Sometimes a time and place is so great that I’m not really sure how to react. In cases such as this I just seem to end up with a goofy grin on my face as I try to fight off the urge to become 6 again and run everywhere. (Like I keep telling people I am not the best person to be left in charge of small children.) These times don’t come around that often, (you won’t find too many goofy smiles going on in a finance office) which means along with fighting my inner 6 year old and trying not to grin maniacally at complete strangers I am also trying to remember everything. Which, I suppose, makes having a really great time somewhat equivalent to revising for a Latin exam, which is the first time I have ever thought that.
One of these occasions happened about a fortnight ago when I had the day off work and all four of us went out to Ryton Pools. Which was amazing. N was having a great time being able to charge around like a lunatic. S was not quite as interested in stuff or desperate to push himself into absolutely everything so was happy to trundle round in the pushchair and mostly be asleep. B and I were being pulled here and there by N, mostly at a speed at which I have become unaccustomed to going.
The best bit was when we turned a corner to discover a magnificent play area with absolutely no one else around (presumably due to it being a slightly overcast Monday) and a zipwire and massive slide. N, of course, was in her element and screamed round trying to go on everything at once. She did have a brief respite as she sat on the swing and demanded that I pushed her as high as I possibly could. Which, being the six year old that I am, I was happy to go along with. After ignoring the disapproving looks of B for quite a while (looks, incidentally, which were perfectly justified. The second time we had a go with the swings I pushed it too hard and N flew off backwards. All was ok, the play area was barked and it was quite a soft landing but if we had paid more attention to the looks it probably wouldn’t have happened.) it was deemed best by me if we stopped that and moved on to watching N go down the incredibly tall slide.
|I know, massive right?!|
Turns out I was the only one at all bothered by the fact that the top of the slide was being obscured by the clouds, N happily scampered up the towering structure and then proceeded to take twenty minutes to slide down to the bottom (not quite that long but it felt like it). Presuming that once down the death slide would be enough I moved to go on something else. This, however, was not amenable to the young Eddie the Eagle who turned and charged right back up to the top. This went on for a number of goes while I got lulled into a bit of a sense of security. This was rudely shattered by the voice of my daughter who had appeared at my side and was tugging at my arm demanding that I follow her up the face of the Eiger in order that I might join her in sliding down again. This had not been part of the plan but I was caught off guard and so found myself slogging up to the icy summit.
It turns out I was not designed to be sliding down 90 feet inclines, especially ones that begin to taper about half way through to leave me completely stuck. Cue gales of laughter from my sympathetic family members as I struggled to free myself from the grip of the slidey jaws. I’m sure there must have been a lesson in all that for me somewhere but I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Finally I extricated myself and rejoined my family who had lost interest in my plight a long while ago and had moved on to playing on the zipwire. I watched through my fingers as N was hurled down the wire to come crashing at the other end, all the while cackling with delight as she was thrown around by the sudden halt and then rebounded back down the wire. In the end we were all laughing along with her, even S who had woken up at this point and looked like all he wanted in the world, besides his next meal, was a go on the funny moving chair.
|Here mummy, let me push you now.|
It is this time that really sums up the time we had together at Ryton. N laughing her head off as she defied gravity and bruising. B and me unable to stop ourselves from laughing along, S looking on and wondering what on earth sort of family he had been born into while all around us the wildlife looked on presumably glad they weren’t as silly a species as these humans were.
Perhaps I just don’t get out enough, but I’d prefer to think that it really was a wonderful day, that there really isn’t anything better than the faces of your family being wreathed in smiles while playing together, and that there is no place at all for slides which are taller than the tallest building I have ever seen. But they do say everything looks bigger when you’re six.