After writing my last post lamenting the difficulties that school holidays present for me, I had a couple more days of harsh reality checks. The day after writing it, I looked out the front of our holiday units and noticed two sisters who were about 7 and 8 making up a dance together in the grassed area. They were giggling and having the time of their lives making their own fun and self-amusing. It reminded me of holidays when I was a child with my sister because we were just like that!
I smiled at them trying to block out my own children who were arguing and screaming behind me and following me around moaning and whining about being bored.
I admit that the kids did get better as the days progressed but my attitude didn’t. I was still sulky and feeling sorry for myself and counting the days until school returns.
Fast forward to yesterday….
I was sitting on an old log on the beach quietly sifting the fine sand through my fingers. The sky was overcast and so was my mood as I watched the children run, jump and play. I turn my head to the small voice beside me: “Can you see the rainbow Aunty Fiona”? I looked over at the shell that my 8-year-old niece was holding up before me and noticed that it was broken and dirty. She turned it over and the sun hit the pearlescent ( made that word up) inner side and the spectrum of colours shone through.
It was remarkable because I would have just discarded it thinking that it was no good. But she was seeing it through eyes that were still young and full of wonder.
I glanced over at my boys and noticed that Lucas had gathered a pile of driftwood under one arm and some sticks and twigs in the other. I stood up and followed him over to where Harley and his other cousin were standing picking up pieces of seaweed and sea sponge. He smiled at me and said: “Mum, there are so many cool things here, God makes BEST nature stuff!” as he carried on rummaging through what the tide had washed up.
The kids we’re all in their elements picking and choosing their own personal treasures. They each wore a face shining with amazement, enchantment and pure joy. The pleasure they derived from an activity as simple as beach scavenging was so humbling.
I thought back to earlier in the week where I was so cranky that I felt ready to adopt my kids out. I was angry that things were going so pear-shaped and hated how every holiday seems to start the exact same way. All I could see was how hard Harley’s meltdowns were on *me* EVEN THOUGH I knew that there was a very good reason for them occurring: (He was in an unusual setting with no solid routine or structure). And I couldn’t see through the many layers of the outer storm to why it was even happening at all.
I was looking at the dirty broken side of the shell and was unable to see the beauty behind the ugly cracked and broken exterior.
Until my eyes were opened by a child who is still able to view life through untainted lenses.
And I asked myself: Isn’t that why I blog? So that I can be the one to teach people to look for the inner beauty rather than focussing on the outer yuck.
What a wake up call!