We are so busy living our everyday lives that sometimes it takes a change of scenery and routine to re-connect. This last weekend our family packed up the car and headed south to the little seaside town of Kiama. It wasn’t that far away nor so different from where we live, but it was a place where our family could solely spend time with one another without any external distractions.
We headed to a water park with the kids and even the older girls (and to be honest my husband and I too) were like little kids again, riding water slides and playing around. It was such a relaxed environment to have a few laughs and not worry about our day-to-day concerns.
We visited scenic lookouts to appreciate the natural beauty of the region and ate out every meal, getting the kids to try their tastebuds out on Mexican and Indian food.
This change of pace and scenery allowed our kids to interact in a way they seldom do at home when we are busy with our individual social lives. As much as we have amazing friends and our kids do too, the beauty of this weekend was time spent just as a family unit. I think this mini-break had such a profound effect because it is so different from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.
I took lots of photos in an effort to store away beautiful memories of this weekend, as I see my kids growing in front of my eyes everyday. I know that in the blink of an eye they will be grown up and that all the time we spend together now is priceless.
We are now back home in the normal weekly routine but all feeling calmer and more re-connected from our mini-break away. I’m just left bewildered by one thing – how can two days away create so much washing????
I have noticed in the Twittersphere that there is a lot of hype around Thanksgiving at this time of year. Obviously in Australia we don’t celebrate this holiday, however our family has its own tradition when we sit around the dinner table.
I used to ask the kids what they had done at school that day and the response was normally ‘nothing much’, leaving me wondering why we were paying private school fees for them to sit around all day. We then introduced ‘highlights’ to our dinner routine, where each person around the table takes the opportunity to talk about what the highlight of their day was. It turns out the kids don’t actually sit around all day and in fact their days are varied and fun. Stating your highlight to the family gives each person a chance to be in the spotlight, as usually the dominant personalities generally control the flow of conversation. It also gives us an insight into what has gone on in the child’s day and to see what things they find fun/interesting/comforting. It also puts a positive spin on the events of the day.
My husband will often just say his highlight is ‘sitting down to dinner with his gorgeous family’; which is not a momentous occasion, but given he has been at work all day he doesn’t have a huge choice of events from which to choose. That, or he is tired from work and chooses the path of least resistance – sucking up to his family!
I have one child who often finds it hard to narrow her highlights down to one event and may list a whole heap of experiences as her ‘highlight’. Whilst we try to encourage her to choose her absolute favourite time of the day, I feel so blessed that she is living a life where there are so many wonderful times that can be shortlisted.
Every now and again someone will try to throw in a lowlight for the day, but that brings the mood of the discussion down. Whilst I’m always happy to discuss any issues my kids are having, I prefer to do that one on one and keep the mood of the dinner table upbeat.
So whilst in our household we don’t have Thanksgiving once a year to remind us to be grateful, we have daily highlights to be appreciative every single day.
(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net)