Monday, 11 October 2010

A Pumpkin Day To Remember

Yesterday was the kind of day I always imagined family life would be like. You know that image you have of an ideal family - fun days on the beach, Sunday lunches, days out, everybody smiling and laughing, teasing each other good naturedly.

But I've found that life with kids is somewhat different to the image I carried around in my head for years. In my everyday reality, there is much gratuitous noise, a truckful of disagreement, an inordinate amount of crying, a smattering of bedwetting and an awful lot of poo.

Yesterday reality went on hold for a day. For me, yesterday was a pure distillation of autumn. If I reach old age, I’ll wheel out the memory of 10/10/10 and hold it up to the light to view from all its impossibly perfect refracting angles.

The day was ripe with a warm amber glow. It began with me and Billy sweeping up leaves in the garden. You would never think it, but sweeping up leaves with a three year old is one of the most pleasurable things you can do. We chatted and swept, talking about everything from, how many leaves it would take to fill up the green bin, to why Stephanie from Lazytown always wears pink.

After lunch, we piled into the car and drove out to a local farm to choose pumpkins.

“There they are!” the boys shouted. “Pumpkins! I can see them. Look, Mum! Hurry up, Dad.”

And there they were – comical blobs of orange strewn across the fields. Billy and Dan tumbled out of the car.

“Corn on the cobs!” Dan yelled. “And they’ve got blackberries. Can we get some?”

“I want a punkin,” Billy said, lip quivering at the mention of other, less exciting, foodstuffs.

We chose two fat pumpkins, a whole heap of corn on the cobs, some local honey and several punnets of blackberries.

Still early, we decided to drive on up the road to The New Forest. The light filtered down through the trees, dappling us with its warmth. We headed to a small arboretum packed with towering redwoods, silver birches, larches, horse chestnuts and solid oaks; perfect for climbing. Red-leafed maples and smooth-trunked eucalyptuses rustled next to willows and other exotic specimens.

We collected fallen leaves, built rickety miniature wigwams from fallen branches and picnicked amongst the acorns and conkers.

Life can be hard work and mundane. Sometimes it can be heartbreakingly unfair and sad. But yesterday was beautiful and I’ll keep it safe and separate in my mind to take out and polish on the not-so-great days. Like a shiny conker or an exotic orange pumpkin.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post, Shalini. I can just picture your day... I see it like an old movie, perhaps in sepia.
    I think it would make a lovely chapter in one of your terrific novels!!