Tuesday was a day where the fun of the Easter break ended and the return to a normal routine began. We have approximately 12 weeks or so remaining until the end of the school year. Yes, I am counting down to the Summer holiday. I had told Ella, at the breakfast table, as an incentive to get through the school day, that we MIGHT go to the park after school if the weather was decent. I did fully intend to hold to that plan but as the afternoon rolled on and my fatigue began to set in, I thought otherwise about going to the park.
We collected Ella from school and sat at the kitchen table having an after-school snack. Ella asked about going to the park and maybe seeing if one of her friends could join her. The idea of going to the park was not terribly appealing to me so I deferred Ella’s request and suggested that we play in the back garden instead. Mind you, our village park and fields are literally at the end of our road. It takes 5 minutes to get there. As I heard myself saying “Oh, the sky is a bit grey, it might rain!” and “Nah, let’s just play in the garden”, I watched Ella’s face fall and her shoulders slump. I began to think about my decision. The only reason I didn’t want to go to the park was because I was tired. I kind of just wanted to sit on the couch and watch the kids play. I thought it might rain. I thought we might get rained on. And then I realised what a great big grump I was being.
We didn’t have to go to any after school activities, there were no demands on our time, the sky was grey but not THAT grey and we only live 5 minutes from the park. If we got rained on, so what? I mentally slapped myself on the wrist, put on my jacket, grabbed my camera/phone and said, “Kids, let’s go to the park”.
Ella rode her bike, Sam was on his Balance Bike. We walked to the park and had virtually the entire place to ourselves. There were a few people on the farthest side of the field who were playing with their dogs when we arrived. They left after we had been there for about 30 minutes. We had a blast. Ella always plays really well with Sam, looking after him and helping him along. I pushed them on our ridiculously slow (thank you Health & Safety) roundabout and then watched them clambour along the nets and climbing frames. It was great fun. Then we spent some quality time on the “baby” swings. I gave both Ella and Sam “underdogs” which my Dad always did for me when I was little and the hysterical giggles I got from the children told me that they liked them.
After spending quite a while in the younger kids area, we ventured across the field, of course, racing along the way to get to the big, long (and thankfully not-too-high) slide that the kids love so much. Sammy can now “Do it MYSELF!” so I just let him and Ella get on with it without too much worry. Both Ella and Sam practised their Hill Rolling and giggled all the way. I rang Mark and told him to come meet us at the park when he was done with work, which he did. All in all, we spent an unprecedented 90 minutes at the park. I was cold and even more tired than when we had arrived but we had so much fun. My heart was bursting with HAPPY! This is what you do for your kids!
Sometimes to fully embrace happy we have to put aside our adult misgivings and get stuck in! My mood lightened considerably and I found myself smiling and laughing right along with the children. We don’t do this often enough…just put aside our normal routine and do something fun and spontaneous. So today, after school, as long as it isn’t chucking it down with rain, we’re going to do something different. For the only Thursday for the forseeable future, we have no where to be after school. I’m going to pack a snack picnic, put the kids in the car with welly boots and a change of clothes and we’re heading to Burghley House Garden of Surprises and Sculpture Gardens for a play and a splash. We’re going to have a giggle. What will you do differently today? What will you do that will make you happy and hopefully, in turn, your family happy as well? Embrace Happy…life is just too darn short!