This runner’s up story from our Bedruthan Stories competition is particularly touching, describing the memories of a mother bringing her young son to Bedruthan for a short break – illustrating the importance of making family memories on holiday that will really last forever.
I was a dancer in my 20s. Touring was a chance to see something of the world. Late night dancing in dimly lit bars, the abandon that comes from anonymity and the feelings of excitement and discovery once the anxiety of performing was over. Holding onto feelings of freedom is still important to me. As I get older, I remind myself how life affirming it can be to walk out into a new place, open my eyes to the world and trust in all there is to see and learn.
Best of all are the road trips with my son, just the two of us. Time to talk, be together, be close, hear the sound of his breathing at night, watch him be and noticing his own expressions of freedom.
He was 5 when we went to the Bedruthan. It was outside my budget really but close to the sea, with a swimming pool, beautifully designed, inviting for families, a real special holiday! “Just this once” I said to myself, “I need this too; this is for both of us.”
Over the 24 hours, we walked the windy path to the beach, played, I had time in the spa, we ate overlooking the sea then followed the trail of smoke to find the fire lit for children. I read about Tin Mines, we watched the sun go down, cuddled in bed and I felt at home, not like real home, but somewhere I wanted to stay for longer. He arranged his few things carefully in the room, as if we were staying for a week! Time expanded and we filled the experience as fully as we could.
Thinking back, I’m reminded of my own childhood. We never stayed anywhere special particularly, but through my childhood lens (it never really leaves us) being somewhere new is still vivid. Car journeys with family no longer here, tree-blur from the window, counting coloured cars, eye spy when no one wants to play, patterned fields and the excitement of arrival. Making homes in transitory places and just maybe, the chance to meet someone new.
Time with this boy is going so fast. He’s approaching 7 and would rather be with his friends than me. The loving and letting go aches, there’s no escape, but also wonderful to observe a little person becoming who they are. So when I can, I take it all. I take the time to write this just to remember. Imagine telling him “again” how much I like him. Cherishing and delighting in his being young because one morning I’ll wake and he’ll be grown. The skipping in his run, the cheerful greeting to a stranger, the squeal of excitement will all be from another time. The future will be good but still, I’m holding on to all those special times, when we got in the car, and went somewhere together…