The Chicklettes’s growing up.
Bloggy friends, folk warned me: they did! They said to treasure the time while my children are little, because it is over so soon. At the time, buried under mountains of washing, changing nappies, pureeing vegetables, and teaching ABC’s, it was hard not to look forward to when I’d see a little more independence.
Those same dear folk were just as likely to mutter dark sayings about, “If you think this stage is hard, wait until you have teenagers – then you’ll know what hard is!” Which, I might add, is about as constructive and encouraging as those who share horror birth stories with you in the last week of your pregnancy. (And what’s more, I so far maintain that it is not true. Little children are hard work. Big children are hard work. Parenting is hard work! But each stage has its joys. )
What has been on my mind lately is how to make the most of the sunset of childhood for my eldest girl. Opportunities for memories I want her to have of childhood that are yet unfulfilled, need to happen in a twinkling. :) I am a goal setting, list writing sort of character, and early on, aimed to create a firm sense of family, and to provide some of the experiences that I loved as a child. We’ve camped, explored creeks, been to the beach, holidayed on farms, walked the rain forests, held baby animals, planted edibles, been canoeing, read glorious books together, and had spontaneous adventures. It’s been a lot of fun, and we are blessed to have had family and friends who are keen to share these experiences with the girls.
As I witness the beautiful thing that is dawning womanhood in my first born, I still long to cram in any last experience that childhood thrills to. So… we went to the rock pools last weekend, and this week we bought a couple of up-in-an-instant little tents. We have a serious, heavy duty monster one, but it makes me shudder to think of the effort to deal with it, particularly as it always seems to rain on the day we pack up and it has to be pulled out and dried at home – no mean feat. And just as we have the new facilities for more spontaneous happenings, we find ourselves invited out this weekend for a bonfire and camp out. Just the thing!
There is of course the obligatory stuff that needs to be accomplished before I launch her out in the world – education, domestic management, character: and all those things are important. But it’s the delight in simple, natural things; the things that we no longer make time for when the cares and distractions of adulthood press in, those are what I want to do while I wring the last vestiges of opportunity from this period.
Here’s my list to accomplish in the next 12 months. There are other activities I would like to do, but these I think are most likely to happen, and some have plans already in the making:
Two short camping trips
Vegetable garden. Vegetable garden? Yes, the Chicklette loves to grow things, and so far we have been reluctant to plough up the lawn (we have established trees all around the perimeter of the yard and only the very middle gets any sun) leaving her to garden only in pots. But what’s a bit of lawn, yes?
Medieval fair and museum
At least one trip to visit our dear friends at Marigold Cottage
When I asked the Chicklette what she thought should be added to this list, her response was instantaneous: “Bake a pecan pie!” (Insert bemused mother face here.) She has not long had braces removed, but who would have thought that a two year deprivation of sweet, sticky things would still be so fresh in her mind? Stay tuned for reports of our next adventures, and .. ah.. pecan pie.