We spent the weekend in Newcastle with Pete’s side of the family.. his brothers, parents, sisters in law, our niece & 3 nephews…. to celebrate our niece Indriel turning 3. To begin with I just snapped a few special moments with my iphone. I left my big camera in the car because I try to balance out how often I use it, so that my children & nieces & nephews don’t look back & remember me as the mother/aunt who was hidden behind a giant black lens at every family gathering. However, after the lunch & the birthday cake & the afternoon tea had all happened, there was this moment where everyone was gathered in my sister & brother in laws back yard. No one was rushing off because we had all made the decision to stay over night. The children were all happy & shouting “hey Uncle Pete, Uncle Pete! throw me higher uncle Pete!” as they jumped on the trampoline. The kids swapped between jumping & swinging & playing catch with a lemon. One year old Casper was being pushed around the yard in a little car (and loving it). I was surrounded by our family in an afternoon of pure play and I realised that when Ava was a baby & she was the first in our family, we had dreamed that maybe one day there would be afternoons just like this. Afternoons with play & cousins & grandparents & fun. Afternoons where we hang out as the sun goes down, just enjoying these wonderful little people in our family. We have been blessed to have these kinds of afternoons on quite a few occasions over the years now, but every single one is precious. So the big camera came out of the car. I’m happy to be the crazy camera lady if it means capturing a little of an afternoon like this.
Our first night time, outdoors ice skating experience. I usually don’t look forward to winter, but this winter holidays we’ve had some really fun wintery experiences. Rugging up & heading into the city for a night of Fairy floss, pretty lights, Friends, pretend snow, music & mulled wine might actually have me looking forward to winter next year!
When our school gives us one days notice that Friday is ‘dress as a pirate day’ and we don’t have pirate costumes, so I decide the kids can just wear jeans and a striped top.
Then after a super busy day for the whole family and a tiring night (the kind where my husband works til 9pm and my 6 yr old refuses to do her physio exercises or eat her dinner or anything I ask her to do really… and my 8 yr old takes all night to finish her homework and the list of things that need to be done before everyone can go to bed seems never ending) and when everyone is finally in bed and it’s now close to midnight, I suddenly realise the kids jeans are in the laundry basket!!
So I leave them washing in the machine as I go to bed. Then wake in the morning and throw them in the drier in hope they will be dry before its time to leave or else the kids are going to school as pantless pirates.
Then miss 8 searches the toy box and finds an eye patch I didn’t remember owning and miss 6 cries because she wants one too…. and I regret that I didn’t make her one yesterday, but now with minutes to spare before the school bell rings, there’s no time, so she settles on a beard and moustache.
Then as we all fly out the door (in jeans that did dry just in time) miss 6 throws on a cap and says “P for Pirate!!”. We snap a quick photo on the way to school with the swords we just happen to own. We just make it to school on time in their make shift outfits and both kids have their gold coin donation in hand, their jackets, their homework, their 3 lunch boxes, water bottles, signed notes, library bags, library books… and just as I start to get that, ‘against all odds I am a mum who can perform miracles’ false-sense-of-security feeling… Miss 8 says, “hey mum don’t forget I need new ballet and jazz shoes before dance class tomorrow”.
Ahhh life… You are funny.