Monday, July 5, 2010
Here in the USA a holiday means a public holiday, a day everyone gets free, like today. We got this Monday off work to celebrate the 4th of July. Taking a few days off and going on a trip is called a vacation, not a holiday, so when I saw Tara's Gallery prompt of 'holidays', though it was the long summer caravan trips of my youth that first sprang to mind, I don't have any photographs of those memorable trips handy, so I thought I would use the American version of Holiday as my theme.
This weekend we are combining the two concepts. Making a vacation out of the holiday. We're up in our mountain cabin, at Serene Lakes. It is as lovely as it sounds. The snow is almost all melted, the beach is sandy and the sun has pulled enough of the chill out of the water to make the lake swimmable.
It takes a while for the mountain magic to iron the city wrinkles out of my mood. At first the packing, unpacking and driving irritate. "Is it really worth the effort?" rattles in my mind, knowing I have brought up two enormous bags of laundry, and that though it is brilliant having this cabin to retreat to, the cooking and cleaning, the wrestling of kids to bed, the incessant wiping of noses and bottoms, all follow us along.
We had planned only to stay for the three day weekend. Today was to be our last day. I took the kids to the beach this morning while Geekydaddy prepped the cabin for summer, removing snow guards and hanging bike racks. It was a lovely morning. We had put the cork back in our second bottle of Chianti the previous night, so our heads were clear when the kids woke us just before seven. We had remembered to take the frozen croissants out of the freezer too, so the promised special breakfast was created and relished.
At the beach I remembered snacks and reminded the kids to eat them. I remembered the buckets and spades, and the inflatables and waterwings. I played with the children, building castles for stomping on, sharing pleasure in passing ducks, sailboats and butterflies, helping them swim in the lake, impressed with their imperviousness to the rather chilly water. Nobody got sunburned or bitten by sand flies. Our snacks didn't get tipped over into the sand. You may observe that I'm trying to notice when things go well, rather than get annoyed with myself when they don't.
We left the beach just a few minutes too late. Geekygirl had found another little girl to play with, and I dawdled the packing up to go home for lunch, despite Geekyboy giving clear signs that he was tired. When I say clear signs I'm not talking about subtle things only discernible to the 'in tune' mum, I mean that he said to me several times "Mamma, I tired, I wanna go home. I wanna sleep". When I deflated the angelfish rubber ring he finally lost it, distraught that this lovely plaything had been turned by evil mummy into a flabby sack of plastic. I hauled him home, a bawling bag of snot and tears.
When I got back to the cabin, got the kids fed and napped, and sat down for my own lunch I realized that tantrum not withstanding, the pleasure of the morning had won my mind, and I was actually fully relaxed for the first time of the weekend. So we decided to stay on for one more day. Bliss.
I forgot to pack my big camera this weekend, and found that I spent more time just being in the moment, rather than capturing it.
But thanks to hipstamatic for iphone, and its uncanny ability to throw a mood onto a picture, I do have a nice little snap that sums up our holiday weekend.