You know.. I think I’m a bit of a homebody. Oh, I love to travel, as you know. But it’s hard to beat a sunny, autumn (mid-school holidays/pre netball season madness) weekend at home. Just me, him and the kids – and that beach just over there!
I just had one of those weekends, and I loved it, loved it, loved it. (Ack.. did I just channel that SYTYCD guy? Help me!)
Himself arrived home on Friday night after a four-night work trip. Nothing like a bit of absence to make the heart a bit fonder, I guess. Once upon a time a four-night mid-week trip would have been nothing. Pffft! In comparison to 4 weeks (6 weeks. 3 months…) – meh! But we stopped all that three years ago, saved a marriage, and, obviously, get to enjoy a whole lot more time together.
School holidays – when we don’t go away – can be characterised, around here, by a bit too much sloth. Friday afternoon, though, Ms 16 kept a pinky promise we made with each other (with some sort of ‘thumb lock’!) and went out for a ride on our road bikes.
We left it late, and then I had to change her front tube, which had just gone ‘pssshhhhhhh’ when I went to pump it up. (Split near the valve.) So our ride was small – only 11km – but it was BIG for so many reasons. Practical ones – like me getting my bum back on a bike after far too long a sabbatical! (For her too – it’s been even longer since she’s ridden.)
And sentimental ones – as only a mother can wallow in. You know – teenage daughter + mum + really pleasant time together doing something active – that sort of sop. At this age and stage you lap anything like that up – and all but frame it or bottle it. (Any parents of teenagers nodding along with me here?) (Me, I blog it…)
She even suggested we get up early for the 6.30am community ride, but I confess I did opt out, in preference to a sleep-in. With someone who just got home, and all that. With the autumn weather and a free weekend, there was plenty of time to ride other than at some ungodly hour!
Saturday morning gave us wonderful weather. Not too hot, not too cold, a whisper of a breeze. And oh! The beach was just glorious. The previous weekend, over Easter, and with visitors, there was a strong southerly, and the surf was pretty rough. While they enjoyed the novelty of it all, it was hard for us to get enthusiastic.
THIS weekend was the sort of weather and surf conditions you’d order for guests if you could. Clear, clear water – great waves – nothing too big, but easily catchable. The five of us out there – youngest two on their boogie boards, and the Dad, me and Ms 16, equipment-free, and zooming in till our tummies scraped the sand.
In the afternoon Himself and I got out on our road bikes. OK, so it wasn’t perfect . It emphasised to me just why riding a tandem with him is so good. I don’t get left behind!! It also emphasised to me just how long we’ve NOT ridden. Like, hello there legs… bit sore doing this two days running, aren’t we? But secondly because someone (that wasn’t me) forgot to put his helmet on! AND neither he, nor I, noticed until more than 9km of our total (mere) 13km – whereupon it was getting dark! Talk about being out of practice.
Meanwhile while we were out the THREE girls went out together for a run! With the three of them playing rep netball this year (and with Ms 16 as coach of Ms 12’s team), fitness is on the agenda, but it’s hard not to be super impressed that they did this of their own accord.
Sunday morning, another sleep-in! (Decadent? Yes absolutely!). This time only three of us made it down to the beach, but it was still g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s! The main thing going through my head as we floated in crystal clear water was ‘Who needs a tropical island holiday when you’ve got this in your own backyard?!’
My little bubble was burst ever so slightly when I felt a slight stingy sensation on my hand. Oh crap – a bluebottle trying to shake hands! Being the wuss that I am, I wasn’t going to hang around to see if he had any friends, and I hightailed it out of the water and home. So much for paradise, eh. As it turned out I was being a bit of a drama queen. It was a really minor sting because a dose of hot water (and a hot shower) pretty much sorted it out.
Sunday afternoon the Daddy, the girl and I set out for another ride. This time we ventured further afield – and managed to include a stop for hot chippies to reward ourselves. (Sshhh! Don’t tell the other two!) We clocked up about 28km in all – which is getting more like it for the comeback kids.
(Impressively Ms 14 and Ms 12 took themselves for another run while we were gone!)
So .. sure.. you can have more exciting weekends. More social weekends even. But for me the combination of just family, beach, balmy weather, a bit of decent exercise AND getting back into the riding – well, it couldn’t get much more perfect. With the netball season starting back in two week’s time, memories of this little gem of a weekend might just sustain me through the madness!