It's thundering at the moment and I can see lightning flickering in the next valley. The air is still and tremulous with the occasional bird song sounding startlingly loud against the waiting silence. This is a good thing as I need to be inside working and good weather would have lured me out into the wilderness beyond my windows.
In contrast to today, we were blessed with great weather over the weekend. This meant that my visiting friends and their children, who had arrived wtih macintoshes, wellington boots and all other manner of rain gear, were instead scrabbling for sun cream and got to enjoy an idyllic weekend of Wales at it's secretive best.
We walked through sun dappled woods, the children looking for fairies and listening out for bears. Their two and a half year old son marched ahead of us with a big stick 'to stab the bears and dragons with' and their morbidly fascinated 5 year old daughter pointed out multitudes of 'dead fairies' which she took great joy in. The baby slept in the shade then sat under an umbrella to play on a rug. We threw stones in the lakes, built dens out of boxes and old sheets, and the children ran around barefoot and delighted on the grass. It went well.
I had enough food of the right kind (though not enough kitchen roll which turns out to be a vital implement in the child rearing process). The playdough was a success, the lego provided amusement and I even remembered to prerecord stuff of CBeebies onto Sky+. We ate, we drank, we walked, we lolled, we gardened, we had more friends over for lunch; to sum up, we had a proper weekend. It was lovely.
By the end I was exhausted and am yet again amazed at how you all do the whole parenting thing. It is relentless and selfless and never ending (unless you are me in which case it ended at 7pm on Sunday night when they left). I say raise a glass to yourselves parents out there. You do an extraordinary thing every day.
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