The day has been long. The house is a mess and my toddler has found a new game which involves screaming at the top of his voice, whilst throwing piece after piece of my neatly folder laundry around the room. I have had enough and am ready to crawl under the duvet and wait for my husband to come home and restore the peace. But I don’t.
The rain is coming down but that won’t deter me. I pull out my coat, dress my son in his all in one puddle suit and wellies and throw open the door. He takes my hand and we cross the busy road, following the same route as always, without a word. We look at each other and smile as we open the big iron gate and make our way through the trees. In to the open field now and the tension and stress of the day are already fading fast. We speed up, still holding hands and he points out an aeroplane passing by, a dog having a run on the field. Through the next gate and the big muddy puddle. We splash and jump, laughing and enjoying each other. We spot the moon, already visible and take a few moments to stop and look at the changing sky. Then feeling refreshed we head for the trees, stopping to pick up an interesting stick, to feel the bark and point out a busy ant still working, his day is not yet done.
He drops my hand and squats to the grass, feeling the damp blades with his fingertips and running his hands over the surface. I continue walking, breathing in deep and enjoying the exercise. He is happy. He knows he is safe. I stop to watch him and he looks up smiling. He stands and comes towards me with as much speed as he can muster. I catch him before his legs get away from him and swing him in the air. We laugh as we taste the raindrops still falling.
This has become a ritual for my son and I. Outside with the birds singing and the trees blowing in the wind, or with the warm sun shining down on us, or the rain pouring in fat refreshing drops, we can just be. There is no stress and no worry. There are no barriers to our joy. It puts us back in tune with each other and wipes the slate clean. On those days when it all seems too much, it can be hard to summon the energy to get up and out. But try to search deep, because it might be just what you both need!