Watch and learn, Isla. Watch and learn.
The resident frog-catching Queen
Isla's favorite country taxi service.
I saw summer coming straight at me with her flowing mane, rippling muscles and wet, wild eyes, so I grabbed hold of that mane, swung myself up onto the heaving back and held on for dear life.
She hasn't yet stopped running and my hands are cramping. Perhaps I should just let go, and slip off into the tall, waving grass and watch her run into the future without me.
I don't want to think about First Day of School celebrations, or back- to -school shopping, or the morning battles that come with shoving your kid out the door before they are good and ready, or tardy slips for that matter. It's not even August, I know, yet I already smell that panic in the air.
Meanwhile there's a hay wagon parked in our meadow, left behind by the farmer. Often, on the way upstairs to bed, I catch a glimpse of it out the window, glowing in the moonlight. I stop for a moment to look at it and wonder where my sense of adventure has gone.
The wagon beckons to me, urging me to abandon my sensible grownup ways, grab a bottle of wine from the pantry, grab my husband, and head outside for a proper romp in the hay.
Then I sigh and continue up the steps and onto the bathroom to brush and floss before I retire to the guest bed where Isla lies waiting. I can hear Ian snoring deeply as I pass by his dark figure in what is supposed to be our bed. I can also hear Esther's childish breathing and make out her gangley, six-year-old body curled up into a comma-- her dark hair splashed over her face, and her arms reaching out towards her daddy.
More about Isla waiting for me, yelling "Mummy I neeeeeeed you," in bed here.