Family gathering

I’ve just had such a lovely time with Dante. He’d fallen asleep on the two hour journey home from our family gathering today but he clearly hadn’t been happy in his soggy dribbly vest (I seem to have bought changes for everyone else except him for some reason) so we changed him before lying him on the bed and he was just smiling and gurgling away and snuggling in to the clean warm duvet that he was lying on. All the other three children had fallen asleep quickly so it was a lovely calm moment and I lay next to him and cuddled and stroked him. He just so loves being touched and he ended up lying on his tummy with his knees tucked up while I stroked his back and he was cooing away. He went to sleep smiling. He’s been a little star today, as they all were. It was a really special family gathering as Uncle P and Auntie A had very generously gathered everyone together at a beautiful hotel in Bradford-upon-Avon for a lovely meal to celebrate their Ruby Wedding. I feel so lucky to belong to such a lovely family. I might have ended up taking it more for granted thinking that most families were like that until the other side of my family went so pear shaped.

The kids all seemed to get on really well too. I think they always sense the bond the parents have. Our four had a lovely time anyway which you could tell from the way they behaved as happiness always brings out the best in us all.

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.” Oscar Wilde

So true. I love that quote because sometimes it’s all to easy to concentrate on whether they are behaving or not and really we should just be concentrating on whether they are happy or not and the rest will follow. If that is true then I think Oscar must be happy as he was amazing today and I told him I really enjoyed his company. He was mature and kind to the younger ones, chatted politely to the adults, entered in to the day whole heartedly and was really helpful with our younger ones. He has really responded quickly when I’ve asked for a hand to strap Anton in, or carry stuff whereas I often have had to ask several times. He was chatting about how he would solve the problem of how to pick up his games kit for games tomorrow and was really applying himself to the problem but being really calm about it. He reminded me when we came in that we needed to hang his school sweater out to dry and then changed the rats food and water before going straight to bed. I usually have to remind him to look after his rats. He cleaned them out really well last week too which was the first time he’s done that properly without it provoking an awful row.

I told him I was proud of him as I kissed him goodnight but I always feel strange saying that. What does it mean? Using the word “proud” seems to mean that I am taking some sort of credit or that he’s being like that for us, or that we own him. I think it would have been better and more true to say that I just enjoy him. I just enjoy who he is and enjoy seeing him find his way and all those lovely sides to him flourish.

No one would have guessed that we were very close to having to keep Lucas at home and that yesterday morning I was thinking we should be going into hospital. He just gets on with it. He was on his usual lovely gentle form today. They were discussing which pudding they were going to have on the way and Oscar said he was going to have steamed sponge and custard and Luc said “I don’t like custard.” Oscar said “Have you ever had it?” and Lucas said “No.” ! He didn’t even think there was anything strange in that! It made Oscar and I laugh but it was all very good natured. It turned out he thought it would be a bit like mustard. All credit to him he did try it. And liked it.

So it’s been a fabulous memorable day and now I must go and get some sleep so I can get up early and try to be super organised mum again and get Lucas and Oscar ready for their separate days in separate directions.

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