We are not a family that tends to stay home much when mum and I are off work. We do try to take a couple of days to kick back and relax, but mainly, our vacations now consist of us doing things with the children. The last time we had a week off together as a family, we had a themed week. We had a histories week where we tried to take them to some historical sites around London, explored the bridges, went to Pudding Lane, saw the monument in memory of the great fire and took them to the Tower of London. In a week, I don’t think that’s too bad, especially if you consider we have a scatty, four-year-old and a toddler in tow.
So, the summer holidays have come along and we have some time off with the girls. We haven’t taken much time off because we have had visitors and birthdays (we celebrate three birthdays in the three weeks)image
During these first few days of holiday, one thing happened that stands out to me. My sister came over for a visit a while back. We decided to go to Camden to have a look around. It had been a while since we’d been there, so we decided to go to Primrose Hill and let the girls run around for a bit whilst we soaked in some of the nice weather.
imageAs we walked in my DD2 (daughter #2) asked if there was a play area to which we shrugged, “We weren’t sure.” Much to our surprise, a lady sitting on the nearby bench overhead her question and pointed us to the other side of the park. Out of curiosity and to expire some of their energy, we took them over and wow! It was huge. There were swings, three levels of slides (one spiraled down like a Helter Skelter), a xylophone that had to be played with your feet, a climbing frame made from rope, monkey bars and a sandbox that seemed to never end. I tend to stay with my two year old whilst the others run wild. We went over to the slides where she took some turns and then moved over to the sandbox where she remained for the rest oimagef our time there.
Her sisters would come over every so often to play and then run off. Much to my surprise DD1 old me to go and take some time off whilst she took care and played with DD5. DD1 is nine years old and in a play area I expect her to do what any other child would do, same ash er sisters. Taken aback, I asked her if she had had enough. ‘No Daddy, I just want you to have a good time too. I’ll play with the baby whilst you sit down for a while.’ Slowly, apprehensive, I got up and left them at the sandbox. I didn’t completely leave them on their own, for that would be irresponsible of me; however, I put myself in a vantage point where I could see them and pounce into action if anything untoward occurred.
It gave me a chance to aid and participate with the others in their games, which was a nice change of pace for me. DD1 and DD5 played together for over an hour, pouring sand over each other (groan, it wasn’t easy to wash out), making sand angels, digging and trying to make castles with dry sand. It is beautiful to watch how my eldest is turning into a caring and loving person who constantly thinks about others, who’s idea of having fun, especially it that moment, was to share it with someone else. The care and love in her eyes for her younger sibling.
This experience was made more wonderful for DD5, not because it was her first time playing with sand, but because it was shared with her loving and caring sibling.
Now I wish for more days like these so I can enjoy the family that I have been blessed with and not worry about them looking out for the other. It was a magical few hours that I’m sure I will never forget.