Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Day (and a Compliment) to Remember

Thursday, 27 August 2009

We went to our (Jason's & mine) favorite spot: Bolton Abbey. We took a different road to get there, seeing other bits of Yorkshire that continue to create that "Wow--look at that! We are so blessed to live here!" feeling for me. When we arrived at the Abbey, we learned that we couldn't hike to the yet-unexplored Valley of Desolation because there was grouse hunting going on in the area. So, we opted to hike further along the River Wharfe than we had before.

We picnicked on these neat built-in seats until the on-and-off again rain motivated us to move 20 feet to a thicket of enormous oak trees. There we made friends with some ducks.

After lunch, we also made friends with a pair of humans.

Paul & Ruth were walking the trail at a faster clip than we were, so we stepped aside. But when they heard our accents that gave them reason to slow down. Jason won points for being from Montana -- a favorite hiking spot for them. Paul wanted to talk to Jason about all the neat things they'd seen while traveling in Montana. They wanted to show us the kingfisher (which we saw!) that lives along the river. And Ruth played tickle-tag with Graham.

It turns out that Ruth is nurse at hospice center for children. I was surprised (although I shouldn't be) when she told me what a happy place it is. The children who are there as patients get to play all summer long with their siblings who come to visit. She told me that one of the visiting siblings wrote a song the day before about not wanting to return to school next week -- nothing groundbreaking, but so true to the heart of every kid who wants summer to go on forever.

The nurses don't interrupt those magical moments to administer medication -- they just make sure that the meds get given "sometime." Childhood happens now, not on schedule.

And so Ruth & Paul didn't disapprove of our three getting all messy as they spontaneously waded in the River Wharfe & built a mud pie out of sand.

Paul expressed amazement at "how confident" Rose was about walking out into the water with Cami & Graham. She was just trying out something new.

And he told me that he didn't believe me for a second when I described my parenting style as "benign neglect."


Grandma Jeanne said...

Thanks for sharing, Starr! Those are great pictures, and we so enjoy seeing (and hearing) what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

You are so lucky to live there. What a gorgeous place!

Jen said...

It is so beautiful there! It brings back so many memories. It is such an amazing gift to your children to go abroad!

Sacto Cat Woman said...

What a strange coincidence. I always told people who asked that I raised Les and Nancy in a "state of benign neglect." They sort of raised themselves with a bit of guidance or help whenever needed -- which wasn't all that often. You are all having such wonderful adventures!

Anonymous said...

Hi Starr! Thanks for letting me know about your blog, it's great! These pictures are so lovely; glad you and the family had a nice time. Wow, "benign neglect." That is genius and made me chuckle out loud.


Lynnea said...

It looks beautiful there. I agree there needs to be time to get messy and discover things.