This summer my children have walked miles.
Walking has always been a big part of our lives – we have dogs so it’s a necessity.
But our girls also like the great outdoors and getting mucky.
I like the fresh air, the health benefits, the therapeutic nature of walking and it seems like good behaviour to model for the kids.
In an age where some families drive to the corner shop, it’s nice to remind your children they do have legs and the ability to function without electricity and gaming.
We often head out with the girls to local woods and country parks.
As my favourite time of the year approaches I get quite excited to see the changing leaves and the winding down of the season towards autumn.
Luckily my husband and I are adept at laughing at ourselves and live in full recognition of that fact that is so far removed from our idea of ‘fun’ pre-children.
This summer we decided we’d take walking a step farther (I know, bad pun).
So we treated ourselves to some ‘kit’, as the kind folk at Mountain Warehouse like to say.
We are now the proud owners of various waterproofs and footwear (feel free to join in as we laugh at ourselves).
We have even gone so far as to arrange childcare in late October so we may walk a part of the South Downs Way.
India has even learned to read a map during the holidays, use a compass, and run very fast when the tide comes in quicker than her parents expect on a sojourn at Bosham.
We discovered the old Upper Lake at Staunton Country Park, espied red and white spotted toadstools (to the children’s shrieks of ‘POISON! IT’S POOOISON!’ as if they’d been showered in anthrax), and our girls walked more than 14 miles across three days. Not bad for little legs.
I really hope, as a mummy, these expeditions and adventures will stay with them as they grow older. That they will look back when they have children of their own, and tell them about the walks that they went on with their mummy and daddy. That they will remember the wonder of nature, the gentle sizzle of sausages on the camping stove, and also...
...that mummy had warned daddy the tide was coming in soon. (Sorry darling, but I had to have the last word on that one.)
Verity Lush is a 38-year-old mum-of-two who lives in Portsmouth.
She is a tutor in philosophy, English and maths and has written a book for newly-qualified teachers, plus textbooks and articles for teaching magazines and supplements.