We took the day off school on Friday to hang out with our friends from the city. My dear friend Jess and her lovely children, who grew up side by side with our own before we moved our lives south. We have celebrated the winter solstice together nearly every year since we became mothers. We wrapped up warm and headed out to one of our favourite beaches to walk in the wind. In summer this rocky cove is crawling with holiday makers. Last week we had the bay to ourselves.
The kids clambered around the rocks and practiced their casting. Hooks and sinkers and bait flew backwards and sideways and finally seaward as the older boys came to grips with their rods and reels. Darcy chopped prawns on the rocks for the bigger boys who did not want to get their hands dirty. Nothing was caught but nobody minded. The sun even came out for an hour or so to warm our faces, and Quinn was as happy to be held in his godmother's arms as he is my own. Lucas and Sol's father comes from South America, where godparents are like an extension of your family. So Quinn is by rights their "spiritual brother." Darcy and Sol slept on the sofa bed that night wrapped in each others' arms after a day running around together in the open air.
I was a little stumped when the time came to write the note for Lewis' class teacher on Monday morning but finally settled on "family commitments" as a pertinent excuse. They are family to us. And family always comes first.