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Being two

January 20, 2014

Earlier today we met a friend of mine and her daughter who is 9 months older than Hope for a walk. The two girls are best friends; when you’re two that means you look forward to seeing your friend, you talk about her endlessly and then when you see her she annoys you, plays with your toys, wants to use your fork and runs faster than you!

We had an indulgent (and rare) brunch, before heading up the busy street (a bit like Festive Row where Mr Bod lived) and then turned the corner into the old city cemetery. Now, it may seem like an odd place for two small girls to be taken for a walk, but it isn’t, it’s quite magical. A huge old cemetery right in the middle of the city, and once  you go into it, rather like the aforementioned Mr Bod going through the wardrobe, you are in a different space entirely. You enter a grassy world full of birdsong and undergrowth, gravel paths and beautiful headstones, puddles and tilting monuments. It feels a universe away from the streets outside.

I only discovered it a year or so back, and my friend had never been there, I think she was initially a little sceptical but being a trusting soul she went along with her friend. The two little girls raced off with shouts of “OOOHHHHH” and “Wow” as they discovered the different headstones, the ornate carvings and the big clumps of grass. We pottered along in their wake examining the names and enjoying the tranquility. The small folk chased each other round and round nameless graves, and then stood and looked at the worn stone, they held hands, they walked alone and they laughed together.

When we got to the middle they discovered the puddles, or rather Hope did. She wasn’t wearing wellies, or even boots, but her pink leather shoes with flowers on. She was delightedly jumping up and down in the middle of a puddle shrieking with glee. We coaxed her out and wandered on to see the lovely statue of Kittie a lady who’d died in the early 1800’s, the girls fell in love with her both sitting at her feet, examining the stone toes and the fall of the stone gown. Both said see you soon to her as we walked on past the grave of Urban Deaks (what a great name…).

Then, Hope discovered a puddle that seemed the size of Lake Victoria and was knee deep for a small person. Oblivious to the fact that a few minutes earlier she’d been picking ice from a bird bath type headstone, she waded in. Her shoes filled with water and her tights were drenched all the way to her waist, “the state of you” her little friend said as their two mothers stood slack mouthed too late to stop the soaking. Hope’s friend was wearing boots, but not wellies, and not waterproof ones, lifting her skirts so high you could see her tummy she waded in after Hope. The two of them then ran in and out, through and through this huge puddle time and time again for almost twenty minutes. We laughed, we cheered and we wondered if we were terrible mothers or not for allowing our girls to play in puddles in inappropriate attire on a day so chilly you could almost see your breath.

They had to be wrenched away from the puddles, it was only promises of drinks and chocolate biscuits that tempted them onto dry land, and both of them still broke free and headed back in for a final splosh.

By the time we got to our car Hope had realised that she was soaked and said, “Mummy, Hope wet toes”. They weren’t just wet, they were frozen. I had a spare pair of tights in the car so I dried her legs and put the clean ones on.

On the way home she sang Frère Jacques over and over again and then went quiet. I thought she might have fallen asleep but then, just as we were pulling up outside the house, she shouted, “Hopey in puddles YAY”.

Happy, carefree, unencumbered by the idea that getting soaked might be perceived as silly, and oblivious to the fact that they were filthy from head to foot, the two girls had the happiest time they’ve had together in the two years they’ve known each other, and I think my friend and I did too. Work, bills, business, life troubles, the pain of a still sore ankle all faded away and we too felt carefree as we watched the reflections and the splashes and listened to the fits of giggles.

The joy of being two

The joy of being two years old … best friends.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Phyl Barrett permalink
    January 20, 2014 11:47 pm

    Wonderful

  2. cate. permalink
    January 21, 2014 8:01 am

    Absolutely nothing wrong with running and jumping in puddles. More folk should! Good parenting!

  3. January 23, 2014 12:08 am

    Sounds like a perfect day 🙂

  4. January 28, 2014 11:24 pm

    it was indeed thank you so much for commenting x

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