Sunday, 28 August 2011

That Feeling......

Ever since #1 started school I seem to reach this time of year feeling guilty. It is a strange feeling of guilt as it is based on various thoughts. The thought that part of me is happy that in a weeks time life will go back to some sort of routine, whilst the other part of me is feeling guilty about how sad I feel that our time together chilling out is coming to an end. Also I know that for the first few weeks of school #1 will be upset which makes me already feel upset. And then there is the feeling of guilt that I have, over whether we really have made the most of the last 5 weeks off. Of course British summer time has had a part to play and in many ways has let us down again in giving us dreary wet days that don't lend themselves to picnics and days spent splashing in the paddling pool. I do seem to have kids that love being at home and the boys by and large have got on better than they ever have, and it has been very special to see them engrossed in their lego and make believe games, it's been a real sign that they are growing up. But this and endless rain, has lead to many days inside and I do worry that they will return to school and preschool to hear stories of flights and holidays spent exploring places new and exotic and when asked what they have done there answer of "played lego in my bedroom with  my brother" will sound extremely bland and boring. But heh this wasn't the case for all the days oh no!! We did manage a camping trip to Cornwall and even though 4 out of the 5 days were wet we got around and saw things that we hadn't seen before and had experiences that quite frankly I can't imagine we will experience again!

On the second day of our camping trip we set off across the coast to St Ives. #1 was very unimpressed with the whole day we had planned as whilst we were in St Ives we wanted to visit the Tate Gallery and the Barbara Hepworth  Museum, neither of which filled him with delight, but as I tried to explain we all had things we wanted to do on our holiday and if the rain disappeared we would spend the rest of the day on the beach. Well we eventually got to the Tate, I say eventually as we ended up following signs for the car park only to find ourselves parked a good distance away and with no pushchair we did end up dragging (quite literally) the 3 kids quite away to reach our finally destination. And just when the day couldn't get much more unexciting for them, and the thoughts of why are we trying to go round an art gallery with a 6, 3 and 1 yr old we spied the balloons. And in answer I'm sure to my 6 yr olds dreams yes you 'even' got to go in with them. Now that is an experience I'm sure we won't get again!

The experience of walking through a room full of balloons (curtsey of Martin Creed) is crazy and incredibly fun, (possibly not what our 1yr old thought) but whether or not it got you thinking about spacial awareness as it was intended to, it certainly lifted the spirits of two young boys and followed by being measured for another installation the Tate got the thumbs up! And the boys left having seen and experienced things that they didn't except to and that is in many ways the delights of Art.

Measuring the Universe by Roman Ondák is a mark of your height with just your name and date taken written which when viewed looks like the words speed past you from right to left, a very clever idea and probably my favourite room in the gallery. The trip to the Barbara Hepworth Museum didn't manage to stimulate the kids in the same way but for me it was so worth the visit and a fascinating view into a life of a very creative mind.

Thankfully the rest of the holiday followed suit and we had some lovely days exploring gardens in between showers and finding beaches that we hadn't set foot on before.

So maybe that's it. The day before they return to school and preschool we should have a slide show. Just to jog their memories of the days spent as explorers finding our way through the undergrowth of the Cornish jungle! Of the sights, smells and tastes of experiences new. Of the evening spent in the drizzle crabbing when 'mummy' was so petrified that #3 (22mth old) was going to full head first into the sea over the harbour wall that I wouldn't even let go of her long enough to take a photo, though I wish I had when 'daddy' decided to let the bucket of crabs go on the wall and seemed to think that they would all naturally jump back into the sea. The sound of the kids squealing as the crabs went in every direction other than the sea was delightful. Of the evening spent sitting in a steamed up car eating a tea of fish and chips whilst watching the fishermen (in the rain) and realising we weren't haven't to tell the kids to 'eat' every five minutes. Of the only dry evening spent running around the campsite playing a family version of football that left us all crying with laughter. These memories I hope will stay with the children for a long time because for me they have made my summer.

Monday, 8 August 2011

A Little Relaxing And A Year Older

Well it wasn't quite the start to the summer holidays that I had planned! On the first day of the holidays I came down with a throat infection, which completely knocked me for six, and it soon become apparent that the only thing I could do was to wait for the antibiotics to work and in the meantime rest. Now rest especially bed rest doesn't come easy to me, I normally try and carry on regardless. But once I got over the guilty feeling of lying in bed in the day, and leaving my OH to entertain three very lively kids, I soon realised it was a chance to do a bit of reading.

My birthday is exactly a week after my eldest so it's easy for it to get a little over looked. I did my usual of ordering myself a present on behalf of the others in the house! I've been excited about this book 'My Heart Wanders'  ever since I read about it in the first issue of Mollie Makes. It is a gorgeous book, and soon my thoughts turned to living on a house boat in Amsterdam. The only tiny thing that I think is a shame is how dark the photos are. They certainly set the scene but leave you wishing you could see more. Now I must quickly say that after I had unwrapped my book another present appeared and inside was this lovely Orla Kiely mug. I've been wanting to start collecting them for ages so this was a real treat and I think my OH has made a very good choice!

Then just when I thought my birthday surprise couldn't get any better a third present appeared and inside was this stunning Oral Kiely  storage jar. Well let's just say I spent the day feeling very spoilt! What with such gorgeous presents and a little fabric shopping and a lovely lunch at Cowslip Workshops it was one of the best birthdays for a long time! And then just to top it off I decided to spend my birthday money I had been sent (thanks mum and dad) on an Orla Kiely composter.

I just love the fact that something so practical can be so stylish. And it now takes pride of place in our kitchen.  So now I seem to have crept into my mid-thirties how did that happen, and how did my little boy suddenly turn 6? His growing up really does feel like it has crept up on us and then shouted boo! And I'll admit that I spent a few days leading up to #1's birthday feeling pretty low and depressed. Purely for the fact that 6 sounds old and he really now has become a boy. He has gained independence and a life of his own out of our family unit with school and at times I feel like I just want to hug him so hard and keep him all too myself . So I really had to work hard to get excited about his birthday which I know sounds terrible. But then it happened.

We had celebrated his birthday on the Sunday even though it was really on the Monday. So after school on the Monday afternoon we asked him what he would like to do and gave him options like going to the park. His choice was to go up onto the moors and after a paddle in a stream we set off on a hike up one of the Tors and it was at this point that I realised that his growing up was very exciting indeed. For a year ago a walk on the Moors would have been met with a 'no', but now, now my big boy wants to run and jump, explore and climb. He wants to get to the top of the hill first and generally does, he can sit and admire the view and begin to understand the beauty in his surroundings. He has really matured in the last 12 months and in doing so has become a very caring and sensitive soul. A little stubborn at times and still unsure of new things but he has become a lego crazed boy and I'm looking forward to doing a hell of a lot more exploring with him, for I now realise that him becoming 6 has opened up a whole new chapter in our lives, which is something to be celebrated and for that reason and a million overs I love him dearly.