We met friends today at a local park. They’ve just filled the paddling pool for the summer months and so we thought we’d visit before the schools kick out for summer.
Filling our bags with towels, swim shorts and sun cream, we left the house. The boys chat amongst themselves, discussing their favourite toys to play with in water, and whether or not the paddling pool cancels out their need to have a bath.
Arriving at the park, they strip to swim shorts within two minutes. I love how they ignore the play area when there is water to splash in. For hours they play, in and out and back again; over and over.
Once they finally clamber out of the pool, we wander around the park, watching the squirrels skitter as we pass them by. The boys head straight for the pond, trying to spot the fish beneath the water. They lay flat on the ground, hanging over the edge, squealing as butterflies and dragonflies dance around them.
Returning home, the boys pick every last raspberry with such enthusiasm you’d think they were picking penny sweets. From my own childhood, I remember the taste of the first raspberries my Dad would bring home from the allotment. And I remember the weeks that followed…. endless bowls of plump, pink raspberries – with cream and sugar or yoghurt, honey, ice-cream. That sweet burst exploding on your tongue each and every time.
It brings me joy to be able to provide my boys with such a simple pleasure and I hope they’ll remember these childhood days as fondly as I remember mine.