FOR a few hours on Saturday afternoon I felt like I’d stepped back in time.
Our road was closed for a royal wedding street party. There was bunting. Chalk drawings on the floor. Kids running wild up and down the avenue. Neighbours sitting on curbs in the sunshine, sipping beers and prosecco.
It was blooming lovely.
I was never allowed to play out as a child. But even if I had been, it wouldn’t have been as charming in the Nineties as it was for my Sonny Jim on Saturday. He literally had the time of his life. He ate his tea in the street, chased his aunties (and his football) up and down the road for hours and by the time bedtime came around, he had two grazed knees, dirt all over his face and was a sweaty, sticky mess of sunshine in toddler form.I meanwhile, got to sit in the sun outside my front door with a glass (or three) of prosecco, chatting to some other mums who live in the houses around mine.
There’s a saying, it takes a village to raise a child. But we don’t have villages like that anymore. Most of us consider ourselves lucky if we have even a few members of extended family around to help out with the odd night’s babysitting or morning of childcare.
We certainly don’t have a whole tribe of fellow mothers, mere doors away, who know us and our kids. Mums and nans to chatter with, to get support from, to laugh with as our youngsters get fresh air and into scrapes together.
I can’t help thinking that though times were a lot harder in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies in very many ways, when it comes to mothering, they had it better than us millennial mums.
For now though, I’m just super grateful to the two Leigh-on-Sea mamas, Kelly and Rosie, who organised our street party. Can we do it all again soon, please?!