Two weeks ago Boo was asking when the snow was going to be back. I tried explaining that it wont be back until the winter, all the time having the nagging memory in the back of my mind of a scout camp over and Easter in my youth when we awoke to a few inches of the white stuff on the landscape! With (some) confidence I told Boo that it would be nearly Christmas before she could expect to see snowflakes falling.
There was some debating of this and quite a bit of unhappiness at the thought of so many sleeps without any snowball fights. But then she realised that the absence of the snow forecast must mean that the nice weather is on the way. And sure enough the weather machinery operators obliged with a beautiful spell which will hopefully signal the start of the summer.
And Boo and Beanie have been making the most of it.
We are fortunate to live by the seaside so it doesn’t involve a trek to go for a walk by the sea. Boo adores it. She loves nothing more than grabbing an aunt or uncle to the tide line and hurling stones at the incoming waves. While the adults revert back to their formative years and attempt to perfect the skimming of the flat stones across the water surface, Boo perfects the art of lobbing the largest stones she can lift to create the biggest splash possible. Everyone expects she will land in the water herself but somehow she manages not to.
The sandpit at home is resurrected for another year and this time round beanie is old enough to get involved.
Boo builds the sand castle and beanie demolishes it.
Boo puts the spade down to pick up the bucket and beanie commandeers the spade for some urgent sand flicking exercises that cover both of them.
Boo makes her speciality Sand Pies and, yes you guessed it, Beanie decides to eat the sand.
The Easter weekend always seems to mark the turning point of the activities. The plans no longer revolve around indoor games, arts and movies but are centred on getting out into the garden and playing in the sun. It’s wonderful to see how excited children can get just by being outdoors playing. And it’s the same in their Creche. The teachers have all said the kids love being able to have playtime in the garden.
I hope it lasts. I know that when I was growing up, and I am sure many of you will be of the same view, our entire aim in life was getting outside. If there was a tree it was climbed, a river it was crossed and hazardous looking collection of wood beside a pile of nettles and thorns just had to be made into a ramp for the bikes. There were many a jump of legend where the joy of clearing the stinging undergrowth turned to horror as the bike plummeted to the ground and you realised there was a reason Evil Knevil had a ramp on the down side as well!
With the turn in the weather Boo and Beanie are eager to spend every minute they can outside. I know there are many studies suggesting how children are becoming addicted to games and TV (and I am not arguing against them in every case) but I guess we are just lucky in that if the option is outside versus the DVD then the great outdoors is going to win. And that can only be good for them. But I am reminded that it wont be long before the confines of the back garden or helping mammy and daddy with the gardening will not be enough. The great adventure of “The Green” will have to be confronted one day. When that day comes Boo will have memorised the list of Dos and Donts. She will have a GPS tracking device attached to her wrist (or surgically implanted!!). I will have a new found need to undertake frequent walks up and down the estate and I will have a renewed concern about the state and upkeep of the public areas in the estate.
I am dreading the day already. (Imagine what I will be like when she goes away fro a weekend !!)
But it isn’t this year, so for the next few months I will welcome the long nights and warm evenings. I will resurrect the BBQ and there will be plenty of fun memories to be had from this summer.
And then when they Boo and Beanie do break for The Green, I will long for the return of autumn and the short days with no time to play outside.