we had a slide in the garden.
My brother and I liked to slide down it
into the paddling pool in the summer;
a splash landing.
And at other times of year
we would put cushions at the bottom
or our big beanbags.
We'd slide down the slide time and again
onto our soft landing.
during one of these play sessions,
we tucked one edge of my brother's beanbag
under the bottom of the slide
and we slid, and slid, and slid some more.
Until the bean bag popped.
The whole of the patio and half the garden
was showered in teeny tiny bean bag balls.
It looked like it was snowing.
And the almighty mess that my brother and I made that day
was one hundred percent
more fun than any slide could ever be.
That is a day playing on the slide that I really remember.
I don't remember who's slide it was that popped that bean bag,
but I can remember the hysterical laughter,
I can remember the way we played in the mess,
throwing handfuls of the bean bag stuffing high in the air,
I can remember the fun of that afternoon like it was last week.
I remember my mum making us clean up afterwards,
but only after we had had a great laugh playing first.
It's good to remember that childhood is packed full of fun.
And that sometimes the fun isn't conventional.
The best fun doesn't happen with toys or games,
it often happens when things surprise you
and when things maybe go a bit wrong
and you discover that there is fun in that moment.
It's not always easy as a parent,
with a hundred things that need doing
and never enough time to do it.
But sometimes, just sometimes,
it pays to think a bit like a child.
And instead of rushing to tidy up the mess,
letting your children enjoy it.
I learned a lesson about just popping out of the room for a minute
and leaving two cheeky and inquisitive children unattended.
And I also learned a lesson about seeing the world like a child
and there's a lot of fun in making a mess.