After Christmas last year, I realised that Little would soon be 3. And that the Christmas after she would nearly be 4. Time seemed to leap away from me and I realised that my children would not be young for very long and that I needed to make the most of it.
I made a deal with myself that we would ‘do things’. This was a big thing for me because at the time, it was still hard to take them places by myself. I still couldn’t be sure of how things were going to be and I had no confidence in myself to be able to do the right thing.
But I did it. We’ve been to the beach in all weathers, we’ve been in the woods in the pouring rain, we go to library story time, Big has started going to football and do you know what? It’s helped.
We’ve been to the beach so often that when we went on Monday and it was absolutely hoaching, the girls managed okay. When we went for a picnic by the river today and it was busy, they coped. I realised this week that our bubble has a tiny bit of elasticity in it. It stretches just that bit more than it used to.
And yes, getting home again is still not good. But that’s why chocolate buttons were invented and I exploit this invention nearly everyday. But the being at places is nearly always good. There’s less control, there’s a few questions, there’s joy when we discover something new, there’s pride when they can show other people ‘their’ places, there’s play, actual play that uses a little bit of imagination and there’s a sense of we’re a unit together.
So I’m really glad I made a deal with myself to make the most of this year. We’ve created a lot of memories and (I think) a little bit of happiness for us all. If anyone needs us on Monday, we’ll be having a picnic at the beach.
The best bits
When we went to the beach this week, the girls made a forest for the fairies with their Grandad. They skipped about the beach collecting things for it and there was real joy in what they were doing.
We decided to sign up to 30 Days Wild this year. Yesterday we went fishing in the loch. We caught (and put back) some snails, a water boatman and a leech. Little decided that the ‘creatures’ needed a house and she made them a lovely habitat including bread, flowers and rocks.* She busied away for ages, chatting to herself and the ‘creatures’. It was lovely.
*No ‘creatures’ were at all harmed during the creation of the habitat. All made it safely home again.