I have always loved summer, particularly December. The heat is becoming unbearable, the anticipation of a swim is intoxicating. Christmas and all the end of year celebrations are in full swing, and it’s my birthday. How could I not love it? This time last year however, Little Mate was 7 months old-ish and due to an unfortunate infection, I found our summer disappear very quickly inbetween visits to the hospital, doctors and other medical professionals. He was really very unwell for a period of time; we were incredibly fortunate for everything to turn out for the best. But, it meant the endless summer indeed felt endless, just not in that “I Love Summer” way…more in the Groundhog “will this ever get better/end” way. There were limited visits to swimming holes, only a few summer activities experienced for fear of re-infection or having to re-dress the wound.
I was an anxious mumma, trying really hard to help my youngest son get on top of the infection. It meant losing the fun summer memories and focusing on somewhat more important things. This summer has started not in the style I’d wanted, either. Cue the sympathy, please – ha yep, shall i hashtag it #Firstworldproblems ? I’m still working full time, so it means weekends are spent washing, grocery shopping, prepping for the week ahead and of course, spending as much time with the kids as possible.
In an effort to make more out of summer this time around, Grimace and I decided to take action. We packed a day bag, bundled the kids in the car and made our dash to the coffee shop. Ha. Got you. I cannot function of a Sunday morning (any morning for that matter) without the delicious brew… but you know that.
After getting our takeaways, we made our way to Glenbrook National Park and took the long dirt road to our secret (ha, not so secret) walk that drops you in at Kanuka Brook swimming hole (also known as Crayfish rockpools due to the abundance of what I can only assume is crayfish). This walk is one of our favourites – only 1.8km return, there is a reasonable a hike down to the swimming hole, including some old fashioned srambling and bouldering. It’s fun! We really challened Giggles Magoo as there is no way in hell I am carrying him down or up. I’ve recently had a few visits to the physio and osteo due to tight hammies, butt muscles and sore lower back…I am not about to carry my offspring up or down the hill. Heartless, I know.
Sunday was HOT. I don’t care for official temps…all I can say is it was hot and humid. One of those days where you can’t walk on the bitumen in barefeet as it will burn, burn, burn. So, we were probs taking a gamble in doing a steep walk with Giggles Magoo – there were bound to be tears and protests; but alas we didn’t let those negative thoughts stop us. Little Mate started the walk, and seemed to cope well with a few obstacles but after a hundred-or-so metres, he asked to be picked up…I agreed, and put him straight into the Osprey pack on Grimace’s back. Well, wouldn’t you know it, the world was surely going to end. Little Mate made sure that Grimace was well aware that he didn’t want to be carried in the pack, and more so, by him. Much to Grimace’s patience and deciation to the kidlets, he powered on down the hill with a screaming Little Mate in tow.
I however, had a delightful walk down with Giggles Magoo. He has recently engaged in a Bush Kindy concept at his day care centre, and he was pointing out all the fascinating things a bush walk entails. Flowers, trees, ants, birds, rocks, seeds etc. It took much longer to get down, but I relished spending the one-on-one time with him, helping to drown out the sorrow ahead from Little Mate (and the mother guilt that I was definitely feeling). Chatting away, giving all the more insight into the growing mind of a four year old. He handled himself very well down some of the more steep scrambling sections, and I could see his confidence in his own capability growing nicely.
Eventually, Giggles Magoo and I caught up to Grimace and Little Mate. We all made our way to the little lookout overlooking the amazing swimming hole, and then down to the little sandy beach for a paddle. We snacked and paddled, and paddled and snacked and thoroughly enjoyed being the only four people in what I’ve called paradise.
Have a geez of the pics below, and you’ll see why.
After losing ourselves in paradise for some unknown amount of time, I remembered a 5 year old birthday party that Giggles Magoo was attending that afternoon…and we hot-footed it outta there. Back up the hill, in the scorching heat that is on offer through the middle of the day. Giggles Magoo impressed me no end – sure, we weren’t walking at any break-neck speed, and even though I kept promising a rock shelter to sit down and rest “isn’t far off”, he did not kick up a stink when we reached said-rock shelter and couldn’t stay long as he’d hoped there was a few wasps hanging around. He almost looked like he was going to fall asleep while walking…and he did fall asleep almost immediately when he hit the car. I made sure we took the time to recognise the effort he had put in; by him keeping on having a go, with his hard work (when he really didn’t think we could), he could achieve great things…his determination can take him far. He beamed with pride when he realised he had done the walk all by himself.
I’m pleased we took the time on Sunday to do the walk – we just as easily not done it, and then slowly but surely, probably see our summer disappear (again).