The Easter break is my favourite school holiday; just long enough for us all to unwind, but not so lengthy that we start to wish the weeks away. The seasonal shift to generally better weather and longer, brighter days cheers us all. We can sense the spring and summer stretch before us. Oh, and chocolate-eating is compulsory!
By last Thursday, Angelique and I were happy to be in fully relaxed holiday mode after hanging out in the warm spring sunshine with friends while our offspring played tennis (Angelique's "Sweet Sports and Snoob Walks" tells more). This chilled-out calm was achieved despite the constant chaos perfectly described by Angelique. The children have responded to the promise of spring with a new surge of energy, mostly positively spent. Perhaps it is because we are more laid-back, or they are loving the freedom of being outside. Either way, there appears to be more harmony between siblings than we had the entire weary winter.
This serene chaos was turned upside down early on Friday by the third head injury with concussion and memory loss in my family in just over a year. No. 2 slipped suddenly on a hard floor and knocked himself out just before Christmas 2012, then No. 1 frightened me by falling out of a tree in February ("Lap Farts and Family It" - perhaps not the best title...). Now their father was calling me from hospital with his own sparse, patched-together story! His tale was somewhat scarier but I will spare you (or rather him) the details. Suffice to say that it became a weekend of constant worry and long drives to a seaside hospital.
A few days on and we are all home, safe and sound, but with a heightened sense of risk. When I heard No. 3 cheerfully tell her grandmother that it's now No. 4's turn to sustain a serious head injury I crossed myself catholic-fashion even though I've been lapsed for decades!
Weeding is surely a harmless, low-key type of job to do, so I donned gloves and set to work yesterday hoping the children might follow suit. No. 3 was quick on the scene, drawn by her love for garden creatures and desperately wanting to re-home some HUGE earthworms in her room. Fine, I thought, worms are devoid of danger, but maybe leave them outside. But when No. 1 trudged out of the shed wielding a heavy pick-axe, warning bells clanged wildly in my head. Close on his heels was No. 2 brandishing an axe. HELP! It took some persuasion, pretending to be calm, to convince them that weeds aren't enemies that need to be tackled with weapons.
I can't wrap my children or husband up in cotton wool, but for the moment I'm happier to have boys roll down a soft grassy slope than race bikes full-speed down a steep road. Watching my No. 4 and Angelique's Nos. 3 & 4 absorbed in a safe make-believe game involving key character "Bob the Easter Bunny" is reassuring, although I know that there isn't much I can do except watch, enjoy, and pick up the pieces when things do fall (or heads are hurt). And in the event of an Easter emergency, at least we will have a ready stash of emergency chocolate.
Wishing you a chocolate-filled and super safe Happy Easter!
Angelique & Becky
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