Still reeling from her unexpected visitor the night before last, Scarlett’s thoughts turn to Leisure Day which is fast approaching. Ryleigh is oblivious to her Mum being more than a little distracted.
Ryleigh sighed. The worst thing about having your Mum work at your school meant you couldn’t get away with anything. As she stared down at the page containing homework that made no sense to her, Ryleigh wondered why her Mum couldn’t have a cool job like working in the circus. It’s not like she could ask her for help, not without her Mum going into full teacher mode anyway.
Scarlett had promised Ryleigh that should she get her home work finished, they would go to the Summer Festival for Leisure Day that week. It was Ryleigh’s first Leisure Day that she remembered and she was excited about it.
Filling in what Ryleigh hoped was the right answers, Ryleigh shut her book with a flourish. Phew.
Sitting down at her doll house, Ryleigh absorbed herself in her dolls and talked quietly to herself.
Next door in her bedroom, Scarlett was looking over some tests from her class. She was also anxious to get her work out the way so she could enjoy the festival with her Daughter. Sometimes it did feel like she saw more of her students than she did of Ryleigh these days. In the back of her mind Scarlett wondered if a certain man would be visiting Leisure Day. As expected Kian hadn’t contacted her but it had only been a few days. At least that was what Scarlett kept telling herself.
Leisure day arrived, bringing beautiful sunshine. Scarlett entered the kitchen to find Ryleigh very excited about the day ahead. Dressed as a Princess, Ryleigh stood on a chair chanting loudly.
“Leisure Day is here,
Lets All Cheer,
Leisure Day is here!!”
Scarlett couldn’t help but laugh. “Excited?” She asked.
“Super Excited!!” Ryleigh squealed with excitement.
“Well sit down, get some breakfast and we will be off then” Scarlett replied. Ryleigh immediately sat down and breakfast was over quickly.
As they arrived at the park together, Scarlett felt her mood start to improve. It was a beautiful day and Ryleigh’s excitement was contagious. “What shall we do first?” Scarlett asked brightly. “Skating Mum!” Ryleigh answered.
“Lets go then!”
Scarlett was surprised that Ryleigh had a lot of confidence on the rink, more so because it was her first time skating. But then Ryleigh was a bit of a dare-devil, unlike Scarlett at her age.
“Woohooo! Well done Ryleigh!” Scarlett called encouragingly as she watched her daughter do a fancy spin. Ryleigh blushed. “Come on Mum!” Ryleigh yelled.
“Alright, but I’m not very good” Scarlett stepped cautiously on to the rink, hoping she wouldn’t fall on her back side. Ryleigh held her hands out to her Mum. “Skate with me,” Ryleigh said, “Its fun trust me”
Guiding her Mum to the centre of the rink, Ryleigh tried to do a slow turn holding her Mum’s hands.
“See isn’t it fun?” Ryleigh asked looking up at her Mum’s terrified face.
“Yeah its not ba- OUCH”
And with that Scarlett and Ryleigh fell in a heap on the ground.“Well at least we aren’t the only ones” Ryleigh said once pointing over to another couple on the rink: “Do you want to try something else?” Scarlett asked hopefully. One fall was a big enough dent on her pride. “Okay….” Ryleigh looked around before her eyes fell on the ice cream machine. “Ice cream?” She asked with a cheeky glint in her eye.
“Go on then”
Once they were both sat at the picnic bench enjoying their ice creams with Ryleigh talking a mile a minute about skating, Scarlett had an idea. “You know Ryleigh that the school offers after school activities?” Ryleigh nodded, still concentrating on her ice cream.
“Well the activities for kids are ballet and scouting, would you want to try one of those?” Scarlett asked. Ryleigh paused long enough to stop licking her ice cream. “Why?” She asked.
“It would be fun!” Scarlett said enthusiastically “After seeing you on the rink earlier, I think you would be a natural at ballet” Ryleigh shook her head. “Noo,” She said definitely. “I don’t like dancing, what is scouting like?”
Scarlett explained all the scouting activities that she knew of to Ryleigh. “I’ll think about it” Ryleigh said. Scarlett sighed. She didn’t want to be pushy but it would be good for Ryleigh to have an activity where she could meet other kids outside of school. Perhaps she just needed a little encouragement.
After their ice creams, Ryleigh dragged Scarlett over to play soccer
Scarlett was relieved when Ryleigh got bored after a few shots and had wandered off to get her face painted. Scarlett found herself watching the hot dog eating contest.
As one of the competitors struck up a conversation with Scarlett, Ryleigh couldn’t help but call out “Is that your boyfriend Mum?”
“No of course not!” Scarlett said with a blush creeping up her cheeks. Trust Ryleigh to speak up now. “Sorry about that, that’s my Daughter” Scarlett said to the man. The man just laughed and went back to the contest. “Who was that man?” Ryleigh asked curiously. “Your boyfriend?”
“No, Ryleigh, I told you. The man was just taking part in the hot dog competition”
“Not your boyfriend?”
“Good,” Ryleigh said. “I didn’t like him”
A few hours later and once Ryleigh was in bed, Scarlett’s cell phone rang. Picking it up of the bed side table, she squinted at the screen. Number Unknown.
“Hello?” Scarlett said brightly.
“Scarlett?” A deep, rich voice answered. “Is now a good time to chat?”