It’s the Easter holidays. On Good Friday we asked the boys what they wanted to do. As well as various requests for Scalextric tracks and Monopoly, large boy said he wanted to see his grandparents.
Trying to meet up with himself’s parents for the day is kind of hard as we live 8 hours apart. However, seeing my parents was entirely possible to organise and, at last, not unreasonably risky. They’re vaccinated, numbers are low, the boys have been off school for almost 10 days.
Location location location
It’s a good 2 and a half to 3 hour drive to my parents’ house from home so going all the way there wasn’t going to work. Instead, we picked a spot in between, a bit closer to them so their drive would be a bit shorter.
The Major Oak and Sherwood Forest visitor centre is somewhere I visited as a child as did both my parents. We didn’t pick it for nostalgia though, just convenience and in the hope that it would be nice and quiet compared to Sherwood Pines.
We haven’t seen my parents since August last year, pretty much 8 months ago.
In the event it was simple enough. Up at a decent hour but not too early, packed a picnic with the vitally important cakes and hot coffee, in the car and music streaming on. We arrived just a few minutes apart and managed to park together. The sparkle in the boys’ eyes when they spotted their grandparents was worth a fortune.
Incidentally, we drove past Thornbridge Hall which I’d never heard of before, but had read Molly’s blog post about it the previous day (see Lovely Local Indie), definitely looks worth a visit.
After a very important toilet trip we walked a little loop to see the Major Oak, then went back to the cars for sandwiches, crisps, fruit, and cake. Then back out for a long walk through the woods. All in all about 8km and the boys were moaning about sore feet and legs by the end.
A Little Joy
I’ve written before about how amazing my mum is. She’s also very lucky to have my wonderful dad. They’ve both had a tough few years caring for my dad’s mum as her health and mind failed her. She died quietly and without pain, while my dad held her hand, a couple of weeks ago. So now my parents are arranging a lockdown funeral.
My dad is a very honest man, open with his emotions for the most part. I don’t know when I last saw him cry, and I am well aware that he wasn’t close to his mum – she hadn’t been tender when he was growing up and she held grudges for decades, vocally making her antipathy very clear on occasion. None of that detracts from his sorrow when she died, seeing my dad let the tears flow made me just want to hold him.
So despite the sad times we’ve had recently, it was still a joy to see my parents. Just to be near them, with them, seeing the boys joke and share stories was wonderful. We mucked about and teased each other, chatted running and the horrors of Brexit, resisting the strong temptation to have a massive hug.
Just a couple of hours of joy but a much-needed glimpse of normality.