A Boat on the Ocean
Not sure if I should say this out loud or not, for fear of jinxing it, but life is actually getting less intense!
It might be the fact that Dave has put his PhD on pause and now has glorious Fridays to spend adventuring with us… We went to the city under the pretext of dropping off his library books at the university and went for a jaunt through the city streets… As much as pushing a double pram with an extra pre-schooler crouched in the lower storage section can be called a jaunt, that is! We strolled the streets, avoiding hawkers, gravitated towards buskers and let Entertainment vouchers guide our path towards food. This may have ended in enough sweet potato fries to feed a small nation, and the boys’ excitement at the prospect of chips sharply declined when they realised they were being duped with the healthy version. Needless to say, Dave never wants to see a sweet potato again.
Dave found the experience a little stressful, and to be fair, he did push that mother of a pram up and down all the hills AND attempt to run over a kilometer back to the car with Eli on his shoulders as our parking meter was about to expire. I, on the other hand, actually feel quite zen in these adventures, savoring the taste of foods I rarely get the chance to sample- like Persian kebabs- and relishing the wonder on the kids faces as they take in the new surrounds.
Come to think of it, anything that can be remotely labelled an adventure energises me. Road trips, parties, special outings to the city, and kinder festivals, so it turns out.
On Wednesday, at twilight, the boys and I headed into the hills for a special outing at Eli’s kinder. Originally I was just going to take Eli, but the thought of Hudson’s face filling with wonder at seeing the bonfire and toasting his first marshmallow tipped me over. And the tiny voice from the backseat saying over and over ‘Venture, Mummy!’ was more than worth it. Eli relished showing Hudson around his domain and Hudson took to the play phones and cooking toys with gusto. There were the not so magical moments, like having to run around the oval after 7pm carrying a very tired Hudson and yelling at Eli to follow so that we could tick off ‘night walk with lantern’ from our bucket list. Also, when Eli made a detour through the mud and lost a shoe. But when the boys were home and tucked into bed, the overwhelming feeling (other than tiredness) was satisfaction.
That’s not to say that we have managed to avoid the crazy either. We set new records for crazy at the doctors this week. Upon hearing I was planning on taking all three kids to Ivy’s appointment at the doctors, Pat offered to help out and look after the boys. “I’m sure I’ll be fine”, I foolishly declared, “what could go wrong in ten minutes?” As soon as we entered the room I realized my mistake. Hudson made a beeline for the unlocked cupboards while while Eli inspected the tiny box of toys and pronounced it boring. They then took turns lowering the bed, then raising it again. When they tired of that, Hudson stole the nurse’s phone and Eli was under the chair playing with it. Eli managed to remove the hazardous waste container from the wall and attempted to put his hands inside. Then he almost choked himself with the measuring tape. At one point, both kids were switching lights on and off, Eli from a position of standing on the bed. Just before we left the room, Hudson tipped the box of toys onto the floor and decided to play with them. I was almost convinced they were shooting a movie and we were just playing our part in the scene! Thankfully, the nurse was amazingly tolerant and didn’t even seem fazed by our craziness. If I had got the ‘what kind of incompetent mother are you’ vibe from her, I’d probably still be curled up under a chair in a heap.
I came across a powerful quote this week that has helped my outlook: “An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you” (Goi Nasu). I always have a choice in my reactions to things, and meditative practices have been helping to expel the negative feelings and emotions welling up inside before they explode out onto my family in a burst of hot lava. Both adventures and the mundane can similarly offer roadblocks and sap energy, but if I can harness the power of perspective- and my sense of humour- life can feel a lot less like a drama genre and more action/comedy.
Though one thing is for sure… I won’t be stupid enough to take all three to the doctors again! What the hell was I thinking!?