• Marie Bateson


We released the beasts! How utterly bizarre that something as normal as leaving your apartment can feel like a monumental liberty.

The current rules for kids being outside state that only one adult can take them out for one hour a day within one km of their home between the hours of 9-9. This is Spain, after all - 9pm is a perfectly reasonable time for a kid to be returning home here.

So on Sunday the 26th of April, 2020, our first day with this newly-granted freedom, the kids and I headed downstairs. Naturally, we were 'late'. We'd planned on being out right on the dot at 9am - why wait any longer than you have to to get outdoors?! - but, being us, we weren't ready to go until 9:30am. Win brought his scooter, Adella her bike, and the three of us headed downstairs.

It was one of those endlessly blue and cloudless days that we moved to Valencia to enjoy. As usual, I had the kids wait for me to cross the road to the beach, which I quickly realised was an unnecessary precaution in these days given that there is nobody out on the roads. Here are their first few moments of freedom:

I can't resist saying that it felt SO GOOD to be free to roam again, even though that's completely obvious. There was practically nobody else outside - a few dog walkers, and one other parent with a small child. This being 9:30am on a Sunday morning, I shouldn't have been surprised, but I still thought there would be more parents taking advantage of the freedom, even at this early hour.

The kids had the entire boardwalk and beach pretty much to themselves. It was heartwarming to see people who live in the front-line apartments came out on their balconies to wave and shout "¡Hola!" to the kids. I think everyone has missed the sound and sight of children out in the streets during these past six weeks.

We raced up and down the boardwalk and then dumped the scooter and bike on the sand to go run and kick a ball around on the beach.

What a beautiful, beautiful morning.

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