Mothering Sunday - and the Rascally Trio are practising social distancing by cavorting in the back garden of their Auntie Kazza’s house, clambering energetically over the garden furniture which has attained greater
interest than usual by being covered in tarpaulin so that it resembles a small, eminently climbable mountain.
Their mother, the Middle of the Darling Daughters
has impressed upon them the need to “keep Nanni safe”. As a result, they are eyeing me from a distance as if I have suddenly turned into either a precious treasure or - rather more likely - a dusty old relic.
We were sitting, companionably, in the conservatory, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I, when we were distracted from our conversation by frantic knocking on the patio doors, accompanied by
a frenzy of waving. The Rascals had arrived. Not allowed over the threshold, they pass through for my attention a hand-made card from each of them and a present enclosed in unicorn wrapping paper. My daughter finds a chair for me so that I can sit apart from
them in the conservatory but where they can watch me open my cards and present.
Have you heard about the Rainbows in Windows Project? Children all over the country
have been painting, drawing and modelling rainbows to place in the front windows of their homes to form Rainbow Trails for other children in the neighbourhood to follow. My present is a most beautiful rainbow formed from fluffy balls in appropriate colours,
standing high above a cluster of cotton-wool clouds. It is truly spectacular, I tell its clever creators.
What’s more, they have learnt the Rainbow Song
to accompany the presentation of their gift - though they have to repossess their present so that Tala and Lilia can remind themselves of the exact sequence of colours. Their rendition is perfect once we have encouraged Contrary Lil to stop hopping about on
the decking and join her siblings. Having the actual rainbow as a reference point is useful - except that Tala insists on adding “white!” at the end, on account of the white clouds, you understand. I tell the Rascals that my rainbow will go straight
up in my kitchen window when I get home to their Grandad and we all exchange virtual hugs by holding our clasped hands out in front of us and wiggling them. Cue much laughter from the Trio who think this is just another one of Nanni’s crazy ideas, to
be tolerated because of my Great Age.
I am so very, very lucky that I could see two of the Darling Daughters and at least some of my Tremendous Ten grandchildren
on Mothering Sunday. So many mothers weren’t as fortunate as I. I’m trying not to think of the fact that it might be months before I see them again, before I can give them a proper, rather than a virtual, hug....
The Trio’s father, “Rules is Rules”, has come up with a present he considers far more valuable than a home-made rainbow - a single roll of toilet paper and a bottle of antiseptic
spray. You could say he is is of a Practical Bent. Tomorrow he is being drafted in to help with home-schooling the Rascals which will take every ounce of imagination, persistence and sheer doggedness that he and the Middle of the Darling Daughters possess.
I shall keep you all posted...
The Eldest of the Darling Daughters calls with Mothering Sunday wishes so I can say hello to granddaughter Eleanor, on enforced
holiday from Uni. My Boy, who also phones to wish me a Happy Mothering Sunday, tells me he has come up with a plan to educate his sons, the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boy’s by watching films. Apollo 13 to teach them about the Space Race and Blue Planet
for environmental awareness, for example. Plus, along with the Trio and most of the nation’s children, they will be doing PE with Joe Wicks. I don’t know Our Joe personally, you understand, but I feel sure the nation’s parents will be full
of gratitude and may well suggest he gets a mention in the Queen’s Birthday Honours some time soon. I may even return to childhood and participate myself. So long as it isn’t too energetic...
All that was yesterday. Today is today and the Y of the DDs is driving me home to Splendid Isolation with Mr B. I feel refreshed by afternoon naps and long lie-ins and re-energised by the chat and the company of my family,
near and far.
Virtual hugs, everyone. I will be reporting back from the Home Front day by day...