Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. For Toby, it’s a Den of Solitude.
We go to the Look Out in Bracknell about once a year and every time we go we keep saying we should come more often.
Located in the heart of Bracknell Forest, it has a popular science discovery centre, a look-out tower, lots of woodland paths and trails – it’s very popular with bikers and walkers alike – and also boasts a Go Ape, extensive playgrounds for children of all ages and a large area for den-building with a large stock of suitably cut logs and poles.
We went with friends and our combined five children had a whale of a time building their own den as a venue for us all to enjoy lunch together. Of course, they couldn’t just build any old den. Oh no. They had to build the Burj Khalifa of dens between two trees five metres apart, complete with a split indoor/outdoor area, defined doorways and logs for benches. At one stage, there was even talk of constructing a fake camp-fire and a water feature (the latter may have been my slightly tongue-in-cheek suggestion).
Anyhow, at one stage while the others were finishing off one section and preparing for lunch, Toby decided to sit on his own on the makeshift bench in the ‘indoor’ area and just quietly contemplate the world around him.
It was such a Toby moment.
The introverted middle child between two extrovert siblings. The boy who is most at ease in his own little bubble. The one who craves those little moments of solitude where he can hide away from the outside world with only his own thoughts for company.
I know I say this a lot but he’s so much like me.