And March came in with a beam.
Of course it did. After the long, brown dreariness of January and February, in comes March with a spring in its step. It’s my favourite month, and not just because it crams in our anniversary, my birthday and mother’s day with more celebratory breakfasts than you can shake a stick at. March is the month of the purple crocus, crowding under any old scrubby tree it can think of. It comes blazing with the promise of brighter things.
We spent today altogether – O, miracle! – at Mottisfont Abbey and Gardens, in Hampshire. You drive down a long, straight Roman road just the other side of Winchester, past a quarry, through a village, blinded by sun and green. Since we came with wellies and pushchairs, we decided not to do the house today, but the gardens were a dream. Sometimes I feel like the National Trust designs these places with little boys in mind.
Here’s a secret: one of the best things about having small children is that when you get to a walled garden path just begging to be a runway, you can buzz around like an aeroplane and no one stares [much].
We decided to do the Meadow Walk, forgetting that now it would be an Underwater Walk. It was, but we sloshed on, fording the bog with the pushchair. Teddy made a valiant effort to stay asleep, and very nearly managed it. I remembered – again, too late – that my beloved Joules wellies have a hole in the bottom, and it might be time to find some more that I could love as much (NEVER). There were daffodils waiting on the other side.
Look, I hate to brag, but Henry now says ‘en guarde!’ when he wishes to challenge you to a sword fight, and I kind of think it’s my finest motherhood achievement to date.
(PS, if you think you know how to spell ‘en guarde’, but you’re not entirely sure and you don’t want to look stupid, don’t Google it. The first hit is a Wikipedia page called…well, you can look it up. Is this a Google joke?)
One of the trees was called Madame Lemoine. Is this not an utterly perfect thing? Everything was budding and poking its way through grubby earth towards the sun, and I sympathised entirely. March is my favourite month, and you guys, we made it.