Living Arrows – 37/52 {2017}

 “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

One thing we have found incredibly hard to do with four young children is swimming. Our old leisure centre asked one adult per child for younger children. This meant we only managed swimming on holidays for our first years of parenthood. Then our local leisure center burnt down due to an electrical fault in 2012. The fire was so bad that the whole building needed to be demolished and rebuilt. When it reopened we were just about to welcome Ava into the world, and the year that followed was a bit of a blur.

Swimming Lessons

Next year we have booked a holiday in Cornwall. We are ALL about experiences, togetherness, and adventure, and we have lots of water based fun planned including fishing, snorkeling and a ride in a kayak in the sea. It would be a huge weight off my mind if these guys had more water confidence and knew the basics of swimming.

After a four month wait, our names made it to the top of the list. Last week was our first lesson and the start of a new Saturday routine.

(I would have LOVED to take swimming photographs, but photography wasn’t allowed by the poolside)

Slow Living

When I first agreed to weekend swimming lessons, I was initially excited and happy that we had managed to find a space for all three eldest children in the same session. At the same time, I was sad that we would lose out on a day of adventure and worried about adding to our routine.

It sounds a bit crazy to worry about adding something so ‘normal’ but a few years ago we really simplified our commitments, and it really helped me deal with my anxiety and postnatal depression at the time. I still struggle on some days but have a much better idea of what my triggers are and how to avoid them now.

I am a better parent when I am living a slower life – I am more relaxed and less anxious.

But it doesn’t really mean we lose out on a day of adventure, it just means we have to be a little more creative!

This week we joined the children in the pool after their lesson for an hour with Ava, who absolutely loved it and was trying to imitate what she had seen the others do in their lesson.

A Small Adventure

Afterwards, we decided to find somewhere to explore. We packed a picnic so we wouldn’t need to rush home and we chatted and wandered. Today we were spotting sheep and mushrooms, which seemed to be growing everywhere in the woods.

It is definitely feeling more like autumn now. The ground was so damp outside after the rain, that we ate our picnic in the car. It won’t be long before we are packing a flask with hot chocolate, as well as a flask of coffee. Especially to warm us up after swimming!

We discovered that our local nature reserve is much bigger than we thought. Hidden amongst nature is a runway that was used to train pilots in the last war. The runway and bomb storage can still be seen. It’s also one of the last places of lowland heath in the North of England. It’s home to plants like heather, gorse, and Scots pine and birch trees. We have heard that snakes and lizards can be seen on the runway so we are hoping we can spot some on our next visit.

I am hoping we can keep exploring well into autumn, especially as Ava is getting older and better at walking. Just being outdoors is good for reducing stress, as well as the exercise and vitamin D!

Adventure will show up wherever you look for it.

Slow living: Have you had any small adventures recently?

Living Arrows