Sunday, 9 October 2011

Country Living

Happy Families
When you get older and your kids have left home, seeing them whenever you can is so important, especially when you only get to see them a few times during the year.  So, for me, visiting them at their own home is such a pleasure, made a thousand times more enjoyable by seeing the smiles of two little girls. With Vicki Lou the smiles (and the cuddles) come straight away, but I have to wait a while before I can get either from Madison. I suppose that’s only to be expected, she’s only nine months old and I don’t think she knows how to remember faces yet. It doesn’t take long though, within the space of around two or three hours the smiles start appearing and I am able to get my cuddles.

Vicki Lou on her bike
The weather was kind to us while I was there and we were able to go for a bit of a walk down a country lane close to their house. I won’t say that it was a quiet road, but in the hour or so that we were out walking we only saw one car. It was ideal for Vicki to go for a bike ride, although on the way back her little legs must have been tired. It ended up with Vicki being carried on her dad’s shoulders and mum having to carry the bike home. Not so with Madison though. She didn't get tired, she was wrapped up nice and warm and comfortable in her pushchair (which just happened to double up as a zimmer frame for grand-dad).

As we walked down the lane we passed a riding stables and Vicki enjoyed seeing the horses. That’s something her mum has never been able to do. It’s natural for little girls to like horses and want to stroke them but unfortunately that wasn’t the case with Tracy. We found out when she was young that she has an allergic reaction if she goes anywhere near a horse, she swells up like a balloon. We first noticed this before she started school but it wasn’t until she was at school that we saw how bad it could get. Her teachers took the class to visit a farm, and at the end of the day when I went to pick Tracy up from school I didn’t recognise her, she was so badly affected. All she can do now is to admire horses from a distance.

Groovy Chicks
We also passed a farm on the way down the lane and Vicki got chance to see the chickens and turkeys up-close and personal. I find it fascinating to see children being so curious and I love being able to watch them study things and learn about life in their own way. Somehow, it makes me feel young again, as though I’m seeing these things for myself for the first time. Looking into Vicki's eyes as she was watching the chickens I could see her soaking up as much information as she could. It's a pity that she couldn't put into words what was going through her mind. I would have loved to have known what she was thinking.

It wasn’t until after I'd looked at these photos that I noticed it says ‘Groovy Chick’ on Vicki Lou's helmet. I wonder if she was looking for her own groovy chick, or just deciding which would be the best one to invite home for Sunday lunch.

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