Earlier this week AJ met a little boy while we were playing at the pool. They bonded immediately as they recognised the cheeky playfulness of each other. The little boys name is Tom and he's almost 6 years old. Tom became part of the family, often spending hours here playing, or he and AJ were all over the campground on Toms bike and AJ's scooter, or over at Toms tent or at the playground or somewhere together. Toms mum and I became friends and spent hours chatting. They extended their visit by one day, but then they had to go. On their last night here, Nicholas went to bed early but the rest of us hung out on the lawn outside our annexe. We sat around playing funny games like Chinese Whispers and "If you could be any kind of animal/vehicle/insect/food/colour, what would you be?" and duck, duck, goose which somehow (that 5-6year old humour) became 'toilet paper, toilet paper, flush". All this under the light of the full moon! The kids spent a while playing hide & seek before we eventually called it a night. Sami and AJ fell into bed and were asleep within seconds. Good fun, good friends.
Living like this, we know that the people we meet are not going to be in our lives long, so we make the most of it while we can. These short-term friendships are an interesting lesson. I think we are appreciating these new friends, as well as old friends, a lot more. We're also finding it easier to share bits of ourselves, our stories, our things.
The morning that Tom and his mum were due to leave, I thought we might be able to go over and help them pack and I was surprised at how sad I felt that they had already left by the time we got over to their site. I thought AJ would be sad too, but he actually seemed ok. There are so many kids in the park at the moment and this afternoon we had some really nice kids pitch their tents in the site next to ours. AJ made friends with one of the boys there who is 10.
We're looking after some bunnies and a cat for some friends that have gone away for 2 weeks. We can't have animals here so we're making daily visits to their house which is not far from here. On the way to their house today, Sami said "I'm glad we don't live in a house anymore" When I asked her why, she went on about how she's really enjoying living outdoors and the camping lifestyle. She also really really loves the pool at the campground we're at. AJ however is really looking forward to a time when we can have our own pets again. He recently declared that he was going to be a veterinarian when he gets older. He's always had a fascination with bugs and lizards and he is very comfortable around all kinds of animals and insects. Whatever he ends up doing, I just hope it makes him happy and excited.