Last weekend we were once again blessed with a bit of sunshine, and in an effort to make the most of it, Mama, Daddy and Baby Boy headed out for an impromptu picnic. Buying ready-made sandwiches, fruit and snacks at the local shop, we grabbed a blanket, a camera and a couple of bottles of bubbly (and by that I mean some sparkling water, mmm) and headed to the park.
It is such a blessing when the weather is nice AND daddy is home from work. So often the nicest weather is during the week, and while Dexter and I may do something special, it’s often with a heavier heart than I’d like because we both know that the family just isn’t complete.
It’s times like this when I desperately wish we were closer to our own families. Living thousands of miles away from our dearest friends and relatives is something we deal with on a day to day basis. Most of the time it is bearable, but once in a while it gets to you… you suddenly feel empty inside, and you grow weary of always being alone.
Seeing updates from my brothers about how they’ve brought their two families together for a dinner or Skyping my mother and seeing her happily babysitting one or two of her many grandchildren just makes me sad. For while I may be happy that they are happy, it just makes our isolation seem that little bit worse.
But that is why it is so important for me that we do things as a family whenever possible.
So even though the ground was soggy from that morning’s rain, and even though the wind had a slight chill to it, and even though we couldn’t for the life of us find a matching pair of shoes for the baby, we set out anyway, determined to have fun, no matter what.
Dexter had a bunch of firsts when it came to the food on offer. His first apple was met with disinterest. His first bite of carrot cake was the same. But it was his reaction to his first strawberry that made me laugh. He seemed to be saying, “What the heck is this? You don’t expect me to believe that it’s REAL food, do you?” Ah, it warms my heart when he takes after his mother so blatantly.
Our boy took great pleasure when daddy lay down underneath the swingset and let him hurtle toward him again and again. In fact, daddy was taking just as much pleasure in it, and it just proved to me (as though I needed any more proof!) that we are happiest when we are all together. A family isn’t a family when one of us is missing.
While little man was unimpressed with the See Saw (or Teeter Totter for my hometown folks!), he did perk up once I threw him on my shoulders for a ride.
We took turns sliding down the cold metal sliding board, trying to make sure our little Daredevil never lets fear hold him back from anything.
And daddy set the camera up to take some photos as we enjoyed the swingset together. Dexter was laughing and smiling all the way, even though mama couldn’t quite swing very high while holding him with one hand. He enjoyed himself anyway.
And as we made our way home after a couple of hours, we spied a field full of daffodils and saw an opportunity to show Dexter just how gorgeous nature can be. For 15 minutes, he played with the flowers, at some points crawling and others testing his newfound walking skills. He loved it.
But our day out did come with a lesson – getting him home and finding his entire head of hair matted together in wind-whipped tangles and completely coated in various bits of food and bracken.
This coupled with the constant comments from strangers who think he’s “the most beautiful little girl” finally made me face the facts… the boy needed a haircut.
And so I did what every mother does at some point. I held my breath and took my best pair of scissors to his head, snipping away at his long beautiful locks until he had what, at best, could be described as a dodgy bowl cut.
Then, I took every scrap of hair and put it in an envelope so that I could save it forever.
So now my little man LOOKS like a little man. But ohmygosh it is SO hard to get used to his new look. Gone is his baby-fresh appearance, and in its place is the face of a proper little boy.
He’s growing up, and who am I to stand in his way?