It would appear that a pattern has begun to emerge, in that my posts during the holidays tend to hit a significant high, as I gush about how wonderful life is and how everything seems quite magical… The perspective that was sorely lacking during the term suddenly abounds in force and I can’t even imagine feeling tired, angry, worn out. Tomorrow all this magic may potentially vanish, as we head back into the pattern that is our everyday life, so I’m going to take this final chance to soak it up before heading out to the ‘battlefield’ again!
Dave and I got to escape for a coffee date on Thursday, thanks to Pat who came and soloed all three kids for the afternoon! We headed out to Little by Little, a new cafe in Berwick that has opened up very close to where we used to live with our good friends. There was a great feel to the place, with exposed beams and concrete floors, wooden tables and industrial chairs. The food was deliciously presented and the coffee strong and aromatic. I chose the French Toast with Poached Pear and Chocolate Sauce, while Dave settled on the Apple and Pear Compote. We had a restful and enjoyable time, enjoying the rare opportunity to just sit and chat…and savour our fare, rather than gulping it down amidst shovelling food into small human’s mouths.
Melbourne is in the midst of an ‘Arctic Freeze’ at the moment, and it has been relentlessly pouring with rain since Friday. Undeterred by the chill, we decided to take out the last day of the school holidays with a bang and head up into the hills to visit The Piggery Cafe Burnham Beeches, Sherbrooke. It didn’t get off to the best start, though, after we had done the olympic haul to the garage and finally got every limb buckled in, the car refused to oblige. After convincing the kids that this wasn’t the end of the world, we spent an enjoyable stretch watching the pure joy on Eli’s face as he mastered independently pushing off on his new bike. Hudson sped up and down the path as well, tongue in its usual vertical position poking out of his mouth as he rode. Dave even broke out the running clothes and went for a jog!
When we made it to the cafe, Eli made a beeline to the construction zone and began building, despite the pouring rain and the resident group of children being less than impressed that an outsider had the audacity to try and join in their game. We have noticed such a difference in Eli after starting Kinder. His confidence with approaching and interacting with other children has skyrocketed, and he didn’t seem in the least bit fazed that the other kids weren’t thrilled at the prospect of him joining them. He just focused on his own area and yelled out ‘Hi Mum’ every now and then!
We soon made it into the heart of the warm establishment, and were cleared a space on the end of one of the long wooden tables. There was a bustling, hearty vibe about the place and lively conversations happening all around. The atmosphere made us feel comfortable and we felt we could relax with the kids and not monitor their every noise as a potential disturbance of the peace. They did an incredible job quietly waiting for the food to come, though the car racing game on Dave’s phone may have had something to do with that! I ordered the Merguez sausage on Brioche with House Fries, and Dave had the Wagyu Burger. Hudson ate his chips with a single minded focus, wielding Dave’s fork like a weapons-master.
That afternoon, in the midst of the pouring rain, our friends came over to help mount the brackets for our new mechanical awnings over the deck. Jam ended up staying for Jaegerschnitzel and many laughs with the kids.
A few months ago I mentioned reading this post about a group of women who took over their friend’s house and did a deep clean and massage for her as she had been struggling with health issues that prevented her from participating in their small group. This story has had a huge impact on our Tribe community and everyone really resonated with the sentiments behind the idea, and the bravery of the recipient in being vulnerable enough to let people ‘see her dirt’. One of the girls in our group recently shared with us the bleak reality that was her everyday at the moment, and we were all moved to try help out. Her sister mentioned the deep clean story and we were all in! On Saturday morning we rocked up to a very surprised and overwhelmed face, as it began to dawn on her what we were doing. We scrubbed bathrooms, vaccuumed floors, did dishes and reorganised cupboards. Some distracted kids and others folded mounds of washing. A scene that was chaotic soon became one of order, peace and welcome. What felt like very little effort on our part had an exponential impact on our friend and she was overwhelmed with gratitude!
The final piece in the puzzle came today as we headed back into the hills for an Aussie Barbeque with our Persian friends. The weather was absolutely miserable, thick with fog and and icy chill in the air. But Nick and Laura had set up an open fire and the cozy atmosphere was incredible, looking out over the blanket of fog enshrouding the valley. There were many laughs and attempts to understand each other, one rather unsuccessful attempt by me where I was told (very politely) by my new Persian friend that the conversation was becoming too confusing for him and I should probably go get some food! Hudson had an absolute ball and starred in possibly every selfie taken today by his adoring uncles! Eli again showed how fast he is growing up, by heading off straight away to play with the other kids and not needing us to intervene at all during the three hours we were there. Ivy was quite content being handed around, and had many cheeky smiles to share with everyone.
These holidays have been such a watershed moment for Tribe, as we have had so many organic opportunities to serve together and share life together. I love that our kids are growing up with these experiences as their ‘normal’ and watching us connect and do things that take us out of our usual comfortable places and change us irrevocably as a result. We are truly so blessed to be a part of this community.