It’s been a beautiful week. We stayed at Centreparcs in Elveden which was some much needed peace and respite. We visited the beach and I watch for hours in the January frost as the boys run out with the tide and then turn screaming as the water chases them back. They bring me sticks, gnarled and twisted from being tossed relentlessly in the water. From one soft split in the wood we see that something has laid its eggs and we throw it back into the water.
Although Centreparcs is known for its wildlife, I wasn’t prepared to have breakfast with the squirrels and Muntjac deer on the patio. We look up deer on sketchy wi-fi and learn the difference between the markings on the males and females.
The boys name the squirrels: Walnut, Hazlenut, Peanut and Brazil. They watch for hours.
A Jay sits watching us, beady eyes focused on three excited boys.
It snows this week. Not heavily, nor enough to settle for long, but the boys head out with no coats on to break the ice on the pond and feel snowflakes on their faces. I watch from a draughty window, feeling a long way from home.
It’s been a week of peace, of big decisions and heartache. But it’s also been positive, knowing that I do have the strength and support to do this.
The sea helps, and I find myself wondering once again how I ended up living as far away from the ocean as it’s possible to get in this country.
We return home, begrudgingly, and slip back into reading and maths as if we’ve never been away. The wind blows ferociously outside, the rain scattered and patchy in the gale. I sit on the sofa watching the day dawn as I contemplate making a picnic for forest school this morning.
Things are changing. Great, momentous, life-altering things. And it’s ok. We can weather this storm. There’s peace flooding through me. I watch these boys of mine play together and I know it’ll all come right in the end.