Dogs, Rods and Paddles.
We made memories the other day.
There could, if you are an extremely positive person, be a memory a day, every day.
Wifey and I did that very thing at the weekend, one of those summer days which is going to stick. With a bit of luck, and the effort on our behalf, a day like last weekend’s will go a long way to forming how our kids look back and see their childhood summer.
We followed some rules. We were prepared.
There was shade. There was shelter. There was food. There was water. There was company. There was participation. There was entertainment. There were the dogs splashing around, having just as much fun, if not more, than anyone.
Opononi and the Hokianga Harbour provided the majority of the latter. Natures playground at its finest. At about midday, no need to hurry after all, we were unpacking the sun shade thingy, erecting it, unloading kayaks from the roof racks, flicking a frisbee, making lunch, baiting rods, throwing sticks for the dogs and of course, swimming. Everything and everyone was free of stress and drama. There was no bickering or belittling, there was no animosity or petty jealousies.
The kids all had a smile on their sandy faces. And when your kids are smiling, you are too.
Impossible not to smile along with a toddler’s delight, when he discovers his first washed up jellyfish. Only the heartless couldn’t find joy in all the shrieks and hollers and yells, as a bunch of kids splash about in water warm enough to keep them occupied, happy and content for long periods of time. It is contentment for Mum and Dad too, knowing that your kids are playing and have fun in a natural environment, engaging with the country around in the best possible way. Literally diving in.
Sunscreens and hats and life-jackets and supervision water and food. Nurtured in nature
I get a slightly dopey looking little smile on my face when I am content and happy. The way you look after a big feast; leaning back in your chair, rubbing a full, protruding belly, eyes nearly closed and lips slightly upturned in the smallest of smiles, looking for all the world like I am about to doze off.
The kids are happy. They are running free and wild and getting stuck in to it all, sun on their backs and wind in their hair, framed by sparkling sea before a backdrop of golden dunes.
Are Mum and Dad smiling because they are? Or, are the kids smiling because Mum and Dad are?
Either way, it’s infectious.