The sun came out today. It came out to the point that I actually dared to hang out some washing on the line (it didn’t dry – it was too cold). It came out to the point that I threw open the doors to the back garden with a plan to tidy it (I didn’t – the grass was too wet). And it came out to the point where I started to get the feeling that the outdoor days are well and truly coming. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for outside-ness and spending time outdoors with the kids. I just need time to come out of hibernation. You see, I’m a winter creature. I was born in a January when it used to snow every single year without fail. After warm, sunny and light days, I sort of dread the bad weather coming but also look forward to the cosiness of winter, when it’s okay to hide away indoors, do indoor things, and not even look at the garden until the winter is done. And as an aside, winter also gives me a genuine reason to wear lots of layers of clothing, without worrying about displaying any wobbly bits to innocent passers-by.
So, here we are in February, still officially winter, but there it was – the sun, and it gave me the first inkling that we’re coming into spring. My weekly routine includes a couple of days spent at home with my youngest child, who is three. Our days together are book-ended by the school run journeys for his sister. The bit in between is ours, and over the winter we got into a comfortable routine when we returned from each morning journey, of him settling into playing with some toys in front of the telly, and me having a coffee whilst I pottered around doing housey bits and any other bits that needed doing. If we needed an outing, we would venture out to a playcentre or see family. Everything was cosy and warm and it was socially acceptable to watch family/Christmas movies on repeat. But with the sun out today, though it was cold, it felt a good time to venture out and sniff the air. again So, we hit the park.
I’d like to tell you it was the park visit to end all park visits. That he had an awesome time. That it was a white-knuckle ride of fun. Truth be told, everything was a bit wet and damp and his reaction was a bit flat. The park looked drab, all unloved and full of litter left by kids who hung out there the night before (untouched because I was the only person stupid enough to venture out so far today). Enthusiasm for the park was waning so we took a stroll around the estate instead, picking up sticks, nosying in people’s windows, and then, approximately 27 minutes after we left the house, we were home. Outdoor bit done. Tick.
The rest of the day passed much as the previous winter days had done. After school, the kids watched some more telly and ate a snack. I had a cup of tea and tried to ignore the sight of the guy across the road playing football with his toddler in the street, fighting the urge to open the window and shout ‘Don’t you know it’s still winter?’.
I am excited that spring is on its way and that we’re in for some warmer times but for now, whilst I come out of hibernation slowly, I will keep my jumper on, stay warm, and slowly open my mole eyes as the warmer days come and I get ready to be Outdoor Mad again.