“We’ll move into a bigger house with a garden, one day…”
That’s what I said when Tom was two and the paddling pool on the concrete postage stamp was enough to keep him happy. Time flew, it doesn’t seem likely any time soon and he needs six-year-old sized space. The guilt about where to raise him never goes away, but instead of thinking we might one day move on, I’ve done some sums recently and realised we’ll have to stay put for the foreseeable future.
Still, we’ve got alley gates now, which make all the difference. I can string my washing line out across the cobbles and actually dry stuff without having to put the radiators on. And Tom can run up and down with the other children. There are butterflies in the nettles and shield bugs laying their day-glo eggs* on the gate. We know the names of all the cats on the street, which Tom has nicknamed ‘Tabby Avenue” because that’s the colour most of them are.
And, thanks to the rain and rain and rain, we’ve (almost) got a lawn, which I don’t have to worry about mowing.
Tom got an outstanding school report last week, so this weekend has been full of lots of hugs and pride . I just went inside to get my laptop and came out to find this – he’s laid out a blanket and is reading Matilda on the “lawn”.
Our garden will definitely do for now – and so will the rest.
* Update, two minutes after publishing – the baby shield bugs have just hatched!