A bright spring afternoon and the three children to look after. The times when I can play with all three together are quite rare and ever so enjoyable. Robin and Eliza were attracted outside by a vague idea of mini-Olympics. Gabe soon followed. I refereed long-jump, high-jump, broad-jump, javelin, chocolate egg and spoon race, with Gabe the leader in all – until egg and spoon – but without any unmanageable upset. The only adverse event came when Eliza’s second javelin toss (under-arm throw of a kid’s baseball bat) went over the fence and broke our next door neighbour’s garden light.

I was then drawn in from my official’s role to take part in three-legged race, hockey (with plastic golf clubs) and football. The events were keenly contested and good humoured. Gabe went beyond what I would expect of an eight year-old oldest sibling to keep the others’ motivated and celebrate their successes.


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