According to Ella the time is seven clocks, which means we’re long overdue a post.
Anyone who is a parent or knows a parent knows that parenthood is a bit like climbing Mt Everest. Folks embark on the climb because they’re told there is thrill and beauty. They’re told nothing else can match it – that the climb will define us and change us and so folks pack their bags and sign up because yes thank you to thrill and beauty and a life-changing, us-shaping path.
Anyone who’s climbed Mt Everest or knows someone who’s climbed Mt Everest knows that once you actually set out on the climb, the moments of thrill and beauty are dotted upon an otherwise tedious, treacherous, uphill path. At some points, folks cling on so white-knuckled and out of breath they can barely think straight. Moments of beauty and bliss spread out like drops of water in a drought. The climb goes up, up, up and folks are tired, tired, tired. They just want to nap, nap, nap.
Folks soon realise that this doesn’t change. The climb does not get easier, but rather folks get used to it so it becomes the new normal. Lungs adjust. Muscles adapt. Mental states change. And so when beauty does hit them within their climb, their new senses – the raw, open, alerted ones – take it in on a different level. This beauty means more now. It’s been earned. Fought for. And it’s capable of flooding an entire body, leaving folks stunned, almost empty, but in the right kind of way, kind of like a divine bolt of lightning.
I have many happy places – many tried and tested places of beauty – and I call on them often to remind myself to look for the view when my eyes are on my feet, stumbling through the climb. Many of them are dotted within the place we live.
Combine these happy places with the vibe of a long weekend and yesterday, I filled up my hiking boots with enough zing to get me to the next rest spot well before I’d predicted.
Boats filled the pier one by one, that holiday feel so palpable in the air. Teenage boys packed their kayaks with eskies and fishing rods and took off down the creek, mangroves lining the horizon, groups of pelicans wading in the water, birds in a perfect V flying through a crystal blue sky. “Mummy, I’m paddling!” Ella calls out and I cheer back, giving her the response she’s after.
Her protective little hand…..kills me.
Beauty kept flooding in, rolling our day towards a fish and chip lunch, a long family nap and then down to our most favourite happy place of all, our waterpark.
Photo by Ella!
And as the sun began to fade, we bundled babies in our arms back to the car, their skin smelling of summer – that perfect combination of sunscreen and chlorine. My boy clutched his hands tight around my neck and I took it in with every cell of my soul. There will come a day soon he will no longer fit within my arms, and nor will he want to, and I felt the passing of time so acutely walking back to that car. I closed my eyes as I walked so I could feel him better and I thought that it really is true – the most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children.
Some more Small Happies these past few days.
Billy’s First Haircut…
I feel this is less “happy” because I have an over-sentimental association with baby hair, but Joel’s pleas were getting too strong, something about mullet something-or-other, honestly I barely listened to him and couldn’t see anything but the most gorgeous gathering of curls. Anyway, this is a milestone which deserves proper placing into this blog so I hereby present my baby’s first haircut.
I kept a few long strands at the back but don’t tell Joel. Excuse the accompanying million photos but I’m a mum and I have a camera so, you know. Bad combo.
My boy’s new do.
Right, where were we? Oh yes, Small Happies…
My little breakfast helper. Have I mentioned how much I love her age?
Pedicures by my girl … never gets old.
That ridiculous penguin swim suit from last summer Billy still fits into.
Tickle fests on our lounge room floor.
My girl just out strolling in mama’s shoes…
And this. Out at dinner. Joel: Rach! It’s Space Invaders! I used to play this as a kid!
The apple does not fall far from the tree, folks.
Happy Tuesday, friends. Give those hiking boots a rest. Pause for a second. Take in the view. This climb? It’s so very beautiful.