Climbing off the shelf

Life is all about change, we strive to get the balance right at each and every twist in the road. It will twist and turn because as we evolve personally the path we walk changes too.

I was having a discussion with a friend yesterday and we briefly touched on the parenting journey and the choices I and Mr.K took to begin that journey. It took a while to fall pregnant but we decided that if we were going to embark on this rollercoaster journey we would do it all in, which to us was a full time parent and a worker. I still can’t believe how fortunate we were to be able to pursue this path, more luck than judgement certainly!

I’m not sure anyone really knows beforehand just how intensive being a stay at home mum actually is; especially with two or more children close in age. For the first 10 years of their lives, yours is secondary, there are no breaks or holidays, you are ‘mum’ 24/7 with, if you can wangle it, the odd gap of 24 hours thanks to the occasional sleep over, even during that time you don’t stop thinking about them. I can only speak from my own experience of course, for eleven years every thought, consideration, plan and decision has put them first. And, you know that’s fine, I spent 36 years before they arrived being ‘me’ or ‘us’ I knew who I was, I remember her well and I can honestly say I’d put ‘me’ on the shelf again to concentrate on being ‘mum’ if I had to re-do it all.

Now, as we are on the brink of our next life chapter, with the amazing daughter about to move into secondary school and the little man entering into year 6 and trying to grasp the concept of his first ever year at school without his big sister, it falls on me to consider that in the last three years I have been slowly easing off the mummy shelf and finding small ways to be me again.

Obviously, we still have quite a journey ahead of us, the countdown to independence as they go through teen age and spread their wings. But I’m very aware that in this time of showing them how to care for themselves and function in the world I must look toward my place and what that means to me, to us now, moving forwards.

 

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Connections and webs…

Isn’t it funny how life just seems to put people in our paths for reasons? Reasons we may never fully understand.

An odd co-incidence happened this week. I think I mentioned in my last post that my daughter is about to leave her Primary education and move up to secondary school. It has, so far been a very smooth transition, she is very happy about it all and looking forward to this new stage in her life.

I met her from her first induction day after an extra sports event in the evening, we walked home the two miles because the family car was elsewhere and she told me all about her day and the new things she had learned about her up and coming life at secondary school. A couple of things really struck me but the biggest one of all has a bit of a back story, please bear with me…

When Mr.K and I decided to be an item we were living 100 miles apart, give or take a few feet. So after a short while we stuck a pin in the map in between our two locations and rented a bungalow to see if we might rub along without killing each other. (Almost 21 years later, he’s not dead yet.) We were in the bungalow 2 years and during this time Mr.K had to hire a new ‘mate’ to work with him. Let’s call him Mr.I…  Mr. I and Mr. K became firm friends and through the years and many changes they still are. We went to each other’s weddings, saw five children come along between the families, when they left the country for a bit we visited them abroad and got caught half way up a mountain in a monsoon. Although we have never been in each other’s pockets, especially with the children attended different schools, we muddle along well together and I’ve always enjoyed Mrs. I’s company.

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So, the daughters school… 250 children in her year 7 – approximately, divided between 6 ‘houses’ which is split into half so each house has 2 timetables, then split further into tutor groups that contain children from each year… 3 year 7’s  including her. One of which is Mr. I’s second son… Totally random; But amazing none the less. Yes, it’s a co-incidence but the two families just keep getting further and further intertwined.

Also in her half of her house is a young man who we met when she was just weeks old because they were born on the same day. Not such a close connection but still, a half of a sixth of 250 is pretty amazing even if I’m too thick to work out the odds! And to think I was pleased when our closest friends son was in the same house as her!

So, that had my little brain reeling. I’ve always maintained that no one ever crosses your path without a reason, sometimes the reason is so small as to go unnoticed, some people are sent to hurt you, some to make you stronger, some to love you, some to make you wake the hell up… It’s all a web of intricate bonds.

A brief spattering

We had a little bit of snow, not much at all, enough to create much excitement!

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It’s the fastest I’ve ever managed to get the little lady out of bed! She spent ages in the garden playing with the snow before school.  The little man is not so keen but got carried away by his sisters enthusiasm.

The school run was a trauma, the council don’t grit the road leading to school and its rather steep in places.  We had icy conditions with cars sliding and traffic backed up rather fast.  It was my day for traffic management, so I left my car at the top of the hill and walked down with the smalls. I was pleased I did! Ours is only a small school but everyone drops off in 20 minutes, its usually a well oiled machine but ungritted roads are a bit of a nightmare. A little bit of snow causes so much havoc in the UK but I still love it to bits!

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We had to pause to take a picture of the snowdrops, it’s become rather a tradition, the first flowers poking their head out after the dullness of December, it’s the hope of new life they bring.  We stop, huddled together and proclaim over them every year.  Beautiful.

I hope you are staying warm and safe and enjoying the snow (or your own weather) wherever you are!!

Messing about on the river!

It’s the final week for the Mark Warner Holidays Active Families Challenge. I have been really really really looking forward to this one. No REALLY!!

This week we have been getting active by

Enjoy a splash about -active family in the water

I’d thought about swimming but our local pool won’t allow cameras, which makes perfect sense really. With the current weather, puddle jumping would have been ideal; but what I really really really wanted to do, yes REALLY, was Canadian Canoeing!!

We are very lucky where we live, it’s no distance at all to the Kennet and Avon Canal, miles and miles of tow path to walk and cycle, rich in wild life, many lovely pubs to visit. it’s beautiful and tranquil.  There is a canal museum at Dundas Aqueduct, which along with a rather good Bistro/Cafe called The Angelfish and a very friendly and helpful Boat and Bicycle hire company, which makes for a splendid day out for all ages.

The four of us hired a canoe (£10 for the first hour)  for a bit of a splash about on the river.

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These canoes happily take three adults or two adults and two children, we all had a paddle each, although some of us were more effective with these than others (allegedly).

canal 001Yes, that is a rare photo of yours truly!

canal 008Mr. K passed the camera up front after that, the back of my head is so dull…

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So that is it, what a fun month May has been! I’ve really enjoyed joining in with the #MWactive challenge. We have been out and about with friends, having fun as a family, enjoying spring time what ever the weather! And none of it cost the earth either!

Check out the tag #mwactive on twitter (@kailexness) to catch up on what has been going on this month, you will also find the other bloggers taking part of the challenge through that tag.

Thank you very much to Mark Warner Holidays and to Propellernet for selecting us to take part, I’m really looking forward to a trip to London to visit Profeet! So very exciting!

You know it’s summer when….

The trampoline goes up!

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