lt had already been a full day, but after a delightful supper of hot dogs and marshmallows [‘what do you want to do when Ouma is here?’ I asked. ‘Have hot dogs and marshmallows’, the older boys replied] I thought it was not unreasonable to suggest we go for a walk. Too.
But of course nobody else saw it that way.
There was weeping and gnashing of teeth, fights over water bottles, complaints about shoes and embarrassing purple bikes, lamentations over forgotten telescopes and I nearly pulled all of my hair out before we’d even parked the car at Edworthy Park.
But then our feet hit the mulched ‘Christmas Tree Trail’ and the profound unhappiness was tempered by lush greenery and perfect early evening light.
The boys tried whistling with blades of grass, which made for a bizarre chorus of goose-like-honking sounds. Percy ran ahead of us all with the energy of four sugar-crazed children. We gazed at the fast-moving river whilst commanding the non-swimming Johnson boys to steer clear of the pale brown water. The air even smelled good.
And in stark contrast to my ‘let’s walk farther than is prudent’ nature, I actually suggested turning around before anyone had melted down. [Again.] It was a summer miracle!
And then we found a park bench and I had a camera and we actually had someone who could push the button on said camera……..
It was the end of a long day. We weren’t wearing coordinating clothes. We probably hadn’t showered in recent history and at least two boys had significantly dirty faces.
But how could we not at least try?
I call this one: ‘Christmas Card 2012.’
I call this one: ‘The brother nobody liked?’
I call this one: ‘The third time is not the charm.’
I call this last one: ‘Five people, five different directions.’