When children are little quite simple things can seem like an exciting adventure. Today Ella and I took Alice and Nicola out to the local park while the husbands did the gardening. Of course nothing is ever quick or simple when it involves walking with a 2 year old - but that adds to simple pleasure of the excursion doesn't it!
On the way we passed the local primary school where Alice and Nicola will start their formal education in a few years time and as we did a really vivid memory of my first year at school flashed into my mind.
In theory every day my foster mother was supposed to be waiting at the school gate for me at 3:15. About twice a week she wouldn't be there and I would walk home on my home. It wasn't that far but there was one quite busy road to cross. I always used to wait until there was another Mummy using the zebra crossing before venturing out into the road.
When I got home I was supposed to ring the front door bell but I could only just reach it. It was old and stiff and sometimes my little fingers were not strong enough to make it ring. If this happened I used to wait on the front step until somebody came to my rescue.
Now to get back to our trip to the park. The two little ones like to play running games with Ella and me, providing they can win of course. Then we walk across the park to use the play equipment for a while and then we walk home by a different route. All this time the two of them are chattering away to each other and to us - have you ever tried explaining to a 2 year old why a roundabout goes round and round? I thought not!
It is a simple thing taking a child to a park but I don't remember the foster family I was with in my early primary school years ever bothering to take me. Perhaps I have just forgotten?
20 years on I'm fairly sure that no school would allow a 5 year old to walk home on their own but things were probably different back then.