Saturday, June 25, 2011

where I've been

Wow. I've been gone a long time, haven't I?

I never planned to be gone all this time, but there's something about having

two extra kids

come stay for a whole week

—a week filled with scootering, cooking, eating, laughing, talking, beach frolicking, friend visiting, happy being, and non-stop go go going—

that leads to a whole lot of quiet here in my little Land of Words!   :)


I have hardly taken a breath since last Saturday—since these two fine, kind, fun kids (a little brother and a big sister) arrived.

I tried to blog on two different days, but each time had to stop and

go make pear porridge, paint boxes, give cuddles, hear stories, listen to song after sweet song, take kids here there and everywhere and smile 'til my sides hurt.

And before you know it, a whole week had gone by. Packed to bursting with goodness.


These kids were just beautiful guests—the kind of considerate, exuberant, all-the-way-through great kids you miss the minute they aren't with you.

Which is what I'm doing right now, missing them,

because today we had to return them.

To their beloved, jetlagged and smiling parents (who had been traveling with their three elder kids for a month! Which is another fine story, for another blogpost).

Ah. What a beautiful moment that was, two children leaping up their front path, careening, calling out, cannoning inside, to be with their mum and dad again. I thought I might just break open with love.


And ah,

what a incredible week we had!


A week that began
with big welcome hugs and smiles! With settling in, and seeing where people would sleep and going
scootering and park playing and dog walking
and had everyone gobbling vege lasagne (So yummy! they said) and giggling into the night.

A week that—the following day—saw us

finding a bridge
that wrapped around a cliff



and scootering on it, of course!



Then…we found a gorgeous creek beside the sea to explore,

with rocks to climb on,


and a bubble to watch.

(video by my talented iphone-wielding husband)



After which,

we stood beside the sea
and claimed it

with arms and hearts wide open.


The next day
found us on an expedition with a group of fairly-new-to-us homeschoolers
to the bowling alley!

(Where we were allowed to go behind the scenes and see how it all worked! Talk about impressive. Kind of amazing to think someone invented the whole thing, all those cogs and pin-hold-y bits and so on.)

And afterwards,
well, we were invited by these friends,

to come play with them by the sea.


(It was a lovely day of connection. I loved chatting with mums I don't see often, some of whom I don't know very well, and being welcomed with such warm smiles. And it was beautiful seeing my four join seamlessly into the play of an established group.
In fact, two years ago, when I was just starting, I was told by a (now close) friend that it would take time to get to know the larger homeschooling community. That it would happen slowly but steadily. In fact my friend said that even years in, I would probably still be meeting new families. Well, it's true! You were right, dear friend!)


Then it was Tuesday.

Which brought a visit to some other new friends, this time a family just a term into homeschooling.

The day came with sunshine,

and talking, ball kicking, muffin eating,

and a fine dose of hill rolling!

a little brother and a big sister taking on the hill,
 fearlessly as always…
…making it seem irresistible,
so my girl had to join them!


And
of course,
we found our way
to the sea!



Where everyone got so wet! Yes! In mid-winter!

The girls borrowed swimsuits, and had a fine time. But the boys? Well, they decided to go in fully dressed. It worked great until they had to get out and the wind found them.

Brrrrr. SO cold!!

(Thank goodness for towels, cuddles, a borrowed drier, and all that warm new friendship).


The next day was Wednesday…

and it was quiet, relatively speaking :)

We had music practice and
music lessons and
movie watching and
scootering and
dog walking to the park (in a suddenly freezing wind),
and the beginning of a box painting project that kept us busy in our 'downtime' for days.

What, no sea?

No,
that would be much too decadent, wouldn't it?!

(Because for once, it was a FREEZING day. A wild-and-wintery, colder-than-cold, windy day that we deemed perfect for scootering and dogwalking and playground swinging. If you stood still for more than a minute, I swear, you could feel icicles forming in your brain. Yeh-huh, really!)


Anyway.

What day are we up to now?

Ah, yes. Thursday.

A day where we painted boxes and talked and sang and ate all morning
as the blustery wind
settled right down.

And then it was time for our regular homeschool group

in a park, outdoors in the once-again sunshine (hello there, Sun!)

where the kids scootered (of course)

two scooter fiends, my boy and his friend (the big sister),
both of them taking it just a little further and harder and faster, always

and

frolicked beside the sea,

AGAIN.

(Well, of course they did! What did you expect?) :)


And then we all went to Art class, where our beautiful art teacher just welcomed my extra two in, rolled with the arrival of not just my extra kids, but two other homeschoolers as well, who came along on the spur of the moment. And what a room of happy kids it was!

(How I love our art teacher. We've known her for 5 years now. She has 'Welcome' inside her like a smile. Her ideas inspire my children, her support is constant, her kindness is Always. Three weeks ago, she came to the award ceremony for my son's story at the Art Gallery. When she read my son's words, she cried. Yes. That's how wonderful she is.)


Friday was our last full day, and that made us sad and happy both. (Sad to stop our fun, but so so so excited to see two parents again. Excited to bursting, really!)

Friday saw my son go up to Sydney with his dad (and a busload of kids) for a band competition,

while we four stayed behind,

to finish boxes

box by a very proud 7-yr-old  boy
(it has a black hole inside, don't you know?)
and paint more paintings

and go…
no,
not to the sea,

but instead

to an indoor pool. :)

Where the kids frolicked, dived, swam and spa-ed for two and a half hours. Until they were three blissed-out prunes.

Two chatting, laughing girls…
…and an unbreakable duo by now—my girl and this dear boy
And then we made brownies, and watched a movie while having a pizza picnic on the floor, and the kids talked and talked and laughed and leapt and sang and were
Just
Fantastic.


Which brings us to Today.

Today we brought them home.

And said goodbye.


And now…?

It is so quiet here. My boy has taken his book to the couch, my girl is at her desk, my husband has gone upstairs for a nap.

I am listening to music on the headphones. I am recalibrating.

We are returning to our Simple.

Which is so much fuller and deeper for the week we had.

A week where I just rolled with the
wild, happy Noise, all the Busy, all the Doing.

A week where I cooked so much food
and listened to so many stories and
had so many conversations
and followed scooters
and soothed people who had fallen off scooters or simply missed their mum 
and brushed hair
and played games
and ate apple crumble
and painted and helped people paint

(and told a boy not to paint his big sister's hair)

and sat with and said good night, every night, to each sleepy child

one by one by one by one.


A week where I accepted all this and more
with open arms.

A week where I felt 
so incredibly lucky 
and honoured to be given the care of such glorious children.

A week where four kids were lit inside with happiness.

And so was I. 





13 comments:

  1. you're a gem :-) enjoy resting your ears for a little while (and not having to cook so. much. food!). thankyou thankyou thankyou... xxxx S

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  2. You are so, so welcome, and then some! In fact—thank YOU. :)

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  3. Wow, it definitely looks much warmer there than here in Tassie (although that doesn't put my kids off jumping in to water at any chance!) It looks beautiful where you live - the beaches the green grass and that coastal bridge path - you have inspired me to don my woolies and thermals and take the kids out on a bush walk tomorrow!

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  4. phew! I need a rest just reading that. What a wonderful week! I feel 'lit inside' for hearing about it Helena. Thanks!

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  5. Beautiful photos, looks like a great week! Now I want to find a recipe for pear porridge!

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  6. Oh what a fantastic week!! And what a wonderful way to make those memories last forever here in this space. Missed you for sure but so happy you were filled will adventure and joy!!

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  7. You are so sweet that I have an award for you over at my blog :)

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  8. What a great week...just for the record, I love that little boy and his big sister too!!! Love love love reading your blog Helena...it lights a fire in my heart!!! Hopefully I might get to hang out with you in person one these days ( I can be another one of those homeschool families you are yet to get to know... How exciting!!!) Love Deb

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  9. Oh my goodness what a remarkable week!! You crammed a whole winter of fun into 1 week. Love the bridge and the creek and the video! Love the picture of the kids on the rocks with 'open arms'. Love the rolling down the hill and the boxes. They are beautiful. Isn't it fun having guests? I love when Kei has spend the night kids here. We have such a blast. Maybe one day me and Kei can come there and hang out with your family. We may never leave! Lovely, lovely.

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  10. I was wondering where you were and if you were absent because you were off having a good time, or struggling with a bad time. Glad to see it was the former! What a beautiful, fun-filled week! Lovely!

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  11. What goodness, and fullness, and mm, I wanna go to the sea! I especially adore those last two photos.

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  12. sounds like you've been busy! i'm sure you miss them, but it must be nice to get back to your more simple routine. i never thought about going behind the scenes at a bowling alley. that would be so fun! maybe i'll have to ask my local bowling alley about it.

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I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.