I can’t remember a day recently that was so chilled and tranquil for me as Wednesday was. The sun was shining, I had on my shades and trainers, only a cardigan, and I met up with some friends (and their’s) for a walk and wander around some localish RHS Gardens. With Spring in the air and nature coming alive again, it was just a lovely day and opportunity to catch up with people I haven’t seen for a while, have some jokes, and enjoy the outdoors and fresh air!
It has been a long time since I went anywhere like this just because and to enjoy it for me more than the kids, or rather have an opportunity to enjoy it for me without the madness of rowdy kids!
For the last few years I have hunted for places where the kids can be outside in beautiful surroundings; to just play, picnic, explore and chase nature! RHS Harlow Carr was always one of these favourite spots we went to in the spring and summer (along with some national trust places too) and memories of walks there flooded my mind as I entered again this week. It seemed like 2 minutes ago I was there with Megan last year hunting for Easter bunnies and now she is in school (sob)! This time it obviously felt different; quieter and more chilled and a feeling of tranquillity filled my soul (especially as I solo’d it back to the car in the afternoon) and it made for the lovely time I had.
There seemed to be more opportunities to look and appreciate the daffodils, babbling beck and sun beams through the trees. I noticed a little robin hopping about on the branches and signs of a new season all around me. My whole mind was in the moment as oppose to looking around to see what mischief they were up to and it felt a little foreign, but refreshing too. It felt great to realise that I like to walk around gardens and woods too and that I like to do this for me – outside of mummy duties to give them a childhood. It got me thinking about how I can have these ordinary moments for me and don’t need my little crew of kids with me to visit our favourite spots, but I can push (or carry) Alice and do this for me too (if I can get passed the emotions of nostalgia).
It was also nice to chat with other mum’s in a similar stage of life and for them to talk about Poppy too in an easy/non awkward way – those moments are always appreciated and make her feel more present and my loss validated and me a little less weird!
I realise now, or maybe am accepting that I am in a new chapter now that my oldest kids are in full time school and just have a little content baby who is happy to go with the flow and is no trouble at all. I often am reminded I should have a toddler too and think sometimes that stops me from seeing those with toddlers more often, but I don’t and this is my life now. I haven’t been out a whole lot with Alice aside from the odd park walk with a couple of friends or shopping and the occasional baby group – its all kind of random and sporadic. But Wednesday reminded me how good it is to get out with people and laugh and chat. How good it is to go to places like this that I enjoy just for me and just because.
It won’t be long before we are back in the stage of seeking places for fun and daily adventures with an inquisitive tot in tow, but for now I can and should make the most of having a baby that goes with the flow and take her along to places that will bring me a sense of joy and contentment too, places that fill my soul with joy and a sense of tranquillity (gardens, forests, beaches). I need to make more plans for opportunities to chat and laugh and I need to be less of a hermit… How nice it is to have moments of peace and feel the sun on your skin – opportunities to “smell the flowers” and appreciate the changes and beauty in nature.