A Warm Spring Day in the Garden With My Girls

The season for picnics, blue skies and garden parties has officially arrived, and after a cold, hard winter nothing lifts Andy's spirit more than the first rays of summer sun



Sunday April 1st was the day summer commenced for me. An occasion which happens every year -- a day when your happiness increases ten-fold due to a sudden surge in better weather. A day when the depths of the gloomy winter are shoved behind us. You know the days, the ones when the noticeably warmer sun shines gloriously through the high clouds, gleaming brightly amongst the vast array of daffodils. The ones when the mercury almost touches 20 degrees centigrade. Winter has disappeared (hopefully), and you have the comforting thought of realising that you are about to hit at least six months of relative good weather, bbq's, and walking around your garden bare footed.

I am reasonably sure I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), whereby I detest the winter months - a time my mind sinks in to hibernation mode, and you realise you are suddenly in the midst of long, cold, bleak days. Since becoming a father, a hyped-up Halloween and a visit from Father Christmas does tend to cushion the blow, though.

Last weekend was the first time all the proverbial planets aligned to allow me, my wife and our daughter to spend some good, quality time together - and to make the most of the great weather. We had no plans other than to spend time with each other playing, mucking about, and of course a few necessary house-related tasks.

The morning saw me give the neglected back garden its first treat of the year - a basic haircut. A grass cut, a little weeding, mixed in with some games of "Spot the Ghost" with my small human daughter hiding under her Peppa Pig blanket. I have never seen a ghost dressed as a pig. My daughter also showed initiative by helping me with the garden. She had her tools. "Rake-And-Shake" was our joint saying for the day. She even ended up picking up some cat poo.

Within surrounding gardens, you could hear the same scene being replicated: lawn mowers struggling with the overgrown grass, kids joyfully playing, couples arguing, dogs going mental. You could smell the delightful scent of freshly cut grass - the confirmation that Summer had started in our eyes.

My wife was adding a second coat of paint to the kitchen walls; she had the doors and windows open, allowing our garden antics to occasionally enter her vision.

Once we both completed our tasks, it was lunch time; out came the cob-web filled, chicken kebab stained Summer seats, along with a tall glass of wine. The first lunch of the year consumed on our patio.

We chatted and laughed at things. It felt nice. A relatively rare moment when we are all together, eating lunch on our patio under the gorgeous weekend sunshine.

The midday sun was beaming down on us all day and our daughter was roaming around in only her nappy. It brought back childhood memories of times spent with my parents and siblings. A time of closeness; a time of just doing normal things. Simple, happy times.

After lunch, my daughter wanted to have a "picnic" on the grass in our garden. She brought down her suitcase, which was full to the brim of plastic food. I had a tin of tuna, a bottle of ketchup and a lemon. She had cheese, a cake and some vinegar, and my wife had a hot dog roll.

And the rest of the day we played as three... Summer has arrived...

Andy Robinson, Working Dad and Tinies Manny

Find more child and parenting related articles on Andy's Huffington Post page.

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