Now, I could have done without the 5:30am start, but when a six-year-old is awake, he's awake. And the sun was shining and I had work to do, so up I got.
From then on, there was a kind of rhythm to the day which I couldn't have planned but which perfectly encapsulated my vision of life revolving around home, with work and family all intermingled in a positive way.
Granted, it was Sunday and in the normal way of things I would not have been working on a Sunday at all - I try to be strict about days off - but deadlines loomed and it had to be done. Anyway, the story:
I worked for 2.5 hours in the early morning, completely focused and achieving a lot. Then I cooked pancakes for the boy, faffed in the garden with him, did the supermarket run and on a whim bought food for a barbecue lunch. (It was the weekend and it wasn't raining - had to be done.) So we cooked and ate outside for the first time this year.
I would like to wax lyrical about this relaxing family occasion, how we lingered over a delicious meal in the sunshine... but the boy was tired and grumpy, not hungry, didn't like the potatoes... Still, we were outside, all together and the sun was shining. And I liked the potatoes! The chicken was pretty good too.
Over lunch we planned an outing to a nearby park, but after we'd cleared up, the tired and grumpy boy came over to me for a cuddle. I sat down with him on my lap, he snuggled in and went to sleep. 5:30 starts obviously don't agree with him any more either! He slept for a couple of hours while I cuddled him, dozed a bit myself and enjoyed sitting in a quiet house on a sunny day being forced to do absolutely nothing.
He took a while to come to after waking up, then didn't want to do anything. Everything I suggested was rejected, including a walk to the village playground. After a bit of soul-searching I'm afraid I resorted to bribery and asked if he'd like to walk to the village shop to look at the comics. Instant approval. So we meandered down to the shop, talking about the ducks, the ants, Ben 10 (a little too much Ben 10 for my liking...) and a dozen other things. At the shop, after a comic had been chosen, I casually suggested we went to the playground. This had suddenly changed from a stupid idea into an excellent one, and off we ran.
After the park it was home to Daddy and tea, followed by much laughter as they played together in the living room and I weeded the garden. The boy joined me outside, feeding piles of weeds to the rabbit and then plotting to dig a tunnel to his friend's house two doors down. The beginnings of the hole is still there now.
It was quiet, nothing spectacular happened, and I had to work on a Sunday. But I wouldn't change any of it. It was a perfect day.