I have truly had the most awesome weekend with the little Pink Troll. We have shared one of those amazing weekends where we were just us. We got to spend some lovely time with extended family, but we spent so much time just the two of us. We drove to Sydney for the Pink Troll to have a surfing lesson (you may recall she quit ballet to take up surfing last year, and taught me a valuable lesson about trying to vicariously live my life through her in the process…). We toddled up the highway in good time yesterday, to make it to my Aunt & Uncle’s house by mid-afternoon. The Pink Troll had control of the stereo and created her own little girls road-trip disco in the front seat. Her little face beamed. Other than my concentration on the road, she had my undivided attention. She told jokes, read out loud from her new copy of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2, and told me amazing ‘facts’ that she had heard or read about. The three hours flew by.
As we were heading to bed last night, she asked if she could snuggle in with me for a ‘little bit’. When she crawled into my bed with her bear (actually, a frog – Jeremy Fisher), I figured it would be an all nighter…in a single bed. I took a deep breath, snuggled in with her and realised it is unlikely I’ll have many more nights over the years where she just wants a hug from mum. She is still so slightly built, but incredibly tall and managed to occupy most of the narrow bed available. Thank god I have a king at home!
This morning, as we headed to ‘kiddie corner’ at Palm Beach, she looked straight at me and declared ‘this is the life’ with the biggest grin on her face, giving me the thumbs up. The way she described being able to get in the ocean, get on a board, knowing she is strong enough to stand up and ride a wave made the entire trip worthwhile. At that point I had no idea if she was going to remember how to surf (I think her last lesson was September), and I would have been devastated for her if she couldn’t, particularly given during the week she was having second thoughts about going at all.
Neither of us needed to worry. She was wearing her ‘steamer’ (though I’m still not entirely sure what a ‘steamer’ is, other than a wetsuit with arms and legs? Isn’t that just a ‘full wetsuit’?), the sun was out, and the waves were relatively consistent and gentle. She paddled out with her surf coach, they waited for a few waves and had a little chat; he turned her around, gave her a nudge and she was off. Her little arms gave her a bit of momentum and she was up, in her signature ‘bug’ stance. She rode most waves she went after, and those she missed, she got up laughing. It was a truly awesome way to start our Sunday morning.
As we got in the car to head back down the highway, she held my hand and told me how much fun she’d had this weekend and how much she loved me. Right then and there I knew I would drive to the moon to make her happy. More than anything, for the first time in a long time I was able to enjoy just being present with her. So much of her 10 years have been focused on the Blue Troll (now I’ll have to find a new name for him too!), with his sporting commitments taking up most weekends (cricket, cricket, AFL, soccer, cricket). I’ve decided, definitely more girls weekends ahead.
The Pink Grommet is very aware of my ‘new year, new me’ campaign. So much so, she has added to our family calendar on my birthday this year: ‘Book mum and me a surfing lesson’. When I saw it, I had a little chuckle and made the error of saying ‘if I do a surfing lesson…’ to which she responded ‘not if, Mum. When. We are doing this together.’
I have a little under 10 months to get surf fit (actually, read ‘wetsuit’ fit). She has really put the pressure on.
Watch this space…