For the first four years that Paul and I lived in Switzerland, we adored being close to the city centre and were thrilled with our little balcony. Sunny afternoons spent mowing the lawn and tending the flower beds were replaced with lazy sunbathing and gin and tonics.
But then CK arrived on the scene.
And everything changed.
Oh! how we missed having a garden then. Not being able to simply open the door and step on to our own little private playground. Not being able to watch from the window, cup of tea in hand, as CK played outside.
Instead, our trips to the local park require thirty minutes of preparation to pack drinks, snacks, nappies and toys and then another twenty minutes to get each boy in their coat, hat, scarf and gloves. Add on fifteen minutes to walk there and you’re left wondering why you even bother.
And that’s why spending the past week or so at my parents’ house has been an absolute joy. We’re incredibly lucky that they have a rather large garden with both horses and chickens to feed and chase after but even a small patch of grass would seem like a treat after a 3 metre square concrete balcony.
CK’s smiles have been plentiful (as have his mud-splattered clothes). Stroking the horses and feeding the chickens have become his favourite pastimes. It takes all my powers of persuasion to get him to dress and eat his breakfast before he races outside to see them every morning (although not this weekend as half a metre of snow has fallen).
I don’t know how he’ll react when we have to say goodbye and head back to Zürich. I think I’ll have one sad little boy on my hands.