"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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Spotlight on the Queen's Birthday


posted by Susan Dominikovich on ,

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Six things I learned when playing spotlight with my family tonight:

1) Madeline truly is a monkey. Don't just look up. Look way up.

2) If given the opportunity, my girls will cheat. Most definitely. But I already knew this.

3) If given the opportunity, our Sam will not cheat. Most definitely not. But I already knew this too.

4)  Abby is our stealth baby. So little, so quiet, so still and so proud of it.

5)  Keep the dog inside when I am hiding.  He finds me every time.

6) When it is Sam's turn to find me, make sure I am comfortable. Without a full bladder.  Or, let the dog out of the house.


Today is the Queen's Birthday. Not her actual birthday of course but a convenient day on which to celebrate it in New Zealand. I woke early...before the birds...with the realisation that my cold had worked its way into my head. A smashing headache and we were having guests for lunch at noon. Drugs. A regime of them. By 9:30 I was able to shower and scull two cups of strong tea (you know it's a bad headache when the thought of coffee makes you ill). By 10:30 I was able to make bread and give the bathrooms a lick and a promise. By 11:15 I was making soup and the headache was a distant (but lingering) memory. Thank goodness for modern medicine.

Lunch was a lovely time speaking Canadian to a new friend: teeter totters, perogies, camping and bear hunting. I am looking forward to spending more time with her as I think we connected on more than one level. I know our girls certainly did. Her two, ages 7 & 9 just about outdid mine in the silliness department. Just about. The boys (Paul and Sam) were wise to hide.

Tea of leftovers was very low key after our friends went home. And then somehow, someone, from somewhere inspired a game of spotlight outside in the increasing darkness. A moonless night. Perfect.

We each had a turn hiding in dark damp places and seeking with only the torch for company. Rotten leaves were rummaged, trees were climbed, dirty banks were hugged, roofs were climbed, etc etc.  It was that sort of spontaneous family fun that would have been spoiled had we tried to plan it. How many times have we said we would do such-and-such when so-and-so happens and of course we never do. Tonight I learned to jump on an opportunity and just go with it. And I was rewarded to hear Violet say at the end "it wouldn't have been the same without you Mum." It probably means that normally I would have opted out of the game in preference for a snippet of solitude. But not this time. And I'll take it.

I shall resist the urge to wax lyrical about it all. Surely you can see how tempted by metaphor I was when perched in a precarious position on the edge of a steep bank, grasping onto a strong piece of flax.  This was my crouching for ages with a full bladder moment by the way. Not to mention the obvious parallels in looking but not seeing. You get the idea. 

Sometimes we have to take a thing for what it is. A gift, pure and simple. A gift of fun with my family.

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