I have a weakness, I know I am not alone. I find it hard to disconnect from my children’s woes. I sometimes see them teary eyed and behaving out of sorts. I try to say the things I ought and guide them the best I can. Sometimes it pains me to say what I have to say. I ask them to reflect and to try a better way. I sympathize, I truly do. Growing up is hard, but when we’ve stopped growing in height, we’re still growing in thought. Does it get any easier? Perhaps. But as a mother, my emotions are forever hard to keep in check. I try to put head over heart at times – but heart usually wins through.
And so, this Thursday morning, with grey sky above and a wet and cool spring morning, I farewelled our middle child, Sophie, – still not ‘A1’, but high enough in energy – as she left for school. She came home happy, all smiles and chatter, keen to share her day. But by evening anxiety took a grip on her sparkling smile.
Last week she finished on a high, attended school every day. She barely wanted the week to end. This week, marred by a virus that struck the whole family, has been tough. Charlotte, our oldest at eight, went back to school on Wednesday and has been a real trooper. Alice, at 21 months, has found her energy again too. But Sophie, with a lingering cough, is slightly out of sorts. She was home with me and Alice this Friday, having coughed all night and awoken tired.
The sun has been kind to us and we managed a breath of fresh air to rock-pool and reconnect. It was wonderful. Nature really is the best tonic of all.
And on Thursday, when Sophie went to school feeling sad, leaving me and Alice with faces long, nature again helped to lift spirits. By mid-morning the dreary start to the day was pushed away and sparkling sunshine saw us through.
Alice pointed at the backpack I sometimes walk with her in, pointed to it and said, ‘Zoo! Zoo!’. I didn’t feel up to walking there, thought maybe drive there and then walk around with her in the backpack, but she won out and I’m so glad she did! The views on our walk were so beautiful.
It only took me half an hour to walk there and Alice loved riding high on my back. Sometimes our children know better than we do what’s really good for us. Sometimes I forget to listen. Sometimes I do listen and feel powerless to act or without the confidence to follow my instincts – especially if going against the grain. When I do listen, and act, it’s usually worth it.
We had a lovely afternoon and Dan picked up Charlotte and Sophie from school, meeting us outside the zoo late afternoon. He worked the rest of the day from home whilst the girls had some relaxing time at home.
Highs and lows, but one thing is for sure – nature is the biggest uplifter of all. This video, only ten minutes long, is so worth a watch. It reminds us that each day is a gift and to live each day as though it’s our first – and our last. To be grateful and aware. It really puts everything in perspective – though this isn’t something easy to find every moment of every day!
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