#728 Easy Park catch-up

I didn’t know if I should expect much of today, when I heard there was the possibility of rain.

This became worse, as our plans for the day revolved around a long-awaited catch-up at a park with friends.

This became even more worse since we have been planning for said long-awaited catch-up with friends for months, because not only were we trying to organise availabilities for the girls, but availabilities for the families of us girls too, so that everyone could be included and come to the party.

Alas… we were not to worry. Because it was a great day.

IMAG8711

There is just something about being in the outdoors and talking about life with friends. The grass is perfectly smooth and green. The sounds of children’s laughter abounds (ok there are tears too but generally more happiness). Trees are tall and supportive and solid, and your natural place in the world is guaranteed, the possibilities endless.

Everything becomes easy. The makeshift picnic everyone brought along, is easy. The weather too, grey but still warm at times with light winds – easy.

The conversation – definitely easy.

The time had? Magnificent.

And not only is it a great day when I go home feeling content over my hours spent and who I spent them with, but when baby girl and Hubbie are both equally as pleased, it’s a massive life HIGH FIVE BORAT STYLE.

Put it there!

It’s been a great weekend of terrific company and conversation, and I can’t wait to see what this next week of holidays brings us yet… :):):)

Advertisements

#709 The spider and the moth

Gratitude can often be found, in the strangest of places…

I have a non-visual story to tell, one that was the briefest of moments, and one that made me gasp in disbelief. But first, let me show you my day in photos.

Some days I stay home and do the washing. Other days are FULL.

This such day, was FULL. And visual.

We did lots of things, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done them all. The first included a visit to the Circus that is currently in town:

IMAG8245

The first and last time I had been I was 8 or 9, so my visits between have been non-existent. Baby girl has never been, so combined, my desire to see it when the ol’ Silvers sign popped up in town, was deep.

However despite all this and the magic and jazz and what-not, baby girl spent the first half of the show begging me for popcorn after seeing others eating it, and then after the interval as she ate said-popcorn, she then proceeded to ask me repeatedly to go home.

Sigh. That’s my girl for you. Sitting for a couple of hours for Frozen on Ice was difficult for her, and that’s one of her favourite movies.

But the best part of the morning? When I took a handful of her popcorn, and she calmly and firmly said to me “no Mama, no more, that’s enough.”

IMAG8268

Oh how I LOLed and LOLed.

Second up after lunch was a café and park visit. These I love as they are merely a short walk across the road and down a street to a local strip of shops that sit near a park. I feel so local, so integrated in the community when we head over like that. First we stop for a caffeine injection

IMAG8277

And then we head over to the playground to get her play off some steam

IMAG8283

It was hotter than expected though, so we didn’t stay too long.

The evening gave us an opportunity to cool down and unwind, as we got super close to nature. Boneo Maze and Mini Golf are doing a special month-long Summer event that ends in about a week, called Lantasia, which showcases lit-up lanterns and light installations along their park grounds and tree walks, as night falls.

IMAG8296

IMAG8358

This was also interesting and inventive, chilled and relaxing too, and would have been more so if baby girl didn’t have to go to the toilet twice while in the middle of one such long walk, and since there is only one lot of toilets in the café, it meant we had to go ALL the way back down the walk to get there. But there was a Vintage Carousel too, so that kind of made us forget the annoying-ness of the former.

 

All of today’s events were super exciting and fun and made for a very tired and spent baby girl by day’s end, leaving me grateful for a multitude of reasons… but one thing stood out to me today, and it was the most unexpected thing, that I am still in awe of the memory in my head.

In between the park and the Lantasia lantern walk, baby girl and I were chilling at home, doing this and that, and I went to head outside and hang some washing. (I even do it on FULL days, you see).

I got to the door, and could see there was a moth sitting on the security door which was outside of the glass sliding door I was about to open. I scrunched my nose in disgust, as saying that I have a strong unpleasant aversion to that gross insect is an understatement, but I also wondered why the hell it was there then, since it was about 5:30 and there was still hours left ’til sunset – they were more a dusk/night insect.

As I opened the sliding door, the sudden movement made it fly away, and I was satisfied until I saw with dismay another moth fluttering crazily nearby the wall of the house, near a window.

What, another one? What was this? I watched it carefully as I stepped out, careful in case it flew towards me, or worse still for the long-term, in case it flew inside the house. It hovered, fluttering gently though erratically as moths do, and I kept my eyes trained on it, holding my washing with me, as I slid the door closed behind me, this moth flying in the bottom corner of the window frame… until suddenly there was a movement of black. And a spider suddenly crawled out of an indistinct hole in the corner of the outside window frame.

I watched as it grabbed hold of the moth – it all happened so quickly I can’t actually believe what my eyes saw – and then the fluttering came to a slow halt. There was a fellow scurrying of black legs, and the spider disappeared with its catch, back into its invisible-to-the-human-eye, hole.

WHAT?!

Had I been 5 seconds later, I would have missed the whole thing. And instead, here I was, watching two insects I care very little for, suddenly become a David Attenborough documentary before my very eyes!

Had either insect been in our house, I would have ‘gotten rid of them’ without concern. Both cause me alarm, more so moths, because with their erratic flying they can cross a room in seconds, and I don’t like that. Spiders are somewhat easier to contain.

But when I saw that spider today, not only catch its prey, but in doing so, rid the exterior door of moths?

I was impressed.

I said to Hubbie later on, as I retold the story, “when you next spray bug killer around the house, avoid that window frame.”

My buddy lives there.

My buddy the spider.

He looks after the moths for me. 🙂

And so concludes the story of the spider and the moth.

 

#692 Summer catch-up with Best Man and Fam

Time between catch-ups is often too long and drawn out, usually with those you love and get along with the most. I don’t know why that is, I mean, we should not see the people that annoy us in life (I do that too) but for some reason it is just as impossible to get together with those that feed your soul.

And when your kids get along, DOUBLE THE POINTS.

What to do then on such a catch-up? Why, let’s try everything.

Fish and Chips at the local park – then let the kids run wild.

A quick walk down to the beach, which turns into some splashing in the bay.

IMAG7914

IMAG7912

Why not some ice cream? The kids aren’t high enough on Summer/beach vibes, and hey let’s tire them out, while simultaneously feeding them sugar, because… January?

IMAG7919

But hey, that was intentional for a reason! They sat on the couch later and totally chill-axed because of it, while us adults rocked on.

IMAG7925

A fabulous night, all in all, for ALL. 🙂

#668 Barefoot and carefree

If you don’t live in our fair and highly unpredictable weather city of Melbourne, you may not know that today was a hot day.

really hot day.

After dinner baby girl and I walked to the front yard of the house. I was hoping to catch some, any, light sea breezes that may decide to grant us with their airy-ness.

I tread across the grass in my thongs. I observed baby girl’s feet.

“Honey you don’t want to put on your Frozen thongs?”

“No.”

“You wanna be barefoot?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re a hippie child.”

“Hippie?!

“Hippie!”

We laughed, and I soon remembered a time not so long ago and yet it also felt very far away. So much can happen in a ‘toddler year,’ and even though ONLY a year may pass, that one year can bring so many changes to both child and parent.

But I do know it was a year ago, because I remember the scene. It was summer, we were at our new Sea Change house location, and I was walking with her to the nearby park and café. She had closed sandals, but as is the case with these style of shoes, there were still holes in the sandals to let her feet ‘breathe.’

And back then, this 3 and a half year old would shriek in unimpressed shock when she felt any strand of grass graze her foot as she walked beside me. Walking in these shoes, on a hot day, through the grass, was so difficult, made more so by the flies.

She HATED them.

She would scream just as loudly for the flies hovering around her as the grass strands grazing her foot. She wanted to be outdoors and have fun and go on the swing, and yet she did not like the feel of grass, and freaked out at the sight of any flying insects.

So then, fast forward to today. She is not fazed so much by flies. Sure she swats at them, and like Mother like Daughter – she is not a fan of any bugs, AT ALL.

And then also, she goes barefoot, all over our grass.

IMAG7496

How a year can change things. I always love my girl, but I am grateful that she is feeling more one with the Universe, and enjoying the feel of greenery beneath her feet…

 

#638 Park… Beach.

I was always going to take baby girl to the park today. She had been pointing at the expansive fantasy-themed park since we moved over a year ago, and STILL we hadn’t taken her there.

It was on the edge of Frankston Waterfront, the beach so to speak, and lo and behold today was also…

Beach weather.

What to do, what to do? Well, we went to the Park…

But a Mum is always prepared. After 10 minutes of watching her sweat it out on the play ground (with me sweating it out as I followed her around), I decided enough was enough.

“Baby girl do you wanna see where the water is?”

(Does a sunflower like to face the sun???)

And just like that, we transformed. Sandals to thongs, dresses to bathers, with towels slung over our shoulders, we shuffled through the sand to the gloriously outstretched clear shallow waters that looked toward the Pier.

IMAG6795

We were only there for a short time – next time I will bring more meter money! – but, my oh my.

What a summer to look forward to 🙂

#590 Park Days no. 3

Baby girl and I had been eyeing off the re-developing park for about 8 months.

Well, maybe more. I wasn’t counting. But I know it was a while. Every time we went over to my parents house on the other side of town, we would drive past this park that was getting a much-needed facelift.

It is on a kinda-main-road, and bit by bit, looking in at this fenced-off development, we would see the workmen, putting up poles, ropes and all kinds of play equipment; measuring off play areas versus green and seated areas; and finally, the day arrived when there was a huge hose-like machine pumping out bark onto the areas surrounding the kids play.

Then I knew we were close.

We were over at my parents place today. And not only did baby girl and I decide immediately upon driving past this finally-completed park, that we would definitely check it out… but after waiting seemingly endless months for it to be finished, the beautiful symmetry of our first park visit there, culminated in us getting to see my parents again after 24 days.

Yep, exactly. I remember the number, because the last time we were there it was the day before Father’s Day. There’s been a health scare, lots of us have been sick, and there’s even been an almost buy at an auction. I feel like a lot has happened in these 3+ weeks, making it feel more like 3+ months since we were last in each other’s company.

But what a day for it all to come together. Sunshine, Spring, perfect Still days, a brand new Park, and being in the company of my Parents, who, I realised today, I had missed so much…

A gorgeous Spring Park day. A perfect metaphor for all the joy we felt today.

 

#584 Beautifully treacherous lookout

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

IMAG5962

They say. And they are right.

Moments before I took this photo, I was crying. Not from happiness at the gloriously serene, glistening, and picturesque bay water before me.

My tears stemmed from fear. Intense, sudden and wild fear, that manifested into acute anger and overwhelming sadness.

It all started after our lunch. We were spending the day together as a family, mid-week, which was reason enough to celebrate. So we lunched of course, on pretty meals like this one:

IMAG5958

and then we headed over to Mornington Park, where baby girl let off some toddler-steam on the slide and swing… and after a while we let our feet lead us off into uncharted territory some more, and followed the sea view, all the way to the point of the pier, heading up up up to the rocky lookout which faced the beautiful image of serenity above.

Hubbie had to go as close as humanly possible to the edge. Baby girl followed him. I instructed firmly, that he MUST hold her hand. I couldn’t keep up with them because I had small heels, and was trying not to break my step in amongst the uneven dirt and rocky path. They headed on towards the edge, as I watched helplessly, yelling out to him “hold her hand!”

He did. But I was slowly dying inside. Here was a 4 year-old, curious toddler, letting go of her Dad’s hand every so often to peer over the rocks at the edge of her feet, rocks that in my mind could give out at any moment. She didn’t understand danger: as a toddler, they are not wired that way. It’s the reason toddlers get into so much trouble, they have an inability to judge what is before them, and the obvious consequences that come with it that usually, adults are equipped with by the time they are, you know, adults.

Usually, adults. I say that because Hubbie, is STILL a child.

This is why I was so concerned. He laughs in the face of danger: hangs over far too much over a 25-storey railing; he’ll walk along a brick wall where one side is a path, the other a dangerously high drop to breaks-ville; he will jump and climb up and off of any kind of climb-worthy apparatus, without so much as a care, second thought or slow deliberation.

Also, he had just had two double-shot coffees – and that with his childish and wild genetic composition, was a BAD combination.

Here he was, with our pride and joy – MY pride and joy – standing casually, a bit too TOO close, to the edge of a rocky drop where the other side of the steep descent was dangerously pokey rocks, and smooth, still, ENDLESS water.

I was dying.

As I approached them, I was in a serious state of panic. They were so calm, so chilled about it all. Peering over the edge, getting closer to the descent. I started to cry. And I yelled out some choice words to him. I painted a stark picture, and it got his attention.

He took baby girl’s hand, and they started to walk towards me. “Come on baby girl, Mama is upset,” he said.

“Sorry Mama,” she said.

“Just go over there,” I said breathlessly, as I ordered them back up the wooden steps and to the stable, safer, lookout point.

I turned back to the water, and breathed.

And breathed.

And soon after, I snapped that picture.

And I was grateful. Because the beautiful image before us, could turn ugly in an instant. l am an eternal dreamer, but a realist too. And though I am a glass- half-full gal, I have seen too much sadness to stick my head in the sand anymore.

Life and everything in it, terrifies me to no end, ever since baby girl entered our world and made it so precious. I am grateful for the beauty in it, but I always look behind me, I always check my footing, to check there are no uneven rocks.

I love views like this. And I will continue to photograph them. But under still, calm waters…