I have some good news.
You’re going on a trip.
The Red Tent has officially relocated for the week which means you need to start packing your bags.
Every now and again we go away, and I may have forgotten to tell you (it has been known to happen), but you each have a mini Red Tent On Wheels so you can come along too.
Just look outside your window.
It’s all yours.
(Image from here)
A few days ago, my little family and I headed south. We’ve taken a week off and have set up camp in Byron. Not that we’re camping. Camping and teething babies don’t go together. It’s just an expression.
For those of you who don’t know Byron, it’s a former hippie hub turned mainstream. Where there were once buskers and dreadlocks, we now see Quicksilver shops and SUVs, because everyone’s cottoned on to how beautiful this place is. And who can blame them. There is a feel in the air which makes you forget. There are glistening beaches full of surfers and dolphins and sunshine, and behind them sit rolling mountains which are just too pretty for words. Despite the popularity of the place, Byron still manages to keep a little of its hippie charm and it’s for this reason that I still love coming here.
We start the day grinning at strangers we pass on the beach and end the day watching the sun set over smoky blue-green hills.
Sometimes, we even watch television at night, as a treat.
With all this time off together, Joel and I have had lots of time to actually talk to one another.
And I’ve come to realise that we should never, ever do it again.
We should have definitely left our interactions at the sporadic bursts of where are my keys and have you changed her nappy and don’t forget to call the plumber, because with all this lovely talking-to-each-other business, it’s suddenly dawned on us.
We are now role models.
It’s horrifying, really, and something we did NOT think through when deciding to have a baby.
We are…. expressive, Joel and I. We say what’s on our mind, whenever it’s on our mind, and at times what’s on our mind are curse words. We lick the vegemite off our knives. We drive a little recklessly. We don’t think before we do. We can say mean and negative things about people without even realizing. And all of a sudden, ALL OF A SUDDEN, we’ve realized that these things are going to be watched by little learning eyes. Little ears will take in what we say and little brains will try to make sense of what we do. And one day, The Questions will start. The questions about sex and religion and bullies and right and wrong and holy smokes I’m just sweating thinking about it all. You guys, we have to answer questions. We have to guide. We have to mould and teach and keep calm and stay patient and know things.
My dad says that children are born how they are and there’s no point in trying to make them into something they’re not. I agree completely, but I also think children live what they learn and learning through imitation is all they’ve really got, initially. While their personality may be less malleable, their knowledge, their actions, their language, their manners, the world they are exposed to and the way they treat others can, to a large extent, be founded upon you.
Are you feelin’ my stress?
Rookie error, overlooking that unfortunate part of the plan, can I just say.
They hold you accountable, these children. They make you take a long look in the mirror and point out what could do with a little make up.
Since Joel and I don’t only need make-up, but rather entire face-lifts, we’ve decided to start a little experiment.
Now, so by the time our children are older, we can claim that their good traits came from us and their bad traits must have been “picked up at kindy”.
In keeping with the Byron atmosphere, we’ve got this new saying. And we say it to each other when the other person is being negative. Or provoking a fight. Or talking with language we wouldn’t want our kids repeating. Or saying something bad about someone else. Or generally being a jerk.
It’s totally hippie of us.
Peace meaning goodness, really. It means all the nice stuff like calm and kindness and positivity and patience and tolerance and no gossip.
It’s getting reeeeeeally annoying, though, because we say it, like, every 10 minutes. It’s a bit disturbing to realize how often it needs to be said, actually. We’re hoping the intervals will stretch out for longer, if for no other reason than to never again hear it come out of eachother’s TOTALLY ANNOYING MOUTHS until the day we die.
Anyway, that’s all.
We’ve learned our lesson.
We are never going on holidays and talking to each other again.
Waaaaay too much work.
(and Joel who is currently Practicing Peace while driving.)
P.S. Joel’s hand are firmly on the wheel. We are role models now, you know.