For the past day or so I’ve had this little idea in mind that a morning tea picnic with my girls would be just lovely. Our favourite little farm spot (an ancient moss-covered orchard, that no longer fruits) has a little creek run through it this time of year, and the jonquils have begun to bloom early. Perfect.
This morning dawned clear and bright. I proposed the idea to the girls over breakfast, and they were ecstatic! Picnic dresses were hunted out from the corners they were last stuffed in (think the most homeschoolerish garb you can imagine), banana bread was baked and a few tears shed over not being able to find a favourite pair of socks. You know, normal picnic prep stuff.
I then had this wonderful idea that we could do some school while on our picnic. Yes it is Saturday, and yes it is also school holidays (according to the rest of Western Australia), but we’d done nothing all week due to Miss A needing a trip to the ED for stitches after a head on collision with the wall (that’s another story in itself 🙃). So, I picked some books, the girls each picked a book too, and we added them to the basket.
Now, being the book worm that I am, I had this vision of sitting under a tree, enjoying the sun, whilst nibbling our banana bread and reading poems. Then the children would play gently until lunch time whereupon we would all join hands and skip up the hill back home together.
It started off very well. We loaded the basket and blanket into my little garden cart, and strolled down hill towards the orchard in good spirits, the chirping of birds only being interrupted with my startled shouts of “Miss A SLOW DOWN! You’ll FALL and hit your HEAD!” I really did not fancy another trip to ED this week 😶.
We made it to the orchard, heads intact, and chose our spot. I couldn’t help but smile, it was like something out of Little Women. I tossed the picnic rug, and as it softly lowered to the ground I discovered that two of my three daughters had disappeared…great.
A quick spin around found that they were already ankle deep in the creek, with Miss a preparing to remove her favourite “beautifulest-rainbow-sparkle-fairy-boots” to fill with “icecream” (aka mud).
I strangled my initial response and managed a pleasant, “girls let’s have morning tea first, then you can get wet and muddy?” This was well recieved and my little women trotted back to help unpack the picnic. Upon sight of food, however, my little women turned into Middle Earth dwarves and started hoeing into the banana bread before I could ask them which poem they wanted. I did, however manage a few photos 😄
The good stuff gone, and only some nuts left, it was back to the creek, leaving me and little Miss E to continue our poetry in civilised silence.
The rest of the morning continued to be beautiful; gorgeous flowers, lacking nothing but stems, filled the basket and an impromptu nature lesson was had with Miss E as she stuffed every leaf within reach into her toothless little mouth. Homeschooling at it’s finest.
Miss K and Miss A splashed and ran to their hearts content. They were Robin Hood, the Big Bad Wolf and Daddy all at once. The “bad guys” were slain by having their “heads CHOP-TED off” and general bravity was performed. Anyone who thinks that having all girls is calmer and more refined than having all boys clearly have never met my children 😂
Lunch time rolled round and it was time to skip happily up the hill as I’d imagine earlier that morning. What’s that Mum? Walk all the way up that hill? Funny! We’ll ride in your cart, thanks.
And so it was that we arrived home, wet, muddy, and legs trembling after the first proper work out they’d had all year.
To finish – it really was a beautiful time, albeit not the Victorian vignette I had in my mind. To see my children playing wild and free with nothing but joy on their faces? That’s my joy.