Saturday, 17 August 2013

Holiday Lesson #1

When the big boys went off for their more extreme versions of fun, I always had a little one to look after. Secretly, I was quite relieved about that. It meant that I didn't have to do the scary bits. It became a habit and so I was never expected to join in.

On our holiday this year though, the little one wanted to do what the big ones were doing.

The first day, I breathed a sigh of relief as I watched them, nets and buckets in hand, sauntering down the beach for some rock-pooling. I savoured the peace as I read my book and people-watched in the sunshine.

After a couple of days, the ants began to arrive in my pants and I started to feel as though I was missing out on the holiday fun. We'd arrive at the beach and they'd be off. I could hear their squeals and screams but, like the proverbial old lady, I was left looking after the bags. I realised that I had spent the last 10 years avoiding the fun (sometimes out of necessity) and that family dynamics had changed. Now, I could join in if I wanted to.

And so, when mackerel fishing was decided upon, I didn't wait on the shore with all the belongings. I clambered on the boat and, to the amazement of the boys, I actually caught a fish. I'm not entirely sure if I enjoyed it. A whole hour of rocking with the swell of the waves did not do my stomach much good, and I was terrified the boys were going to fall in (no life-jackets - apparently the fisherman had been doing it for 29 years and not lost anyone yet...).

And while I was sat on the uncomfortable pebbles snapping bodyboarding photographs, I realised that I could actually go in the sea too. I peeled myself into Jared's already wet wetsuit (not to be advised - it was almost impossible and the boys sniggered as they snapped a photograph of my bottom) and ventured into the ocean. It was so liberating as I laughed, whooped and shouted with my boys. They loved teaching me how to bodyboard and were more than shocked that I'd joined them.

That spark of adventure had always been there, fluttering away inside, but having babies and little ones had dulled it. Not anymore. I don't want to be the mum who always sits on the side. I want to join in the fun too.

Now to look on eBay for a wetsuit.....

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