I bundled the kids into the pram last night and took them on a moon walk, fresh jammies hugging their bodies, warm quilts tucked under their legs. The smell of roast dinners and fire wafted through the air, the last glimpses of winter caught before this season slips into that of late night barbecues, mosquitos buzzing through the air and kids shrieking as they bomb-dive into pools.
“What’s that smell?”, Ella asks and I say – with too much enthusiasm – “That’s the smell of winter, honey. Smell that fire? That’s my most favourite smell of all. Can you smell it? Do you like it?”
“Yeah”, she says. “I wish we had fires.”
I remind myself she’s three and has not one rational bone in her body, so instead of insisting that we HAVE had fires and we DO have a fire pit and have you not just recently been toasting marshmallows on it, child, I steer the pram through the streets in our neighbourhood, going the longer route home just because it feels so nice to be out with them. We pass a row of houses with fairy lights strung up on their nature strip – yellows, reds, blues and greens – Ella assigning a colour to each of us – Mummy, Daddy, Billy and herself. I’m so content to be in this place with them, through these streets, enjoying the small stuff that my bigger worries naturally fall behind – reprioritising themselves to sit upon a spectrum in my life rather than overtaking it. And I realise that such is the contradiction of kids – they are my great source of stress and my stress-relief in one. They are the binding force in Joel’s and my marriage and yet they can be the very wedge which drives us apart. They are my angst and my calm all at once. And often all it takes is the spontaneous decision to revel in the small stuff – like glitter baths, and moon walks and past-bedtime drives – that flicks the switch, changes the pace, recallibrates the perspective.
All this is to say…I love motherhood. I love the way it pushes me, I love the way it grounds me, but most of all, I just love having my children. I love enjoying them. I love this second chance at childhood I get to be a part of. I love saying yes, watching their eyes light up. I love it when Ella says, “I would really love that, mama”, when I ask if she – as a once off treat – would like to sleep in the big bed with me tonight. I love falling asleep holding hands. I love knowing exactly where to tickle Billy to get the best belly-filled giggle out of him. I love how he says mama and strokes my face just so, practising his gentle hands.
It’s such a treat to have them, to love them, to be their mother.
These days I’m in…I’m just ever so grateful.
Friday Photo Dump…my Instagram Small Happies (@theredtent on IG if you’d like to follow the feed)
Swishy skirt twirl and three cheers for Friday – I’ll be back next week with some new Red Tent Survival Guides and HOPEFULLY the return of my camera from the hospital. I miss it so much…
What’s important is that you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart. Pay no mind to the vision that the commission made up. It’s up to you to make your life. Take what you have and stack it up like a tower of teetering blocks. Build your dream around that.
― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar