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When my son was 5 he joined Beavers.

The clubhouse was a 15 minute walk from ours yet we rarely took the car. I would walk him up, then walk back up to collect him.

In those 15 minutes we had the best conversations, on the journey there he would tell me about school and what was happening in the cartoons he liked.

On the journey home he would fill me in on the fun he had had at Beavers. We would chat and chat the whole way. On the odd occasion when I did pick him up in the car we wouldn’t have those chats, it was almost like the speed of the journey made conversation unnecessary.

I miss those chats.

Now he walks 5 paces in front or behind in case one of his friends sees him. The word ‘No’ comes out his mouth more so now then when he first learnt it.

Do you fancy a walk on the beach? NO. Shall we take the bikes out? NO. Fancy going to the cinema? NO

Some days I insist, I make him take a walk with me and after the moans, the complaints, the few seemingly endless minutes of moodiness he begins to chat again, maybe mentioning something that happened at school or a book he is reading.

Little things that are about his life that I may have never known, had I not insisted and endured the moans! It was a good half hour of excuses, moans, pretend tears, huffs and puffs and stomping around the house that we had to get through before he gave in!