Yesterday I took a day off from feltmaking to attend my 7 year-old grandson’s School Family Picnic held at Fairhill in Alston which is a great Community space encompassing toddlers and older children’s play areas, wild spaces, a couple of wildlife ponds, paths, wooded area and car park – just the right amount of space to keep an eye on kids but relax beside the picnic tables.
All the family groups took their own little picnic, the weather stayed fine and the kids had a great time. All ages from babies and toddlers to those just about to go up to Secondary school mixed in taking care of the younger ones and I was reminded of just what a great place this is to bring up kids. Teachers were being pushed on swings and whirled around on roundabouts – fabulous fun!
Another thing which struck me was the number of Grandparents, mostly Nana’s (of which I am one) in attendance in place of working parents. I was brought up by my Granny who also worked full time in our family grocery business and she was, in my memory, always working…….
My darling daughter who is a single parent / mature student has paid me a lovely compliment on her website crediting me with inspiring her to return to University late in life to fulfil her dream – but I really don’t see it as a sacrifice. I’m sure most parents helping with childcare these days don’t.
In the 50’s I also remember most of my friends had Mums who didn’t work – or at least not commercially anyway and, looking back it seemed, from a child’s perspective an idyllic way to live. After school in summer Mums would gather down by the river with picnics, towels and fishing nets and there was always someone who would keep an eye open for you if your Mum wasn’t there –
Mum’s would tell you off even if you weren’t their own, stick plasters on your knees, offer you part of their own children’s lunches, give you clean knicks, wipe your face with a licked hanky – everyone rolled in together.
I still miss that……………………..