With the last of the sunshine set to be imminently replaced with a whole week of rain. Thereby threatening to change what we have all found to be our new lockdown normal…the garden life! Eddy decided to take a moment to be spontaneous.
That is as spontaneous as life under lock and key gets.
Which meant…camping in the garden.
We are trying our best to try and make the most of the ordinary moments of lockdown in the hope that when this is over these will be memories that will last for the girls. What better than an activity surely worthy as a childhood right of passage status.
Well we can’t travel right now so this is the next best thing right?
For them that is! The tent isn’t big enough for all of us (such a shame). Which meant a Saturday night hot date with a glass of red, a few episodes of New Amsterdam and some very much appreciated peace and quiet in the house all alone for me.
Utter bliss I can tell you!
The children could not have been more excited when Eddy suggested camping out. Before we knew it they had collected all of their camping ‘essentials’. Which, in case you were wondering = more books than they could ever read in one evening, more soft toys than even fit in the 2 man tent with a 6ft 3 man and two children, and all the blankets we own. By 6pm it was pyjamas and sleeping bags quicker than they have ever gotten ready for bed.
We are usually a family to do everything together. Sometimes to our own detriment as we have learnt over the years. So it was such a lovely experience for them to have just the three of them. The upside of this weird lockdown time at home is that they are really enjoying having their Dad here more. Whilst sometimes it is hard to understand the conference call/working upstairs life it is a bonus and they seem so much closer for it.
Ready. Set. Bed
They all snuggled up one daughter either side of their doting (and squashed) Dad and read books for hours. After a couple of ‘stop talking’ warnings for Roma (she always chats to herself in her bed at the end of the day so I don’t know why we thought it would be any different when in a confined space surrounded by other people) they were fast asleep with their angelic faces by 9.30pm.
Yes I did sneak out to have a little look!
I stood by the window (before the tv and wine lured me into the lounge) and stared at the tent. You could see legs moving, shadows, I could sense the camaraderie and laughter. I could just imagine the tails of the damp lining and it’s tell tale distinctive noise. The zip that signified morning, or maybe that someone needed the toilet or some less stifled air!
I looked closely at the three little pairs of flip flops and sliders lay on the grass just outside the tightly closed tent door. The view suddenly made me swallow hard. It was a rare moment of calm and clarity. A stark reminder that everyone is here and safe and yes life is all consuming right now but we’re ok. All of a sudden that simple ordinary sight became the biggest one and tearing my gaze away felt wrong somehow. It’s moments like these that make me grateful to notice the details and store those memories away.
I might not actually remember these little things in the years to come but I do think they sow a seed for appreciation.
The Morning After
Fast forward 10 hours or so, hearing the back door creak open from my comfy and quiet bed as they wandered in all bleary eyed and delicate like the morning after the festival night before. Their wild scruffy hair standing on end with slightly damp night clothes, chilly skin teamed with a giddy smile and stories to tell. They were so happy relaying their adventure to me about their early morning with the birds singing (5.45am no less) and tales of who said what and who does what in their sleep! A lot of snoring apparently – I feel your pain girls!
That Sunday morning hot drink and breakfast together wrapped in blankets squashed on the sofa was a highlight of the weekend for me.
I am sure there was a bit of messing about, not all that much sleep and I hear Eddy had a little less room than is necessary for such a tall man! But it is so lovely for them to have felt like there is some adventure in these days and to have something to share with Eddy. Likewise, him with them.
It seems that one on one time isn’t just reserved for experiencing with each child, but each parent too.
There’s always one. It is always Roma!