Happy Families

I used to love the game Happy Families as a child. Do you know it? It’s a card game where you have to collect all the different members of the ‘family’ and the one with the most complete families wins. You can collect the Butcher family, the Grocer family, the Baker family, etc. I used to love all the different characters and imagining them living their untroubled lives happily baking or grocering or – er – butchering.

Anyway, I don’t know why I was reminded of that while looking at the tents pitched around the field, but I suppose it’s because everyone is relaxed and happy and all the children, even if they’ve only met this morning, are playing together as if they’ve known one another their whole lives.

Did I mention we’re camping? This is kind of our ‘thing’. It’s a relatively cheap way to explore the countryside and to spend quality time together as a family. We arrived on Monday. You know you’re in the 21st century when you can blog from the middle of a field. I’ve spent the past few days rather poorly, with concurrent bouts of cystitis and a cold. I’ve either been running to the loo or blowing my runny nose. Too much running for my liking. I’ve also been sleeping during the day, which I only do if I’m unwell, so Frank’s been lumbered with the childcare and the cooking and all the campingy things. I prayed this morning that God would help me to be a better wife and a better mummy, and now I’m feeling a bit brighter, which is a prayer answered. So I thought I’d share with you a picture of the glorious view from the tent. It’s quite marvellous.

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Summer, Age 12

We waved off our middle child today,

All pink and rosy and full

Of bounce.

Or, not so much bounce, what with carrying a backpack

Cram-jammed full for a week of fun

In the sun and the dirt and the green.

And in

A week we’ll pick her up again,

Sunburned, dirt-scarred,

Still, no doubt, rosy

And smiling.

Seven nights under canvas,

Seven days filled end-to-end

And top to bottom

With climbing trees,

Building rafts and making friends.

This is the stuff lifetimes are made of

In the height of summer,

Aged 12.

Just a poem I wrote after Fluff went off to camp this morning. It’s not a great poem, but it has within it what I wanted to say and it’s a start on the road back to writing 🙂