It was a pretty good day but an emotional one. You (Forrest) and I got up around 6:30 and Nixie and daddy stayed asleep until almost 9:00. Today marks 5 weeks of daddy being furloughed and even though we are still in lockdown, the restrictions have been easing and some children have even returned to school. But we are still meant to social distance and can now spend as much time as we want outside and since this past Monday we are allowed to meet up in groups of 6. You, Nixie, are really missing your friends at forest school but you won't be able to go back until Sept. You also really miss nanny and your cousins oh and you have also turned 5 since the last time I did an entry for this project!

Forrest you are going through an intense phase of wanting to nurse all of the time,  it's reminiscent of your newborn days. If we are at home I feel like I spend most of my existence stuck on the sofa with you attached to me. If I need to go into another room you cry for me. You need me to hold you all of the time but luckily I don’t mind in the slightest, I’m too aware of how quickly these phases pass and I don’t want to wish any of it away. For the past couple of months your canines have been making their appearance and they have been such a source of pain for you. It's been so tough.  We've had lots of tears and restless nights but I feel we are very close to the end,  I can see all four of them now,  so I'm hoping this will all be in the past imminently!

I did wake up feeling incredibly emotional and as soon as I saw Kevin come down the stairs I just burst into tears. I just became overwhelmed with frustrations about all the racism that exists still in our world and at the same time being acutely aware of my white privilege and realising all of the ways I have been a part of the problem. Sometimes truth just hits you smack in the face and it's painful and that's what has been happening with me a lot over this past week.I have always been involved in human rights and feel it is our duty to stand up when others are being discriminated against and treated unjustly but I used to be one of those people who used to say I didn't see colour that I only saw human beings but what I wasn't aware of at the time was how saying that strips people of their identity and culture. I mean of course I saw colour,  but my intention in saying that was just another way to say that I didn't judge others based on the colour of their skin. 

Anyways our conversation led to us discussing the best way to talk about racial injustice with you, Nixie, in some ways we feel you are too young to have these conversations, we want to protect you and keep all the bad things about our world away from you for as long as possible but then we think of other black children your age who don't get a choice because they already deal with racism on a daily basis and have had to learn already that some people will not like them because the colour of their skin therefore we feel you need to know the same. People of colour can't hide from or ignore racism. As white people we can and that's another example of our white privilege. It is so important to me that you grow up to be a person who stands up and speaks out for people who experience injustices. By not sharing some painful truths we are only holding you back by not allowing your beautiful spirit to soar. As much as I don't want to share with you a lot of what happens in our world, the one thing I do know is that I'd rather have you learn about all these things with me rather than just finding out on your own. 

Our conversation came to an end because we needed to make all of us breakfast. Nixie you have been really loving just playing in your room with your Spirit Playmobil toys, completely immersed in your beautiful imagination and I love eavesdropping.  The only thing that has made things slightly challenging is that Forrest can no longer play with you in your room because he breaks your things and it makes me feel so sad for him because all he wants sometimes is to be with you in your room and he will just cry, scream and cry some more pointing up to your room. It feels so unfair but it's just the way it's sadly going to have to be until he's a little bit older. Oh and I forgot to say that daddy and Nixie have given you Forrest a new nickname:Skog which I think sounds so cute, it means forest in Swedish. 

After breakfast and after we all got dressed and ready we headed out to the forest, we explored a new area today and I just love that amazing feeling of discovering a new place and seeing new environments.  What a beautiful part of the forest we explored, we started off at Millyford Bridge which the last time we were there we never made it past the first view of the stream because you Nixie had to jump in it and get soaked if I remember correctly.  This time we got to explore this area properly and we ended up climbing a pretty steep hill which led us up to beautiful heathlands with views over the forest and in the distance you could see Isle of Wight and in the other direction I think Totton.  It felt really expansive and magical being able to see so far in the distance and to be above the treeline. I had you Forrest in the wrap because these days if we head out before you've had your nap then I carry you in the wrap so you can boob and go to sleep but if we head out after your nap then we'll put you in the backpack because you love the view you get from there.  

It got very windy while we were exploring the top of the hill and the sky was filled with moody dark coloured fast moving clouds, it was beautiful! Nixie you were loving it and kept collecting giant stones insisting we bring them home.  All of a sudden it even started to rain and you and daddy ran for cover under a tree while Forrest and I who had been a little bit ahead took cover behind a big gorse bush. The rain shower only lasted a minute or so and then we found a place for a picnic.

Forrest you were being so cute and kept running back and forth with your arms spread out like you were a bird and Nixie wherever you went Forrest followed.  The way he adores you just makes my heart burst. I love seeing the two of you love on each other. Oh and Forrest you can communicate with us so much more now, it's amazing how much happens in a month. Since the last time I did this project, you now have the sweetest way of telling us yes to something: you open your mouth into a half smile and breathe in a sigh. It's my new favourite thing you do and has made things a lot easier. We could see buzzards flying overhead and could hear horses in the distance. It was pretty windy at times which made the sounds of the horses distorted. After our picnic we started to head back but went a different way. We walked down a hill and were surrounded by horses, and even saw a little foal along with so many blue butterflies.

We found a path that looked inviting that led us back into the forest and by this point you Forrest had been on daddy's shoulders because otherwise we would never get anywhere, you are at the stage where you like to run off in the direction of your own choosing. As we continued our way through the forest all of a sudden right in front of us was a mare and her foal coming right towards us.  We never touch the ponies or go up to the ponies around here but in this instance they came up to us and started the interaction. We are always extra cautious. But the little colt was so curious and nibbled on daddy's hands and let you stroke him,  all while his momma was right next to us. Then we tried to leave but the little one came up to us again. It was a magical encounter and it left us feeling so lucky and grateful to be able to have these experiences. 

A short while later though our happy love bubble burst because while you Forrest were sitting on daddy's shoulders daddy accidentally walked into a branch and you scratched your eyelid and forehead really bad.  What made it worse was that just two seconds previously you had your cheek to daddy's cheek and kept giving him kisses so he hadn't expected that you would pop your head back up in that precise moment. You burst into tears, I panicked a little and grabbed you from daddy's shoulders and held you so tight hoping you were OK, you just wanted to cling to me and as soon as I gave you some boob you calmed down.  You were so lucky it didn't scratch your eye.  You were absolutely OK.  Daddy on the other hand was not OK. He had tears streaming down his face and no matter what I said to him couldn't make him feel better.  He was consumed with guilt. After you had calmed down and before continuing on our way back to the car you and Nixie wanted to play on a fallen tree,  it made me happy seeing you act normal and that you didn't have any serious injuries, when it was time to go daddy put you back on his shoulders we were worried that your be scared to but luckily you weren't and enjoyed being there.. About 3 minutes into our walk we saw a gorgeous fluffy fox cross our path!  The foxes here are nothing like the urban foxes we used to see in London!  I rarely get to see them here so it felt extra special. 

Nixie, you were being such a little love and giving me so much love in the form of hugs and kisses. You were determined that we had to run backwards for most of the way but you would stop just so you could hear the trees creaking and you'd say to me "don't the trees make the most amazing sounds?!". I love that you seem to be noticing and appreciating more and more the things around us when we're in the forest. It makes me so happy. I looked over to Forrest just as he was falling asleep, I couldn't quite believe what my eyes were seeing but he fell asleep on daddy's shoulders! 

As soon as we got home, I put Forrest to bed and you and I went into the garden to pick a bowl full of yummy strawberries,  we even saw the first signs of some of our tomatoes! A little bit later Forrest,you, woke up and when I brought you back downstairs and daddy saw you, he burst into tears again, he hated that you got hurt and he really struggled with letting go of his guilt, I felt so bad for him! It's the worst feeling as a parent! 

We had dinner and afterwards we headed to keyhaven for an evening walk by the sea. In the car, you, Nixie, said to us how you wish the virus would stay so that daddy didn't have to go to work and that he could always be at home but then you said that you wish you could still see your cousins but that you would keep your distance. You got a bit sad. You have been struggling a bit with your feelings and wondering when things are going to return to normal.  Once we got there you kept filling your wellies up with stones, and thought it was the funniest thing you could possibly do!  Forrest once you got to come out of the backpack you just wanted to throw stones into the sea and try to jump into it, you and daddy came up with a great little game to play: everytime you tried to jump into the sea, daddy grabbed you as fast as he could and spun you around causing you to explode in the most beautiful belly laughs, it was music to my ears. We didn't stay too long because it was really windy and I felt a bit chilled although you and Forrest could have stayed out much longer!

When we got back home we all got ready for bed and Forrest was asleep within minutes. You took a little while but you are really enjoying your new Spirit books which you and daddy read together.  We've been taking turns putting you to bed and tonight it was daddy's turn and I put Forrest to bed.