On Saturday I packed up a bag with drinks and a towel and a change of clothes for the children. I dressed them in their swimming costumes and covered them in sun cream. Then we headed off to the summer fete at a local church.
That might seem a bit excessive.
Honestly, it felt a bit excessive, taking a backpack full of stuff along to a fete. But I had learnt from last year’s experience that it was pretty necessary. See this particular summer fete doesn’t just do cakes and tombola, it has a pretty awesome slip and slide set up on one of the slopes.
We saw it last year and the children were so upset that they couldn’t go on it, because we didn’t have any swimmers or changes of clothes for them. So this year we went prepared!
It was the first time either of the children had had a go at something like this, and they had an absolute blast.
There was a bit of trial and error while they worked out the best way to pick up enough speed to slide all the way to the bottom, but they got there and were so pleased with themselves.
As for me, it was a bit of a lesson in stepping back and letting go a bit.
I queued up with the children the first time, mainly because I was the one with the money and I also wanted to know how many goes they could have. After that first turn though, I held back.
Part of me wanted to stay with them, to hover by the queue each time, to make sure they were ok but instead, I sat myself down on the grass and let them queue together, without me, for all the other turns.
And you know what? It was fine. In some situations they do still need me, to stand with them, to wait with them. More and more though, these other situations will arise when, actually, they can manage by themselves.
I think it’ll be a while before I stop watching them like a hawk from my spot on the grass though!