I don’t usually look forward to the Summer vacation. For too long, the long, hot, summer days has become synonymous with kitchen duty, children’s squabbles, drenched bodies and wet feet stumbling through my already cleaned home…and the thought of ‘New Year’ meant back to school and an escape from it all!
For years – YEARS, I merely observed my kids from the side lines. Looking for excuses. Looking for ways out. Waiting for better days. The right moment. Promising myself that by next year I’d be in better shape. That
if when I lose weight…or at least 5 kilos….or even reached some kind of midway goal weight; that then I’d start participating more. Almost as if having fun was determined by your size.
For years, I merely survived through the holidays. Giving myself a pat on the back when I got through the 6 weeks and for getting the kids through it unscathed. Sure enough, times back then were more rough! Smaller kids are more of a handful. Much more demanding. But if 2015 has taught me anything, it’s that change has been a major commodity in all our lives, and perhaps the more overlooked changes have come from the kids!
I wasn’t quite prepared for the transformation the teen years would bring, and getting lost in the motions of the demands of the year left me with very little time to process my much needed change in approach to parenting…And as we neared the end of the year, I felt like I was losing out to mood swings, ridiculous arguments, a cellphone, Ipad and some earphones! My kids were getting older and the walls were going up
And so I robbed myself of valuable moments. But as you get older, you realise that time is a commodity you can’t get back. And so, I approached this Summer with a very different mind set. I didn’t throw in the towel before it started as I usually do. I didn’t think of it as a punishment and a prison sentence. I didn’t approach it with fear and caution or use my own technological devices as distractions from the present moment, from what was important. But rather, I used it as a chance to reconnect with my children.
I took a much needed time out- from my phone, social media, this blog- and decided to become truly present. To get to know these changing individuals. To participate. To have fun. To just be a part of their world. Instead of moulding them to fit into ours.
I let go of my inhibitions. I scratched out an old swimsuit. I swam, ran, hiked up mountains. I dipped my body in the warm Indian Ocean and my toes curled at the cold Atlantic shores. I soaked up the sun and it didn’t bother me when my car got messed with sand. Boat rides and super slide. I did it all! I got lost in the moments, in long conversation and deep discussions. Laughed – ugly and loud – at wise comments and smart remarks. For a brief time, I was part of their world. It didn’t matter that I was a little fat or that my hair is slowly greying. For these few short weeks I threw caution to the wind. I felt young and carefree. I was more than just a ride home or source of the next meal. I was so much more than that. I was the Mom I always wanted to be.
And just like that the holidays are over and the kids head on into a new academic year. Just last week we were languishing on the shores of Cape Town’s best beaches…and I know we have about one week more before we become completely embroiled and entangled in the academic year. It’s demands. It’s challenges. And for the first time in a long time, I don’t rejoice that the holidays are over; but rather that it’s happened at all…
Hope everyone has had an easy transition into the New year.
Thanks for reading.