I’ll Miss These Footprints 

It's rained this week. Endless showers that have flooded the garden and left us confined to the house. Thunder rumbling too close for comfort and bright flashes of lightening that bring so much joy to three young boys. 

This morning I slipped outside at 7a.m. to clean out the hens while it was still dry. More storms are forecast and they desperately needed doing. The silence was deafening. Nothing but the gentle cooing of the chicks pecking softly in the dirt. The rhythmic actions of a task so familiar it's become somewhat comforting. 

Once the boys were dressed we headed to the park and made good use of a waterlogged sandpit. They sat sculpting sand-men, concentration evident on tanned faces. They balanced on the obstacle course, spotted the conkers growing thick and fast in various corners of the play area and made friends with a little girl called Maria. Squirrels danced in the trees, putting on a show of hide and seek for the children.

Returning home for lunch, we sat in the warm sunshine. The boys play in the garden, splashing through muddy puddles. 

I call them in, but they ignore me. So I go to them. I take the bread board outside, the flour, the yeast, the salt. They run inside briefly to wash their hands, trailing wet footprints through the living room. All the while I tell myself, like a mantra I don't quite believe: I'll miss these footprints when they're gone. 

We sit on the patio making pizza dough, soaking up as much of the day as possible before the heavens open once more. The wood on the benches is damp, but somehow it doesn't even matter. 

Later, as the boys pass through the kitchen, they fling their toppings on freshly rolled pizza bases, haphazard and clumsy. There's grated cheese all over the place. My eldest has a smear of tomato purée across his eyelid. 

As the rain finally arrives, the boys climb into the bath to wash muddy legs and speckled faces. We find fresh pyjamas and settle down to read a couple of chapters of Treasure Island together before bed. 

Simplicity. Sundays. They fit together so perfectly. 

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