I'm the first to admit that I found the beginning of this summer pretty tough to deal with. There was so much going on, and quite a lot not going quite right. It was hard to embrace so much change, a disrupted routine, and excessive heat all in one go. Around Christmastime stressiness peaked, with Zan working overtime and in-laws coming and going, along with the usual expectations and disappointments that seem to go hand in hand with the silly season.
It took me quite awhile to recover from those crazy few weeks, and then the heat rolled in. Like a tidal wave that never ended. And more and more stress piled up. And more things that just weren't going quite right.
And then I phoned my big sister, and I cried down the phone. I felt like a kid again, blubbing about things that probably didn't matter at all anyway. And she knew all the right things to say, just as she always does.
It was exactly what I needed. Somehow the weight shifted, and I realised that summer was staring me directly in the face, and I was wasting it. The stress-bits were inconsequential in the face of bright blue sky and swimming pools and beach and babies. I phoned up some friends and arranged a last-minute, impromptu date. We threw our kids into a dingy, and (rather crazily - a pregnant lady at the helm) paddled across a creek to find this beach haven. Away from everyone. No tourists. No locals even. Just a long stretch of white(ish) sand and clear blue water.
We swam, explored, ate watermelon and cheese and crackers, dug holes and got sunburnt. We threw sticks and swam out to get them, like puppy dogs. At the end of the afternoon we ferried the kids back over to the house, tantrums, anxiety attacks and all (I wasn't the only un-boat-savvy person on board). We cleaned off sand and tears and plonked our tired kids in front of Sesame St. Had cups of tea. Inspected our burnt skin.
It was just a day, a normal summers day. But man, it was nice.