Sunday, December 15, 2013

Summer holidays

Is it just me or is there really no such thing as a holiday once you have a child? It's mostly just a change of location, but with the added thrill of a toddler out of routine and in new surroundings.

Lazy sleep-ins become earlier-than-normal wake-ups thanks to the local wildlife and summer sun. Long lunches and late dinners are surrendered to naps and sleeping battles. Body surfing and towel-laying are lost to lifeguard duty in the shallows and broad-brimmed sun hats are de rigeur. Reading fat novels under the slow tick of the ceiling fan is only possible when someone else volunteers to play trains or peel the backs from stickers or adventure to the fishpond or chase Henry Dog or climb the stairs or refill cups of water and bowls of fruit or push the stroller down to the water.

But as I've been reminded here, the fleeting intangibles of memory begin around now for Dear Boy. He might one day remember sinking his feet into the sand while the small waves lap at his ankles, or the plasticky squish of his arm floaties, or the shining magic of the Christmas tree. He might one day be recalling these very moments to his own children when they ask him about his earliest memories. He might one day reminisce, as I do, about that the cool trickle from the tap and the one-legged dance as you wash the sand from your feet.

I am not on holiday.

I continue to work at creating and protecting his childhood, at building his memories of the past for the future.

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