ALL YOU WANT IS TO KEEP THE SMILES ON THEIR FACES

Thursday, July 23

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Sounds weird but I let my daughter sing on the street. Loud. Or should I say she lets me be the first one to enjoy quickly made up lyrics sung at a high note and top voice. She can go on for the whole march up the hill giving away clues how happy she is no matter how uneasy I may look at that time. The words proceed to form a meaning and occasionally totally make no sense but her English is spot on. She sings louder modulating her voice and soon I cease to care who'd listen and who'd stroll without single look. I stopped rebuking her a long time ago, around the last diaper or so and never regretted the decision. If it's harmless to the body and not overwhelmingly annoying - she can go on for miles - singing, skipping, pavement climbing, window licking, random dog stroking. I despise saying 'no' as a lack of solutions or my poor concentration. Or because of my personal fears. I used to climbed too, big hazelnut trees with uneven surface underneath, empty beehives and dumped litter hills. It's barely comparable to what her durable rubber soles step on these days in attempt to show off or play up, it's hardly dangerous with all surfaces cushioned and watched attentively by precisely chosen number of adults per number of children present. Every no, you can't, you shouldn't or you mustn't paints a canvas for young brains the world out there is way out of reach. Of course making them aware of the danger by using different phrases is slightly more acceptable around here but I despise the unmanageable frequency.

Once on holiday I had an opportunity to count the times my mum showed concern over our safety principles on a short stroll down the busy street. I've made it to five and stopped before letting blood and other fluids in my body boil. If a stretch of one street holds three unmistakable dangers and two hidden hazards, one ought not to leave one's doorstep! I don't mind dirt round the hem of a pretty skirt, scrapped elbow as a result of fantastic adventure, dog's hair all over the cheek, there's no way of of it, I may as well take part in it. Get the kids outside world orientated, major hazards minded but ready to face things out of curiosity and plain excitement, accompanied by encouragement and trust. Sometimes the world is not just as we make it. Let's our kids decide what to make out of it, let them find their own solutions to obstacles even if they're mostly the fun kind. It's fantastic to realize children remember us in a way we make them feel - great about themselves, important, valued and fearless.

I'm almost ready to pick her up from school, combed my hair and checked for keys. Looking forward to today's song half of the street doesn't know it'll be the audience of. And I'll go on like that from year to year without a word of complain. On the contrary. I'll be excited for more.

THINGS TO DO AND THINGS TO DREAM OF DOING

Tuesday, July 21

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Life's a journey no matter if counted as such from major milestone or event like losing weight, fitting in new set of false teeth or just deciding on starting afresh. The before cannot be erased although the after is all that matters. I regularly start things over, odd habit it is to remain in an unsettling state yet carried forward like an expiring tin of beans. I just finished reading one of G. Orwell's novels - the one about a middle aged man who decides to escape to the world of his childhood, to the village he remembers as a rural haven of peace and tranquility. He's prettily convinced of the absurdity of this idea - no respectable husband, father and a citizen clears off all of a sudden in search for the world that no longer exists no matter how clear it can be seen in his mind. And when it's done, what was supposed to give answers and settle emotions has brought anxiety and proved him wrong. Embarrassment at obeying a silly dream...

I've had this feeling more often than I can admit openly - ideas that shouldn't possibly materialize are lived for and anticipated like Christmas morning. (Realistically we're all children in our hearts. Realistically we should embrace it and pursue every dream!) Heavy on the make-believe I suffer those moments daily - if looked at from a right perspective and especially not on an empty stomach - it's darn silly. Sparse on the reality, full on the entertainment. Held firmly on the hook of pure optimism. But I persist. Like a puppy that refuses to understand the order and gets away with it. I guess, you'll always get away with positive attitude, right? And an awkwardly glowed face and shiny eyes. Worked it to perfection. When it feels real but you can't still touch it, that's all that typically matters (on a clear day especially, you have to work it out more when the day is dark and cold and dreary). I love when it feels so real that I'm surprised when I still wake up in a loft apartment instead of staring at my own hydrangea garden. Try it, there's always a vacancy in happiness.

P. S. Mid-summer brings me plenty of thoughts of this kind. Imagine if it was hotter here!

SWEET MOMENTS OF DISCOVERY

Sunday, July 19

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Late one night, I don't remember at what ridiculous hour, tossing and turning not in my bed and not in my time zone I was a silent witness of conversation spoken with hushed voices and sudden bursts of laughter. I was excited even though I knew how many random nights were spent that way. They still sat at the kitchen table drinking the leftover wine as I heard glasses clanging and cheers exchanging, the place was probably a mess too, I don't recall anyone clearing out anything before or after dinner. I positioned myself on the back, closed my eyes and turned to the voices for comfort.

She was laughing the hardest, that way you can let yourself be merry knowing there are others sleeping next to you trying to fight jet lag. It went kind of like that: 'I was totally in love with this place, like five days waiting for my ballerinas to be the centre of attention. Whenever things got tough, going wild got the best of me. And our dads were totally capable of being there but managed to stay out of sight.' she said.
 'Until you needed someone to help you with the obvious...'
'Like what?' a slight change in tone but still so much encouragement to talk silly.
'Like lift your leg up so you could climb the branch, not even the strongest one but the one you totally thought you could conquer...' he was unstoppable.
'Was it really like that?' timid question emerging after a silent sip of wine, 'But I ran faster.' she was finally satisfied.
'I think I can laugh now but back then I thought you guys were trying to eliminate me any kind of way. It was early in my toddlerhood but I didn't really feel like toddler at all.' I knew this little talk will be long remembered. 'I was aware I could gain nothing but a push or shove. You overindulged in the power of your motor skills development... but I was always the cutest one.' it must have been accompanied by a cheeky smile and a raise of glass. She giggled and confirmed with a nod, or so I thought. Then she continued.
'It was officially our park, right? Dad kept saying he bought it for us and let it out outside bank holidays. It truly felt like that at times, don't you think? Fitted seemingly into our urban lifestyle, x-box sessions and feeding electronic pets.'
'I had to teach you playing badminton there, it's crazy to think you couldn't hit the shuttlecock twice in a row! It was flying in a straight line and yet a blind would jump at a chance. I guess your hair was always in the way.'
'And all of us ditching our t-shirts. Adventure surely needs sacrifice. And even tan lines.'
'Remember how hungry we were after a whole day with nothing but a stretch of cut grass? I'd eat a ripen banana if offered.'
'One time while playing hide-and-seek you were nowhere to find. We had to wake dad up otherwise we'd never find you. And it was good for his tan too, sleeping in the full sun for hours.'
'Remember, your perfect day - any day - consisted of the same shade of peach?'

... and so on. I wish I'm a part of such conversation one day. Looking forward to it every waking moment.

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WHAT'S BETTER THAN

Friday, July 17

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a few stickers on a lovely girl

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a preferred way of getting excited
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someone else cooking for you

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instant results

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stealing a moment to admire a sleeping child (and her perfectly manicured hands)
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the best view right in front of us
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a sweet toddler catching your eye without trying

ABSOLUTELY NICE MEETING THE LOT - KINGSTON MAURWARD GARDENS PART II

Wednesday, July 15


No, don't be alarmed we're suffering the worst summer to date, those pictures reflect the springtime which judging by hair being blown in all directions and warm clothes hindering our movements -- these are not recent. As mentioned previously in post about Kingston Maurward Gardens, here is the last batch of activities we immersed ourselves in while accompanied by a sudden rainpour. Yes, the sun eventually emerged and wedged us out of layers we were loyal to for the trip. Rain aside, muddy ground too, we had a brilliant time. Animals had brilliant time and everyone who happened to visit Kingston Maurward that day was pleased to have the place mostly to themselves while all the rest of the district curled up on the sofa whilst feeling sorry for those scrapping mud off their boots. Or ballerinas if you happen to be me. For us it meant extra coffee squeezed in in anticipation for a clearer sky but I guess, you just have to roll with it if you're going to have any fun. Not easy but manageable. 

We had a lot to get through - animal pens and back of the gardens while snacking along the way, embracing each lick and sniff with grace and handfuls of food designed to keep the glances friendly. Simply enjoying it without overdoing it. I particularly loved watching Nadia interacting with the animal world that is not vitally our every-day view. You see an unbelievable number of cats and dogs on the streets at any given weather but a goat, llama, pig that is not necessarily pink - that is something extraordinary for a five year old town-raised child. She was curious but cautious, found simple things about the lot quite hilarious at times and was partly involved in feeding. There was a nice learn/play balance throughout this trip so big thanks to all furry creatures for only slightly limiting to how close they'd actually let us get.
 



 Then the evening rolled around so we closed the adventure with a stroll down the back of the garden to discover more breathtaking views I didn't hesitate to capture. I'll sound like a broken record but those places, these colours fill my heart like nothing else giving me enough energy for the weeks ahead. I'm a countryside girl after all.




Have a great day, friends! x


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