I should have known the car wouldn’t start on Thursday. Not because there were any warning signals from the car; there weren’t. No, I should have known because I’d signed all the kids up for “Woodland Warriors” that day, at vast expense! I should have known because Eldest Child had a hospital appointment almost straight afterwards, to have his plaster cast removed, which had been postponed by a week already and he was desperate to get rid of it! I should have known because we were due to drive 4+ hours up north first thing on Good Friday. I should have known because we were due to return late Saturday and I’d planned to buy groceries before we went, knowing that everywhere would be shut on Easter Sunday.
So, the car wouldn’t start, it was too late to walk to the venue so I called a taxi, gave detailed directions to our house and then waited on the path. And waited. Eventually, the taxi arrived and explained that he couldn’t find us, no wonder because he came from the opposite direction from what I recommended. Plus I’d said we’d be waiting on the path – how hard is that? – Drive along the road until you come across a group of people standing about!
Having dropped the kids off, I walked home, which took 30 minutes, then rang the breakdown people who promised to be with me within the hour. Exactly 59 minutes later they arrived. I should have known that too. Turned out to be a flat battery (Him Outdoors later admitted using the battery to blow up all the car tyres the night before…). So the car was jump started, I then took it for a good drive to recharge said battery, and lo and behold, it was then time to collect the kids. I felt robbed of valuable time. It was like those days when the kids were really small and they’d fall asleep while you were out and you felt resentful that you’d missed out on nap-time at home.
Never mind, everything worked out. The kids loved “Woodland Warriors” and the cast was taken off and I squeezed in a trip to Sainsburys, albeit with 3 kids in tow (joy of joys).
And we went Up North. A bitter sweet trip. We went to visit my Mother-in-law, who moved into a nursing home in January. She’s fighting alzheimers, she really is, but it’s finally beginning to defeat her. We went up in February to clear out her home and get it ready for selling. Such a sad thing to do. What we were really doing was clearing out a life. And not just a quiet life either. This lady brought up four children, she went to college and trained to be a teacher while they were young, and worked nights to support them too. Such a busy life, such a happy, noisy home, and now reduced to what seems like a very lonely existence in a small room in a nursing home. Tragic.
However, she still recognises us, which is a blessing because I know that she doesn’t remember or recognise some other close family members. She was pleased to see us all, especially her grandchildren. We took her round to my brother-in-law’s house and we all had a happy day together. The next day we went again and she asked us if we’d been to the house before. *Sigh* I know each trip is going to be harder and sadder. I hope her house sells quickly; I find it difficult to stay there, now she is no longer living there. A sterile, impersonal Travel Lodge seems preferable now.
Back home again, our sprits lifted, especially as there was a big yellow thing in the sky all day Sunday! Middle Child pasted a long letter to the Easter Bunny on the window on Sunday morning which read:
Dear Easter Bunny, as well as bringing EASTER eggs for us, Please can you bring some for our TOYS (I mean little eggs!) Love “Middle Child”
P.S. Santa has his work-shop So I’m wondering what you have!
I love her innocence. Eldest Child was much more worldly wise at that age (When he figured out that Father Christmas didn’t exist, he denounced the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and God all at the same time). She even asked on Saturday night if I would email the Easter Bunny, which I rather understand because you can do pretty much anything online these days, can’t you?
So we did the egg hunt, which the girls really believed had been left by the Bunny. What I liked best was when they compared what they’d found, they made sure they each had an equal amount of the different types of egg. Children with baskets collecting chocolate eggs – nothing remarkable, but I love these little family traditions. They hold us together.
Hope you all had a happy Easter, and plenty of chocolate too.