We visited friends in Langley on the weekend, who have three kids the same ages as ours. Their eighteen acres, spread with freshly cut hay and dotted with outbuildings, was a dream come true for the kids.
Used to scrambling over boulders and ferns on a mountainside in Deep Cove, a huge flat expanse in which to run was a novelty for them. As was the permission to make as much noise as they wanted without warnings of disturbing retired neighbours.
This is Gideon, our friends' son, the cutest almost-two-year-old boy I know. He kicks up his heels when he walks.
Once introduced to the chickens and rabbits in the barn, Leif refused to respond to anything other than 'Farmer Leif.' Ariana was a little more hesitant.
Gideon strutted around collecting eggs.
He deliberately punched his fingers into one, and Ariana was duly impressed.
We watched the kids run through fields of cut hay in the evening sun, and it was every bit as idyllic as it sounds.
That's the closest I could get to Saskia and Isabelle for most of our visit. They ran wild and free. I took it as the highest compliment when my friend Mirjam commented that for "city people" we were awfully relaxed about the kids getting dirty.
I don't think we ever leave Langley without a conversation on the car ride home about moving there. And the farm next door to this one is for sale . . .