August highlights

August highlights art journal

“Mummy, mummy, come quick! I have something really exciting to show you!!!”

Aoife burst into the house, her two sidekicks from down the road right behind her.

“Come on mummy, come now!”

I picked up my house keys and ran outside barefeet.  It sounded urgent and their excitement was contagious.

“I can ride a bike without stabilisers mummy! Look! The girls taught me!” And off she went, on the girl from down the road’s bike!

Say what?!

For the next few minutes I felt like I was having an out of body experience; the physical me loudly cheering her on and heaping praise on the girls for a job well done, while my crushed soul looked on, wondering how the heck that happened.

That’s not how it’s supposed to go.

That’s one of the unspoken parenting milestones. A rite of passage. And we’d planned to do it the following weekend. It was long overdue.

But sometimes the milestone is not as important as the achievement. And sometimes the parents are the ones in need of a lesson.


Other highlights in August were kite flying on the Downs, a couple of daytrips to Butterfly World, Gullivers Land (children’s theme park) and the beach at Frinton- on- Sea.


I considered making an illustrated art journal page for August because that’s where my main interests lie these days, but with Aoife going back to school this week, I stuck to the simple mixed media format I’ve developed over the last 8 months (even if only the last few have been shown here). I can see this changing over the next few months though, so watch this space.


  1. I had to laugh when I read this because that was exactly how I learned to ride a bike, too. It never occurred to me until I read your post, that my parents probably felt the same way as you…deprived of the privilege of teaching me. Thank you for reminding me of that memory, and for giving me a peek into what else might have been going on that day in my parent’s minds.
    Janet recently posted…And Even More Journal Pages…My Profile

  2. How fab that she learnt to ride a bike all by herself, she must be very determined!
    Mums do travel recently posted…Amsterdam Arena Tour – share your family daysMy Profile

  3. Ah our kids have a way of doing their own thing don’t they. Don’t they understand we had all planned before they were born?

    I love the picture you create, those are lovely.
    Stephanie recently posted…Start Telling Your Own Stories Tutorial Series Part 2 – Getting StartedMy Profile

  4. Awe, I totally get it! And I can SO picture you in bare feet smiling while trying to keep back the tears. I would have wanted to be there too – but she was so excited and that must have been wonderful to see too. Can’t they all just stay little?? 🙂 xoxo
    Kristin Van Valkenburgh recently posted…Something I Never Ever but EVER Thought I’d Do (EVER). . . .My Profile

  5. No, that is not how it’s supposed to go! But it does sometimes, doesn’t it? It is this process of learning how to be thrilled for their achievements and not letting them see what’s going on emotionally underneath the surface of all of our cheering and support. I loved that video. And I recognized one of the photos on your journal page. (is that right?) It all looked like such fun, and I especially loved one of the shots of Aoife at the end, with her hat and sun-kissed cheeks. Hang in there, mom. We’re all in this heartbreaking, heartwarming ride together.
    Angie Mizzell recently posted…Moving on up, and keeping it realMy Profile

    • I try to remind myself that my job as a parent is to teach them to be capable, independent people…that includes them going off and teaching themselves how to ride a bike without me (but really I want to sob!). Yes, I used that picture from Butterfly World in my art journal page. And that picture of Aoife is one of my favourites from last month.
      Carin recently posted…Sketching childhood: PercyMy Profile

  6. “But sometimes the milestone is not as important as the achievement. And sometimes the parents are the ones in need of a lesson.”

    I think that these sentences should be embroidered on a poster given to every new parent! (And I kind of wish those girls lived in my neighborhood. Learning how to ride a bike without training wheels is still very much on our to-do list!) 🙂
    Kristen @ Motherese recently posted…The Sound of SilenceMy Profile

  7. Hi, Carin – I found you through Angie Mizzell, who suggested I check out your blog after I talked to her about wanting to incorporate more visual elements into my blog. I consider myself a writer first, but I’ve always had leanings towards drawing and painting and graphic design. What you’re doing with your art journal pages is fascinating! I love the stories you tell about your young children, and the pages somehow make them come alive. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll be back! 🙂
    Abby recently posted…(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Life Is Tough…My Profile

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