Sunday, 20 April 2014

Cuddles, hot chocolate and blue sky

Term 2 is about to begin in Melbourne and my boys will be back at school.  The first week of the school holidays was wet, cold and dreary but the last few days have been mild and fine.  My boys have enjoyed their break, keeping themselves out of too much mischief, 'creatively amused' and my little girl has done her best to compete with them and has tried to copy everything that they do. The school term holidays are always a good time to break with the usual routine and spend much more time together, something I do enjoy a lot.  I was just thinking tonight that my kids usually find a way to keep busy, even if we don't go out much and as long as they have plenty of cuddles, hot chocolate and blue sky, they are happy.
I have been working on ways to keep myself out of trouble too.  I try to focus on doing things that make me happy and relaxed, like spending lots of time in the garden, listening to music and walking.  Sounds pretty basic, doesn't it?  But I tell you that past times as simple as these provide me with enormous stress relief.  When I say stress, I must also say that I'm pretty lucky that my stresses are just your usual, domestic ones and I don't really have any major crisis to deal with.  So I plod along, firmly entrenched in my day to day routines and before I know it, I'm smiling, singing and dancing around my lounge room floor, just happy to be in my sanctuary that my partner and I have so carefully created over the years.
The joys of childhood are so blissfully simple too.  I look at my kids sometimes and am amazed at their beauty.  I often remember back to a time when they were new born babies, with the sleepless nights I had as their mother, up every 3 hours or so to feed them.  I remember holding them in my arms and squeezing them because they were so soft and the hours upon hours we enjoyed together rolling around on the floor and playing games.  Blink, and before you know it, they are at school and their demands and needs develop and change so quickly.
One thing that has always been a standard need for my children (and I hope never changes), is having a good cuddle.  The comfort that we get from holding each other in our arms is very strong and powerful.  Just lately, my boys in particular have been coming up to me and hugging me for no apparent reason.  This I love, what mother doesn't?  They walk over and throw their arms around me and hold on tight.  These cuddles are usually short and sweet, but big, loving cuddles, just the same.  I have always been very affectionate with all of my children and have tried to teach them that this is so important and can make you feel so very good, can chase away the gloomy feelings and instantly take you back to where it all began, safe and sound in mum's loving arms.  I always take the time to stop whatever it is that I am doing and cuddle back, relishing every minute because they are far too big to sit on my lap anymore!
My latest kitchen gadget is an espresso coffee machine.  Now I have always been a big coffee drinker and thoroughly enjoy a good coffee.  This machine is the type that grinds the coffee beans, drips the coffee through a filter and then heats and froths the milk, just like the coffee machines you see in the cafes.  I absolutely love it and so does my family.  My husband, who isn't a big coffee drinker like me, has been asking me for cappuccinos a lot lately and this makes me giggle.  And my kids, well they can't get enough hot chocolate.  So I get busy most days being the 'Cafe LA' barista, brewing coffee and frothing milk, making many espresso coffees and hot chocolates and we all have heaps of fun.  We love it and I haven't gone out for coffee since because I get a better one at home, made just the way I like it.
I know the rain is good for the garden and we all need water, but I can't help but feel a bit miserable when I am stuck indoors to keep out of the rain.  My kids are the same and must be more like me than I think.  When they can't go outside and make rockets out of empty soft drink bottles, or talk to my dog and cat, or go down to the park to play basketball, or ride their bikes around the neighbourhood to visit their buddies, they start to get very irritated and grumpy.  My kids love the outdoors, just like their mum and get very excited about blue sky, just like their mum.  So I can totally understand where they are coming from and try my hardest to keep them (and me) amused until we can all go outside again.  Blue sky, with plenty of sunshine and little cloud cover, is what we thrive on and even if we have no where to go and nothing to do, my kids are OK with that as long as the sun is shining and they can look up and see lots of blue.
So, if I could sum up what it is that makes my children tick at the moment, it would nothing other than cuddles, hot chocolate and blue sky.  Isn't that wonderful?  Amongst all of the confusing emotions, peer group pressure and marketing tactics that hit them like a tonne of bricks when we go shopping, they are happy with things as simple as these.  This makes me happy and smile, knowing that somewhere, somehow, my husband and I must be doing OK.  My kids take the time to relax and enjoy the world around them, content in their safe, 'childhood bubble', with lots of love and comfort.  And for me, this is what it's all about, giving them wonderful memories, with positive and nurturing experiences as they keep growing and their mum and dad do their best to stay as young as we can, for as long as we can.  We'll all keep having plenty of cuddles and hold on tight, keep drinking hot chocolates, made 'very chocolaty' by request and enjoying a sunny day :) xxx