NEWS & STORIES
Catherine Wood, mum to three very energetic and enthusiastic girls, aged 7, 5 and 2.
'Look Mummy', my 7-year old has spotted something on our shed. I peer down at an entirely unfamiliar bug with the most exquisitely designed and beautifully coloured back I think I have ever seen. 'What is it?’ She asks. I have no idea... 'Let's find out!' I say.
Two weeks into lockdown, and with it has come this incredible, golden opportunity to stop. No rushing, no activities, no lessons, no school bell, no social engagements. Just spending time, doing life with my kids. And it's amazing. Seeing the world at their pace and through their eyes is a bit of a gift. Our 'daily exercise' has taken us on nature adventures right on our doorstep - we have photographed every spring flower in the locality, I reckon we now boast the largest stick collection in Southampton, and the girls have built their own nests with the twigs having watched birds doing the same above them. They have discovered fairy homes in hollowed trees to write stories about, and played hide and seek in the holly bush caves. At home we have expanded the size of our vegetable patch (lots of mud moving), and planted far too many seeds (we will entirely be overrun by courgettes come Summer!)
One reason getting out and about is so delightful is that it is just SO quiet! No traffic, no planes, no boats blaring horns, fewer trains rushing down the line. I can't deny the strange atmosphere outside, but that's only on a human level. And the crossing the road to avoid each other thing is very unnerving! But on another level, you can almost hear the world starting to breathe again. It has been a great topic of discussion in our house. We have covered many angles, the latest being what the Fish and the Coral think about change in pollution levels!
I'm not saying I'm not knackered, have not eaten my body weight in chocolate, or have not resorted to the wonderful thing that is CBeebies. But on the whole, the girls are flourishing with the freedom to explore and express themselves.
We painted pictures of the pretty bug, we wrote stories about it, we named its body parts. We uploaded the photo of the bug to a clever app that identifies wildlife. The closest on there is a 'Western Conifer Seed Bug' originating from the US. And up starts a conversation on invasive species and how it might have got here...
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