You want to know how to feel just about as close to your child as you can?
Well, alright, not closer than EVER, but close enough.
Yep, that's right, colouring.
I sat down with J yesterday evening at his little desk and chairs in his room, with a plate full of fruit and snacks, colouring pencils and sheets and we just .......... coloured in.
Me worrying about going over the lines, being all grown up about it (ie boring) and him colouring away without a care in the world. I saw him occasionally glance over to compare our techniques but he was more than happy with his achievements. We had a funny 5 minutes where I decided to sharpen all his pencils and one of them (which was broken right through inside) got sharpened right down to the end - literally, there was nothing left.
We continued colouring, speaking less and then .......... silence - neither of us said anything to each other. It probably only lasted 3 or 4 minutes before J, still engrossed in his artwork, started talking, constantly and on no particular subject. He was so focussed on the job in hand, he didn't notice that I had stopped colouring in order to sit and look at him (in awe) as he blethered on. One of his rants went something like this:
"When I was bigger, next week, me and Sam and Liam went on a rocket and then Mr Incredible went up in the air in the park 'cos there's the swings and on the slide is my favourite......"
All I offered was the occasional "really?" or "no way, Mr Incredible said THAT?" and that was it. J was just spouting whatever was coming to him and you know what?
It felt good. I refrained from giving him a hug for ages as I knew it would break his flow. Eventually however, I broke and grabbed him, laughing, roughing his hair and kissing the top of his head, reminding him that I love him tonnes.