I had a choice. It was either stay up late to get on top of the washing pile and be extra tired the next day, or go to bed a little earlier and wake drowning in piles of clothes, not so tired but cranky nonetheless.
Both options didn’t appeal to me but after a big weekend, the washing was absolutely ridiculous, and something needed to be done. Well, I stayed up late. Very late. And I was really tired the next morning.
After I dragged through the school morning rush, I came home again, and walked around the house, and sat down, and got up again, trying to motivate myself to do something. Coffee didn’t help. It was going to be one of those drag-myself-through days, I thought.
I heard the banging of the big yellow truck before I saw my son who was carrying it. Totally out of the blue he said, “Mum, do you think we can go to the beach today? Not to swim, but to play in the sand?”
I didn’t want to go to the beach. I didn’t want to do anything expect curl up in bed, a little pathetically, and sleep. I sat there for a few moments trying to work out what to do. I had SO much to do at home. So much!
But the day was beautiful outside and I really didn’t have a good reason not to follow through on my son’s suggestion. I often remind myself this time with my son is precious as he will be at school next year; a season of my parenting life over.
I sat on the warm sand with the winter sun on my back as I sipped a take away coffee while my daughter and son played.
“Mum, we made a discovery!”
“There’s a whale, or maybe a shark!”
“Look at this shell.”
Watching them was pure delight and my heart felt warm, the world seemed good and bright and the salt air filling my lungs lifted the heaviness in my head like running water over a muddy rock.
I looked up from where I sat as a lady and her dog walked past.
“It’s a beautiful day! Too beautiful to stay inside.” I smiled at her. It was far cry from my pathetic I-want-to-stay-in-bed-forever approach earlier in the day.
“Isn’t it!?” she smiled back. “I need to wash my floors at home but it’s so beautiful out today.”
“Yes! I have so much to do at home too, but the kids asked if we could come to the beach and I didn’t really have any reason not to.”
“That’s it. Kids are much more important; they grow up so quickly.”
Affirmation, right there.
Later at home again, I carried a spring in my step and the afternoon was a productive one.
The best thing I did that day: listen to my son. It changed the entire course of my day. Grateful.