Harrison described half-term as the ‘best one ever’. Alex agreed with him.
You might wonder what we did that was so deserving of such a bold statement. Did we go on a fancy holiday somewhere exotic? Did we go on lots of expensive days out?
In fact, apart from Monday, when we went to the beach, we barely left our road. The kids spent the rest of the time, from breakfast until bedtime (with super fast food breaks!) in the park outside of our house. They played with the kids that live in and around the estate, they played on their bikes and scooters, used the play equipment, played football, made cardboard castles, found snails and frogs and worms and basically lived their best lives. They came in each evening absolutely filthy, scabby-kneed and tired, but so happy. They all ate brilliantly, had a decent deep sleep every night and the TV and tablet’s were barely touched.
When we moved here in March, the park was something I was unsure of. When I say it is outside our house, it literally is outside our house. The photo below is taken from our front garden. I figured it was either going to be brilliant – a space the kids could go out and play in whenever they wanted, or it would be a nightmare, with yobs out there day and night.
Thankfully, it’s been mostly ok. There are the odd few kids (who don’t come up this end too often)who can be arses, but the majority of them are nice friendly kids. They range in age from 2 up to 12ish, and they all get on brilliantly. They share bikes and toys out there, and all look out for one another. The age difference doesn’t seem to bother any of them – we’ve had two of the older ones call for Harrison and Alex to play out with them. Because all the adults are sitting out there watching the kids, we’ve all been chatting and getting to know one another. It’s the most friendliest, comfortable place we’ve ever lived. No one has any airs and graces, no one bats an eyelid at a bit of noise, or if your front garden needs mowing (ahem!). Every so often, someone comes out with a jug of squash and a tray of cups, a packet of biscuits, some cartons of pop or a pack of tiptops for all the kids. No one gets left out.
It proved to me something: you don’t need to do anything special, go anywhere far or spend money for kids to have fun. I often feel guilty in holidays if we don’t do stuff – but I think they genuinely had more fun last week just being a bit wild and free, making new friends and doing their own thing.