Home is where…
May 1, 2014 § 1 Comment
We are at the end of Autumn school holidays here in Sydney. It has been a busy two weeks, with craft workshops, Sol working many, many hours, and five children of different ages who all seem to go in different directions.
It is not always easy for me to organise outings or activities that all five children will enjoy; frankly it is downright impossible. So I feel deep gratitude to Nana and Papa for taking the girls for a couple of days each week and giving them a great time: trips on the train to the south coast beaches, a trip to the movies, and to the city to a fun children’s park there. The girls come home exhausted, but filled up with fun.
The boys are a whole other thing: William went off camping for two nights with some friends (and no adults), and went to a teenage dance party this past weekend. In between his need for about 14 hours sleep a day, we managed to fit in a movie or two. And Samuel is just the right age for lots of physical activity: the local basketball courts, the trampolining place where there are about thirty huge trampolines situated next to each other, and some rock climbing when we go to the beach. And in the spaces between these outings there is Minecraft with friends on the computer. The balance between screen time and getting out and about has been pretty close to perfect these holidays for the boys (finally!).
The beach seems to be the only place that caters for every age group.
But between all the comings and goings, there is home. I am not a big believer in having to ‘entertain’ children all day long, or indeed of needing to go out every day. We have, over the years, built up a collection of very fine, imaginative play materials, and I like to encourage this kind of play. I strive to create a home where I can potter and do what I need to do, but where the children can play and be engaged in a fantastic world of their own making.
Now Robin is a little bit older he is included in the world the girls create. Lily takes really good care of him, and I love it that they can spend hours sitting on the trampoline just….playing.
Home. It is a place of rest and rejuvenation. It is a place where sometimes the best fun happens.