We stood at the Dart tracks, my daughter and I, waiting for the train to go past. I was attempting to calm her on several levels.
"The gates won't fall on you. We're not standing too close to the other people waiting. There is no cat."
We'd already seen a cat between the house and the tracks, as I took her out for the 'bike-run'. The 'bike-run' is 3km that she cycles and I run; we started doing it every day during lockdown, but now it's only imposed on her on alternate days as life gets busier again.
The cat had slinked out from behind the tyre of a car, its black fur concealed by the black tyre. "I saw something and I thought, 'Tyres don't have ears'," my daughter said, once she'd stopped roaring like someone had jumped out to murder her.
We stood at the Dart tracks, both of us sweating with stress and only about 300m into our route, and I considered turning around and going home. Surely other surprises might occur out in this big, bad world which, in reality, is a route of quiet, residential roads chosen back in April for the fact that we meet hardly anyone on it. I wasn't sure either of us could cope.
On the other side of the road, two girls with their mother and little brother, aged about five, yelped as a SUV pulled up and rolled down its windows. Friends, clearly, whom they hadn't seen for a while.
The girls practically scaled the sides of the vehicle and climbed in the windows to see their pals. The little boy jumped into his mother's arms and hid his face in her neck. No amount of cajoling would make him look up and say hello. She made an apologetic face and excuses.
It's unlikely she needed to explain. If the mother in the car had a child of similar age, a small kid now being told that everything's fine and they must go back to sort-of normal again, then she understood.
There is a cohort of kids who aren't finding this easy. There's a swathe of them, sandwiched between the very small ones who haven't a clue, and the older ones with the more adult 'let's get on with it' attitude, who are struggling.
What did we expect? That we could tell them for a prolonged and very weird period that there was something out there, waiting to pounce, and that it would have no effect on their heads?
Mid-March, we took away all the reassuring scaffolding of their lives, and locked them indoors with us, their parents, the people who are supposed to have the answers, but didn't.
Now, we're saying get out there again, and God knows they want to, and God knows older siblings are mostly managing it, but the mid-range kids are wary.
During lockdown, child and adolescent psychotherapist Dr Colman Noctor appeared on Newstalk with Susan Keogh. He explained how that period of extreme restriction was "a grief" for children.
"We were trying to sell it as a kind of a social responsibility," Noctor explained, "that that's why we were keeping distance.
"But far more effective is being motivated by fear, and that's my worry," he continued - "that children are now motivated by fear, that they're acting out of that.
"Anything with fear and uncertainty creates anxiety, and the less normal life appears, the more accustomed to the abnormal we become and so the return to normal becomes a source of anxiety."
The truth of this is nowhere more so than in the under sevens. There's the kid whose parents paid way over the odds on eBay for a duplicate of her favourite cuddly toy, for fear that the original, clasped in her hand 24/7 since mid-March, might go missing.
There's the kid who cries, "Where's mum?" if their mother so much as goes for a shower.
There's the kid who just won't leave the house for fear of dying.
And there's the child, like mine, age nine and with an intellectual disability, who had channelled a lot of the anxiety into a terror of cats: they lurk, they appear without warning, they are not unlike the virus we were warning the poor children about for months.
I went to pet a dog while out the other day and my child shouted at me: "What are you doing? Have you forgotten about the sickness?"
And we have forgotten about the sickness, on a certain level. We're still being careful, social distancing, mixing with a small bubble of people, some of us wearing masks in the shops, socialising outdoors.
Interestingly, however, at the other end of the scale, those who cocooned could teach all of us a lesson in bouncing back.
Maybe it is because they were told that the virus might kill them, but many have a joie de vivre in returning to the world that is unmatched in the other generations. They stared into the face of their mortality, and they had a lot of time - too much time - in which to do it. Now they've got a lot of living to catch up on.
Again, they're being careful, but God, they are living. Bloomsday last week was an example of that, as the liberated elders made up the lion's share of those celebrating.
It summed up the sense of freedom among the older generation, particularly those of an age to kick against being considered old. On various WhatsApp groups, I saw retirees dancing on their local green, putting on plays, singing, reciting, acting like the joyous escaped. Which they are.
The children are, too, of course, but the younger ones will need longer to understand that. They needed the lockdown explained to them, by us, and while it was scary and might have made little sense, there was a sense of security in it.
Unless they were a child for whom home is not their safe place, then the kids were all in the safest place they knew, with a certain confidence that nothing bad could get them there.
Now, they're out in the world again, and they're not quite convinced that it's a good idea.
In fact, for a lot of kids, it seems like the adults have forgotten too quickly the big, bad dangers about which they preached only a matter of weeks ago.
The fear is still with a lot of the kids - and they'll need gentle coaxing out of it.
The life they grieved for has returned, but their confidence in it has been shaken.
Carefree will come again, but maybe more easily to the young at heart than the truly young.