My previous post was in response to Charli’s challenge this week and I was limited to 99 words.
I thought I’d do a more in-depth post about our family picnics as they were so much fun, and with Summer just around the corner (hopefully), happy memories as well!
I’m one of four, but all of us are on our second marriages and in two cases my parents inherited grandchildren by default. All were treated as members of the family, no-one was an outsider, and any foster kids in my care were also made welcome.
This particular year was Other Brother’s 40th birthday and we agreed to meet up in the New Forest. Everyone took something to contribute to the picnic table, a series of pasting tables adorned with table cloths, paper plates, napkins, plastic cutlery and cups.
The atmosphere was terrific, team games like cricket and rounders were in full swing (pun intended), and the kettle was constantly boiling on the portable camp stove.
Several people, adults and kids alike, were hunting for clues in a treasure hunt, and Dad had rigged up a ‘death slide’ from the truck where the kids were waiting in an orderly queue for their turn under his supervision.
Some of us ended up blackberrying in readiness for Dad’s homebrew, and apart from one adult sulking because there was no beer (sadly he was with me and three teenage boys), everyone was having a really good time.
Our party seemed to be growing in number though, not only at the death slide, but also at the tea facility. It turned out that complete strangers thought we were a mobile cafe and were lining up for tea and cake whilst their kids were joining in the fun.
Once everything was packed away, litter disposed of in the appropriate place if available or tossed in bin bags into a variety of car boots and the site clean and tidy, the kids lined up for the grande finale.
This for me was the best bit, something we had every time we had a family get-together. Everyone could join in, but it was for the children really, each of which had been given a ‘goody bag’ to fill with the spoils of the game.
The kids would line up in a sort of semi-circle and you could feel their excitement (it was so cute!). Mum and Dad would then throw sweets up into the air, and little hands would scrabble to catch them before they hit the ground, though it didn’t matter if they did because they were always in wrappers.
I was so proud of my lads who helped the little ones gather them up as they weren’t quite so quick or as tall as the older ones. Old Sulky Pants was sitting in the car while the other parents were egging the kids on, pointing to where sweets they’d missed had fallen.
It was always the most chaotic, amusing, sometimes hysterical part of the day, especially one year as some of the adults joined in for themselves!!!
Imagine, 2 grown ups almost coming to blows over a chocolate coated toffee finger!