CARE, BREATHE DEEP AND CONTINUE
I TRAVELED TO TAKE CARE, but I did not forget the breaks to take a deep breath and get some air, because they are valuable for those who care. And just like the clinical psychologist Sara Guelha wrote HERE, the caregiver should not leave aside the activities that allow him/her to recover from the fatigue and tensions of everyday life.
Although taking care of someone requires full attention and increased emotional effort, the caregiver must sleep the necessary hours, exercise regularly, avoid social isolation, and maintain hobbies and interests.
We walked almost always on foot or by public transport. Madalena quickly learned the different ways to get home, to the park, to the library, to the cousins’ school, and, despite the raindrops, the walks carried energy, helped to organize the thoughts, to put ideas into place. They were a breath of oxygen to the mind and body.
We chose a beautiful place, the Caffe Nero, close to home, to have our hot chocolate or latte.
Around here there are always books, games and toys available to the little ones.
We discovered a beautiful park, the Bury Knowle Park, which in addition to a large green area, has an area with swings inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia which delighted the little Mada. In the middle of the park there is a library, the Headington Library, with many books and games for kids.
We went to the Blackwell bookstore, had lunch there and then sitting down on the bean bags and on the floor we explored for a long time the book area for kids.
I took Mada to see the Dinosaur exhibition at the University of Oxford Natural History Museum, we spent a morning discovering collections of fossils, skeletons, animal species, Dinosaurs, among others.
We can also have lunch here, because everything is prepared to welcome the little ones.
A must-see in Oxford is the Covered Market, a quaint little market with very British shops, among them Ben’s kiosk, a must stop to eat the delicious freshly made cookies. They are all delicious, our favorites are those filled with milk and white chocolate.
On Sunday we were invited to lunch at a friend’s house, where there were children of various nationalities and the conversations were in four languages. For the children, the language and the different cultures were not a barrier, nor an obstacle to play and to understand each other. And so, the little ones teach adults not to complicate.
These were good, very precious moments: walks, books, cookies, the see-saw and the swing, Mada’s laughter, mud-filled wellington boots, sitting on the library floor translating books for my daughter, and shortly after having half a dozen kids also hearing the story being told in Portuguese, that made me stop, breathe and take care of who needs it, leaving my love footprint in Oxford.