Me & Them; A day out at Tyntesfield
As National Trust members, we have exhausted our membership this Summer and seen more roses, manors and gothic revival than we can count. That sounds like a negative, but it isn't; we've loved every second of it. As parents, it feels as if we're in this constant battle between iPads and the outdoors and what I've realised these past few months, is that both have a place and a balance. My 3 year old is better than me at Sonic Dash but he also has some impressive scooter skills (I've never held my breathe for so long as when I watch him race down a hill without applying the brake).
Tyntesfield was a beautiful place for the boys to chase through and explore. The manor house and chapel was perfect for my Dad, the adorable rose garden and orangery for me and my camera and the endless grounds for Archie & JB; we also ticked a few things off of our 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ list.
They dipped their toes in buckets of sand and pebbles, walked barefoot across a huge fallen tree (how very Dirty Dancing), dodged the cowpats through the fields and caused havoc in the manor house. We searched for different fruits and vegetables growing in the gardens, knocked on doors to nowhere, admired the grapevines in the greenhouses and stopped at the park for a little (though pricey) lunch.
I indulged that part of me that loves taking photos of beautiful flowers, but also of family and mischievous boys. We let them climb trees, drop sticks in ponds, race through fields, dance in the rain and eat their raisins on the park swing (and get irritated by other children trying to swing because they'd decided there was no other suitable place to eat lunch, ignoring the 20 or so very suitable picnic tables close by).
I'm so grateful to the National Trust for filling our Summer with so many wonderful memories—sunshine-filled picnics and plenty of laughter—and though I'm sure Winter will see quite a decrease in our number of site visits, I'm sure we'll be back exploring when Spring comes around again.