Today we went on a walk. That is a feat in itself at the moment, with a young boy who just wants to play on the computer and a pre-teenage girl who just wants to be on her own in her room. But I was determined. I wanted to go to the bluebell wood.
The bluebells have started appearing in the garden and the hedgerows all around us and I have such an affinity with those beautiful purpley-blue bell-type flowers. I have always loved them. When we got married they were in flower. When my daughter was tiny we always went on holiday when they were out and we took numerous ethereal photos of her in her blue dress wandering wide eyed through the carpets of blue. I know I am not alone when I say there is magic to be had wandering through them. Anyway, so there I was this morning, shaking the kids awake because I wanted to go to the bluebell wood, knowing that they would be ready and in flower and waiting for us. Being met with such lethargy I was expecting a quick wander, bit of a moan and then back home.
But once we were there the magic took hold.
Blue all around us. Pathways through the flowers. Hills and dips, trees and hideaways, and the kids became children again.
We went to Blackbury Camp, an old iron age fort which is well known and loved by families and dog walkers in the area. There were many people around, all with their cameras out and smiles on their faces. Not just me that saw the magic then.
We walked round for a good hour and a half, and it was beautiful.
Jumping from logs, and making adventure paths through the woods, it was just lovely to see the kids enjoying themselves.
Lauren is 11 and about to start her SATS tomorrow. She has been nervous and rather stressed out about it all, as well as feeling knackered with the amount of pressure that has been put on them. So I really wanted to give her a stress free day today, and I knew some fresh air would do her (and the rest of us) the world of good. She is a typical pre-teen girl, who isn't really interested in family things any more and it takes quite a lot of effort to get her involved in what we are doing. But what I saw in her today was so refreshing and made me remember the child she is again.
Playing with her brother and creating routes for them to run down and jump over, races to win, it reminded me that even though she puts on this act, she is still a child and I love it when she loses that self conscious attitude and forgets she is supposed to be looking 'cool' and just plays like a kid again.
And Eli, well, what can I say about my boy?! Well, he's not the most adventurous of boys and would rather be indoors doing some maths than outside in the woods. But again, the magic overtook him and he forgot about his numbers and he forgot he didn't like mud and running and falling over and he just let go.
It was wonderful.
And the bluebells worked their magic again.