Lara's SPD and autistic tendencies are always worse if she isn't getting enough exercise and fresh air too, so we have had a tough few weeks. She doesn't cope very well with wind and cold, so persuading her to go out, and then going through the usual ordeal of actually getting her ready, can be quite challenging for everyone. Once she's out, as long as the weather is OK, she's usually fine; it's just getting to that point in the first place! Thankfully, we have managed a few decent days out in the past couple of weeks and the calming effect is palpable, making the rainy days in between somewhat more bearable.
We try to get to the beach as much as possible, even in winter, and having the place to ourselves apart from a few dogs and their walker is a joy. The freedom that the girls have in nature is so incredibly valuable to us, and to their learning. Just on this one beach trip we watched crabs, found several varieties of shellfish patiently waiting for the tide to come back in, and talked about tides, the sun and moon, the Earth's orbit, and gravity.
Exploring, asking questions, experiencing the world and everything in it, and having the freedom to pretty much do as we please day in, day out is such a precious gift. Days like this remind me how insignificant the problems of having a clapped out car, a home that is far too small for us, and often scrabbling to make ends meet really are. To have it any other way, I would have been in an office or a classroom all day, Steve in a hot, sweaty kitchen, and the girls in nursery and play group, instead of being together on an empty beach, loving life.
Lara is in her element in nature, especially being by the sea. She can go off and do her own thing, running back to show us what she has found or created, or calling to her sisters to join in a game. Seeing her free, happy and unconstrained by her difficulties is magical.
Drawing and writing in the sand
We try to go on a morning walk every day, although as I mentioned above this can prove tricky with Lara's issues. But we do get out most days, and one day this week the girls wanted to take some Barbies out on an expedition. Sophia and Lara had a long, involved story going on, so most of the photos I took were long distance and hence a bit blurry, but you can see what fun they had here. I love how active and creative their imagination is, some of these games with LEGO or Sylvanians or Barbies or superheroes go on for days. Wonderful.
I'm not sure what I think about daffodils in January! It is lovely to see them of course, but the implications for climate change are pretty horrendous. We also spotted primroses and crocuses in bloom.