The long summer holiday is a time when children can be free from formal school learning. If they are fortunate, they can learn about the world around them, as they visit the countryside, as they follow their interests, as they meet people and spend time in summer sunshine and in the open air.
Jah had a lot to learn about all aspects of his new life.
Before we went away, a very dear life-long friend came to visit. Someone took a photo of her playing bubbles with Jah. It is embarrassing to note that once again a person’s head was ‘cut off’ in a photo. (Sorry S!)
The point about mentioning this is, that many years later this same friend reflected. “Jah is no longer attention-seeking like he was at first”. That surprised me because I did not remember so much ‘attention-seeking’. It is probably because I expected it. These were days of re-adjustment for all of us, but of course especially for him. I suppose it would have been more worrying if he had been passive.
Following the discovery that Jah was still a bit confused about many things, we told him carefully about the family members we were going to visit.
D’s mother and sister lived in Surrey – quite a long way from Leicester. We went on outings together with the Surrey cousins. We let the children play in their gardens and enjoyed outdoor picnics.
My parents and grandmother lived in Somerset. The children enjoyed themselves very much. My grandmother commented, ‘Jah has merry eyes. He looks as if he might lead you a merry dance’. We thought of those words a few years later . . . .
Our next trip was to go camping in Scotland. I have heard it said that many people of ethnic minorities do not travel widely in the English countryside. I myself know of many people of Caribbean origin who truly appreciate and love visiting parts of Britain, so I am not sure how true that is.
Anyway. We went camping in the North West Highlands of Scotland. As far as I could see, we were the only multiracial family around. This did not matter to us. We all enjoyed a restful time together by the sea and in beautiful countryside.