We took a week away at the beach this week. We're lucky to have the place to go to: it's my Pop's old family holiday house, although if you saw it, tiny, weatherboard and red-tiled next to its neighbours, two-million-dollar flashy mansions, you might be inclined to call it a family holiday shack , but that's okay. When we walk in, it smells like relaxation and fun. We don't have to clean up until the end and there's the surf just across the road.
Some things we did on holidays:
Surfed. Well, my hubby and three of the kids surfed. Boogie boarding and body surfing. I went in twice but it was freezing and someone had to look after the three year old who only wanted to go to the 'Goooon', the lagoon over the point.
Speaking of cold water, I've worked out what's changed for me. As a younger person I was in that ocean, freezing or not. I surfed whenever and wherever I could. These days it has to be really worthwhile and about 35 degrees centigrade out for me to get in the water. I think the difference is that as a mother I have constant little irritations to deal with: "Mum! Mum! Look at this. I want that. Come over here. Wipe my bottom." Surfing is great but coming out wet and salty and slightly cold and having to take out time for a shower is just another series of irritations, but this time I'm in control of them. Simpler to just not go in.
Argued. You're not supposed to say this, are you. Yes, our family spent much of the holiday arguing. That is to say, the children spent much of the holiday arguing amongst themselves and getting to a point at which we adults then stepped in and argued with them. It was annoying and tiring and at one point I did have a smallish meltdown on the phone to my mother. Right then the tiny holiday house did seem very small for six people, all with very loud voices.
Celebrated . It was my mum's birthday and my husband's birthday a day apart. We had family visitors, Thai takeaway and a little break from arguing so that we could enjoy it together. Plus then, eldest daughter and I took my reluctant shopper mum out to buy a dress to wear to our upcoming family wedding. Not only did we get a frock, we also insisted that she purchase shoes as well. It's fun to spend other people's money.
Cooked. Well, I cooked. (Except for the one time eldest daughter made light and fluffy pancakes.) But the reason I tell you this is because I took a whole lot of recipe books on holidays with me to try to get some inspiration. It worked. In one of the books I discovered The Most Wonderful Cake Ever which I baked as a birthday treat for the celebratees. It was so good that the whole thing disappeared within four hours. Even two of the fussy eating children loved it. I plan to make another one soon, so wait for a photo and a recipe. In the meantime, all I can say is apple, chocolate chips and walnuts...
Came home . And ohhh, it feels nice to be home, despite the loads of washing and the unpacking and the cooking of new food for hungry mouths. Whenever we come home after time away, the first two days are bliss for my kids. They rediscover their toys, chill out and are generally happy and cooperative.
Surf is great, but home is wonderful too.