from behind low hanging tree branches, suddenly rushing to greet a pet dog nearby, in the blink of an eye near some elder children playing in groups and trying to be friends – chasing Aryan and recording his antics were the highlights for ourselves as we enjoyed every bit of it.
Luckily, we could get the final glimpse and smell of the seasonal roses which glorify the beauty quotient of Regent’s Park every summer. Aryan made sure he also smelt a few gorgeous English roses and he even tried to put back to the rose some of the fallen petals he found on the grass.
We did steal our quiet moment on the green as Aryan refuelled himself with breast milk and we caught up with our breath. We looked at the very place in Regent’s Park where we came before Aryan’s birth to do our pregnancy photoshoot. Then we came to the same place last year in 2019 after Aryan was born but was a tiny infant. We were there once again now with a toddler bubbling to explore the world around him. While we were loving to introduce it to him as we grow together, we nostalgically threw a glimpse at the places in Regent’s Park where we left our mark even before he was born.
Aryan’s jubilation and energetic vibe seemed like a representation of what London is all about – free, fun and full of happiness. It was great to see Londoners enjoying the August sun out in the open, without any masks but keeping their usual distance as they enjoyed the charm of Regent’s Park. Since the city sees ‘extremely concerning’ rise as positive tests, we are still very much maintaining social-distancing, not eating out, using public toilets and will keep our movements restricted within the occasional (mostly weekend) tube rides to enjoy the larger greener space (parks) little more often from now on so that our toddler gets to know the city he was born in little by little.