After a busy few weeks we thought we’d ease ourselves back into work slowly so we started with the simplest of experiments showing how warm water dissolves sugar.
From there, still in pyjamas, we tested out other items from the kitchen to see whether they dissolved in warm water. We chose coffee, flour, a stock cube, oregano, cocoa powder, salt and pepper.
I asked the boys to think about whether or not they would dissolve before trying them, as it’s nice sometimes to hear their thought processes.
When we visited Kidwelly Castle last week we picked up a book explaining what all the rooms were used for and about the history surrounding it. A long time ago I found a book on castles in a charity shop which shows what life would have been like. The boys and I sit in the sunshine, wedged on a sofa that seems to be getting smaller by the day, looking at both books and imagining what it would have been like to have lived in a castle.
My eldest catalogues our trip to Wales in his notebook. He writes about everywhere we went, the picnics we took and about the cable train. He writes about Grandad’s dogs and playing hide and seek in the garden.
Later in the week we sit together, with microwave pizzas and popcorn to watch Charlotte’s Web, a story I don’t remember from my own childhood, but one I was enchanted by as an adult. We listened to it in the car on the way to Wales and my goodness, it’s good. It’s so beautifully heart wrenching that it took my breath away.
“Winter will pass, the days will lengthen, the ice will melt in the pasture pond. The song sparrow will return and sing, the frogs will awake, the warm wind will blow again. All these sights and sounds and smells will be yours to enjoy, Wilbur—this lovely world, these precious days…”
My middle boy sobs his heart out when Charlotte dies. He’s devastated that she never got to see her children. He remembers his friend that died 18 months ago. He talks about him all the time, but to see his grief spill over almost broke me.
We sat, him and I, under the covers on my bed. I want to tell him that it’s okay, these things don’t happen, but even at the age of 6 he knows what it’s like to lose a friend and to see some of our favourite people be ripped apart by grief and pain. I want to tell him he doesn’t have to feel this way, but he does and he will again. Grief will tear him to pieces time and time again over the years and there’s nothing I can do, as a mother, to protect him from it. But I don’t tell him those things. We sit there together, locking horns with these massive, overwhelming feelings that physically hurt sometimes. And we work through them together.
The boys’ friend would have been turning 5 next week and I wonder where 18 months without him have gone.
Saturday brought a trip to Legoland and for once, I took not one single picture. I just enjoyed the day out with my family.
Scrolling through my phone with the boys, watching videos they’ve taken lately, I find photos of the Portuguese Man o’ War we found washed up in Wales. There were 4 or 5 nestled amongst the seaweed. We spent a little time looking them up and were surprised to learn that they’re not actually jellyfish, but a species of siphonophore – so we’ll probably carry on calling them jellyfish!
Looking at how climate change can have such a massive impact on sea creatures as well as land animals, Reading Eggs, learning how to count in 2s and 5s, cake making, swimming with home ed friends, learning about our skeletons, making paper mache bowls for the boys to paint, planning the recipes for our bonfire party, talking about how x-ray machines work, discussing what causes tyres to wear – sometimes unevenly and why it can be dangerous.