Tuesday, 9 April 2013


Standing by the edge of the waters of Daisy Nook watching three-year-old Toby and one-year-old Max throwing stones in, I wondered how many more years I would have to endure these activities.

Eight years later, standing on the edge of Lake Windermere watching all three boys having a stone skimming competition, I realised I am still enduring.

I have come to terms with the fact that they will never find pleasure in the same things as me, so I have decided to find pleasure in the same things as them. Last weekend was a perfect example. My idea of fun is most definitely not throwing myself down zip wires (ok, that WAS a teeny bit fun) and wobbling across high ropes courses (that was not fun, in any sense of the word) but because I knew how much the boys would enjoy it, I swallowed my girliness down and, step by wobbly step, I got on with it. I would not choose to sleep in a bunkhouse in the middle of nowhere with only basic facilities, but because the boys adored the adventure, I pushed luxurious hotel rooms to the back of my pink mind and set my expectations low for the weekend. Searching for bats comes close to my limits of comfort, but the boys were so very excited that I attempted to still my frightened heart and show them I was as pleased as they were when we saw a fluttering black bat flapping overhead.

To my surprise, I discovered that there is joy to be found in stone skimming (I can't do it), tree climbing and muddy walks. There is a freedom in being able to 'rough it' (although my husband informs me that we were not, actually, roughing it). I didn't have to brush my hair all weekend. Nobody cared what I looked like. The fresh air surrounding us was deliciously invigorating. The sense of achievement after the zip wire from hell was incredible (and I have gone up in the boy's estimations too). Watching the boys' wide smiles and imaginative play in the fresh air was enough to make my own heart smile. It was liberating.

I may not have children who want to curl up in front of a fire and read quietly or enjoy a day's shopping with me but I do have children who have an awesome sense of adventure and who teach me, nearly every day, to find that adventure inside of myself. My boys have pushed me to discover new pleasures in life which I would never have known about had I not joined in with them. Wellies have become my favourite footwear and warm hoodies my preferred item of clothing.

I wonder what I will find myself doing in the next few years. If nothing else, being a mum of boys is certainly an adventure. And you never know, maybe one day I'll be able to skim a stone.

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