It rained today. We don’t believe in bad weather, just the wrong clothes, so we headed for the coast – with the dog.
The rain stopped as we arrived and there was a beautiful wide expanse of sand – with no-one else in sight, it seemed the rain had scared everyone else away! It was windy – but a very warm wind that was really quite pleasant – it felt like we were back on the Algarve Coast.
When I reminded Rhiannon and Michael (names changed) of that lovely holiday, now over five years ago they chatted away about the details of the holiday. The freezing pool (we went in April) that was so cold it actually took your breath away when you tried to swim there, their first real paella in a tiny traditional restaurant and the small, scraggy dog that followed us around the resort terrifying them – because they were convinced it had rabies! They laughed lots as they remembered.
The memories that flooded back to me, from our first foreign holiday with the children, six years ago were quite different to those we shared this afternoon.
I will never forget:
•Their faces as they boarded the flight, anticipation tinged with apprehension.
•How they stayed so close – even though we went out of season so that there would be less people. While on the deserted beach there was rarely more than a metre or two of distance between us all.
•The couple who watched us so carefully (for at least two hours) from the next table as we ate a very leisurely and pleasant lunch at a small outdoor café. They were obviously puzzled that they called us by our Christian names as we laughed and played games together. The couple told us, as we were leaving, that the children were a credit to us.
As the children walked on ahead they asked if they were our grandchildren. We are technically young enough to be their parents or old enough to be their grandparents. I was 41 when Michael was born. I stated the truth that we were their foster carers and the couple said they had often considered becoming foster carers themselves. I was able to encourage them to give it a go! Adding that being a foster carer is not for everyone but you don’t know if you don’t try!
Today, as we talked, we walked right along the beach …….. to the ice cream kiosk. We realised that none of us had a mask with us, but we were ok to buy coffees and ice cream to eat outside. Rhiannon announced that this was the first time that she had been to anything resembling a shop in 20 weeks! Michael discovered that it was £2.60 for a 99 ice cream or £2.20 for a half litre tub and a packet of wafers were 80p.
I reckoned that as a growing 16 year old that was much better value and he could do with the calories for being so savvy and such a good mathematician!
A great day was had by all – for the sum total of £7.20!
Jayne Robbins – A Blogging Foster Carer.