31 August 2018

Prior Park Garden

Something I really love about England is that, despite being a small country, it is filled with little magical nooks and crannies. Wherever you go, someone has been there before leaving remnants for curious little brains to investigate. My inner kid loves it. Whether it's a stone monument or a folly or a garden, when you stumble upon something, it feels like you've discovered a kind of secret. It's totally thrilling, even as an adult. Prior Park Landscape Garden feels like that. Even though it is a relatively well-known destination, because it is only a short walk from our flat, and is tucked away behind a grove of trees, it FEELS like you've just landed yourself in this enchanted enclosure. It was built by a man named Ralph Allen in the early 1700s (after he had amassed his wealth by streamlining the postal system) and was designed by Alexander Pope mostly just because they could. What would it be like to have that kind of money??
The beautiful Bath skyline beyond the park. This is Ezra seeing a cow for the first time. His face was frozen like this, completely transfixed. There is something really fascinating to me about the idea that I get to watch him discover everything--puppies, Christmas, heartbreak, bicycles, bee stings, chocolate chip cookies--EVERYTHING. How amazing that parenthood gives us the opportunity to vicariously relive the joy of discovery. It is strange the way that, before you meet your future partner or children, you still have this sense of longing for them, like you have this divet in your heart that needs to be filled. Then, if you lose them, the divet is empty again and you ache with emptiness. I think the same, for some people, can be said of a career or a house or a pet. It's like, even before we know what it is like to have that thing or person in our life, our hearts know something is missing. I realised recently that, for the first time in my life, the major divets in my heart are full. I know (or at least hope) there are other children to come, but I now have all the main missing things. I feel like I am living in the present, taking each day as it comes. This is SUPER unusual for me. I'm usually obsessed with the future. I think this is a moment I'll keep mentally going back to as one of my happiest times. I can already tell these two boys are going to be partners in crime. We took this little adventure on Monday's bank holiday after a fabulous weekend filled with lots of daddy-time (giving mummy a much-needed break). What is amazing/frustrating to me is that, despite spending every single day and night with this little nugget, all it takes is a couple of days of daddy-time and suddenly baby is laughing and giggling on demand with his dad! Jon even got him to speak. He was bent down talking with Ezra saying "hi baby! hi!" when suddenly Ezra cooed "hi!" right back. Both Jon and I screamed. I'm sure it was just a reflexive sound, but it genuinely felt like "He's talking with us! He knows us now!" It was a glorious feeling. 

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