Pete Johnson has gone viral and brought the internet to tears after sharing sweet signs that he made for his sons after he was separated from them in the first lockdown
Image: Jam Press)
A dad who lives apart from his sons put up sweet signs during lockdown so that he could stay in contact with them.
Pete Johnson, 40, was gutted to be separated from his two boys, Jake, 15, and Jamie, eight, during lockdown, even though they were just one street away.
So the devoted dad, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, got creative and made signs so that he could stay in contact with his children, which he would leave outside their house for them to see.
Now he’s shared the signs with his followers on social media, and the internet is in tears at the touching messages and the effort that Pete went to.
What do you think about Pete’s signs? Let us know in the comments
Pete said: “It felt like my contact with the kids had been suspended for an unspecified time. I was obviously devastated to hear this news and became very depressed in the following days.
“One day I was looking out my kitchen window thinking, ‘how am I going to get through this?’. At that moment I noticed the signboard in the reflection of the window.
“I decided to use the board to write messages to the boys which I would leave outside their house for them to see. This was to show them I was thinking of them but also to motivate me to get up in the morning and to help combat the depression of losing contact with them.”
For the months that followed, Pete got up every morning at 7am to write the message for that day and would then leave it on the hedges adjacent to their living room so they could see it.
At 12pm, he’d return to pick it up and could chat to them through the window.
He said: “At first the signs were messages to them but they became interactive, so I would ask them to draw me a car, boat or write me a letter, etc.
“These drawings would often be placed next to the sign for me to collect.
“The kids loved them! It was a difficult time for us all but it definitely put a smile on all of our faces.”
After four long months, Pete and the kids were finally reunited in July last year.
Pete said: “That day was amazing! Jake and Jamie had changed so much in those four months it was lovely to see.
“Jamie in particular had made huge progress with his speech and didn’t need as much looking after as before. I was just happy to do what I do best again – being a dad to my kids.”
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Although lockdown is now over and Pete is back to regular contact with the boys, he shared the images of the signs on Facebook last week to open up a conversation around how difficult it has been for separated parents since March 2020.
His post received over 4,000 likes with many parents sharing their own stories.
One mum wrote: “Honestly made me cry! It happened with my daughter’s dad as well and because I was shielding we made the decision it wouldn’t be a good idea. It must have been so hard for you.”
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Another said: “What a Dad. That must have been incredibly difficult for you. I share my daughter with her Dad and we changed our routine to weekly swaps to minimise contact as usually she’s in and out with both of us to fit around work/school/club schedules. That was tough enough so to have put your child’s health first and been separated for so long, well I salute you.”
Other’s praised him for doing something so special during such a tough time.
“This will be something you’ll children will remember forever from their childhood. So lovely to continue to connect even when you can’t see each other,” another Facebook user said.
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