My heart sank as I looked at the list we’d just created. My son’s hopeful, sometimes ambitious suggestions of what he’d like to do during the Easter holidays. My daughter’s enthusiasm for anything her big brother said. And my awareness that there was going to be precious little time to do any of these activities.
One of the implications of the exciting news I shared last week is the amount of annual leave my husband has had to take. This year, well over a week of his leave will be spent pursuing adoption, and more leave will be needed should we be successful at panel, as he takes time off for meeting our (at this stage) hypothetical child, as well as the statutory paternity leave. The fact that the four-day adoption training course was scheduled for these Easter holidays has meant that all Desert Dad’s days off have gone on this course, and we haven’t had much time off as a family. And I feel like the holidays – usually a time for me to spend extra-special quality time with the kids – have been rudely hijacked.
But now, looking back over the last fortnight, I’m so incredibly grateful at how the days have panned out. Trying to see things from the kids’ point of view, I really think they’ve had a lovely time, despite us abandoning them at different points to pop off to the training.
For starters, Granny and Grandpa came to look after them for the first couple of days, and their Aunt and Uncle-to-be came for the next couple of days. Our kids don’t get a lot of exclusive time with their extended family, so this was a special treat for everyone. Yes, I’d love to have been around for them, but recognise that me being forced to be elsewhere for a few days was actually a healthy thing for all of us. Everyone had a lovely time, and the kids have been spoilt for attention.
Then there was the Easter Weekend, which we enjoyed together as a family. On Good Friday we took part in some lovely all-age celebrations at church in the morning, followed by a bunny trail around the market in the afternoon. The rain was persistent – but somehow it didn’t seem to matter. Saturday had no agenda – God knows we needed it – and, despite my lack of thinking this year about how to make Easter meaningful for the kids, this day revealed all sorts of special moments.
We watched The Miracle Maker, made an Easter garden cake, and Missy spontaneously decided to give some of her money away to ‘people who don’t have any money’. Her brother followed suit. They didn’t go to sleep for AGES that night, which was kind of annoying, but also brilliant because it meant they were so excited about Easter!
Easter Sunday was great – how could it not be? – and we headed off to the in-laws after church and enjoyed some wonderful family celebrations. On Monday we went to Underwater Street, the most amazing place for young kids, and I thoroughly recommend it.
The concept is so simple (‘get all the things that kids like to do in one room’) that I’m surprised never to have seen it done before.
There were craft tables, science experiments, giant bubbles, a climbing wall, sensory areas, water play, role play shops, dressing up, a construction site and a cannon firing plastic balls.
Somehow, quite a few things have been knocked off the ‘Easter holidays’ list. Cinema, soft play, a trip to see some waterfalls (Mister’s special request), playdates with friends.
There are a few things left but, under the circumstances, methinks we ain’t done badly. Just a little more affirmation that God’s called us to pursue adoption, and has our family well looked-after, even when we can’t be around so much.
What have you been up to this Easter?