Sunday, 22 September 2013
Hearts and hands
"You must have your hands full," seems the standard salutation for any mother with two, three, four (or more) little ones in tow. I hear it half a dozen times each day, and have done for years. But it is funny how your perspective shifts with each child. Life is full, as, indeed, are my hands. And at times our house is positively buzzing with the slightly manic energy of so many children shut up within four walls after another rainy day. The boys are bickering, the whining never seems to stop, and I find myself wandering out to the shed (baby on hip) to grab a moment of silence and breathe deeply before they all run outside and find me again. But take away one child for a day and the energy somehow shifts. Three children suddenly seems easy.
It has been just me and the little ones at home for the weekend while Grant and Lewis dashed up to the city to catch their team playing in the preliminary final. The sun came out and we spilled out of the house onto the verandah. There was ice cream in the park and pancakes for dinner. The boys looked at picture books in the top bunk while I put the baby to bed, returning to find them top-and-tailed and snoring softly. I lay on the couch, reveling in the quiet, the absence of football on the screen, before crawling into bed with my little girl. It has felt like a holiday.
One more week of school remains before we embrace a whole fortnight of days just like these. All together this time, roaming barefoot and pedaling our bikes over the sandy limestone island of holiday magic that is Rottnest. Making memories just like those remembered from my own childhood, and my mother's before me. Generations of women with their hands full - and their hearts too.