I’ve always thought our children have a near perfect childhood. That when they reminisce, all halcyon tinted nostalgia they won’t actually be glossing over all that much.
They have always had the luxury of time – time from us and time for them to do the things that really matter to them. As someone who has thrown away many of modern life’s conveniences and expensive distractions to enable me to only do things which I love and which mean something to me I don’t think this can be underestimated.
Davies is now 14 and Scarlett will be 12 in a few days time. They have grown into independent, capable, responsible individuals. They have clear ideas, firm stances and views on things. They are articulate, interesting, funny, creative and full of ideas and inspiration. I love this current age which is a mix of clinging onto childish pleasures, delights, playing tinged with a hefty dose of knowing how to make mature decisions and act in the right way.
Today was a perfect example. Ady and I had gone to feed the animals, get some bits from the shop, collect something from the freezer and bring up some more firewood. We had all had breakfast together and Davies and Scarlett said they were going ‘ice hunting’. It was a clear, crisp, sunny morning following a cold, clear night so there was a ground frost making things twinkle.
When we got back they were filled with excitement having been looking for frozen puddles on the croft and heard a disturbance in the fruit cage. They spotted a bird trapped inside so managed to get in and free it from the netting it was trapped and tangled in. It was bleeding a little and they were not sure what it was so brought it up to the static to clean it up a little and photograph it. They checked it was not ringed and debated bringing it down to the village for the resident bird ringer to do but decided that would take too long and cause undue stress to the bird.
They took some photos and then released it. Off it flew!
They then used various bird books to try and ID it and decided it was a snipe. When I got home I asked if they were sure it was not a woodcock as they are pretty similar so they got another book out to look it up, compared the description and images in the books, looked again at the very good photos they had taken and decided that actually, yes, it was a woodcock.
It was moments like this, coming home to hear them chattering with excitement, brandishing books and cameras and keen to share their experience, their research, their knowledge that make my heart sing and know what a fabulous life they have.