Today and like every Wednesday, Ellenah and I were able to steal forty minutes together. This was after we had taken Noah to school and just before we were due to take Ellenah to pre-school. Every Wednesday we will fill this time with trips to see the horses nearby, read stories from her book bag together on the church steps and when it’s dry, go for mini trips to the park. We have both grown to really appreciate this time together because it is exactly that. Time together. Away from distractions.
It is within these forty minute spells that Ellenah started to string together real sentences. She learned quickly to talk back to me. To engage me in conversation and the thought processes of an almost four year old girl. It has been most fascinating, rewarding and special.
It is in these forty minute spells that I get to hold her baby soft hands and we swing our arms as high as hers will reach because it makes her giggle and I really like to hear her laugh. I love to watch her face change and explode when she thinks something is funny. I love our time that we dedicate to being outside. It’s our time to be simple. It’s our time to dance together in the rays of sunshine that often scatter over the church field and grounds.
Today there was a moment, when I was taking a photograph of her in her incredibly cute winter hat. I recognised her face in these surroundings many years ago. I recalled her pale skin, expressive smile and bright blonde hair cut in to a bob. The girl I remember always had squashed strawberries stuck to her knees, dirt in her fingernails, knots in her flyaway hair and most probably a warm, soggy cheese and tomato sandwich in one hand and a bottle of warm orange squash in the other. That little girl had my name, Ria. That little girl was me.
Then, I grew up. I had a daughter of my own.
I had a daughter who fits in to these countryside views like a character in a scenic oil painting. A daughter who finds mud in the cleanest places, always manages to take the knees out of her jeans and who will rip out a hair bobble within seconds to release her fine, blonde hair to the wind. She goes nuts for a cheese sandwich and bloody loves orange squash.
My little girl takes me back in time every Wednesday, to the happiest parts of my childhood. We have been doing something so special for months and I didn’t even realise it until today. I’ve been taking her back in time with me. Sharing something great with only her.
Today we walked past the fields where my mum would fly through the rows of fruit and vegetables, weaving out and picking the good ones. In the wind and rain we were there. She worked hard while we sludged around the swampy fields, making camps and causing mischief . The smell of mixed up rain and mud is one of the best in the world, to me anyway. To this day, I can’t eat a runner bean after I ate one raw as a kid and it made me super sick. The most horrible thing I have ever done was daring someone to run up a sloppy manure pile knowing the mess he would get in at the top. For what it is worth, he dared me to eat the bean and my dare to him (the manure!), let’s face it…was better,right?
Anyway… I don’t know why but I felt really emotional. I think it was because I felt reconnected to my past, grateful for the happy childhood memories, regardless of the fact that my childhood probably wasn’t the most average and overwhelmed…because Ellenah is so much like me and I have a chance to watch her love my favourite places and do what used to be my favourite things at her age. Watching her be so comfortable in who she is already.
Lots Of Love