Not a fan of the AFL at the best of times, and even less so during the finals, it was with much gratitude that we were invited to a friends’ house in the middle of nowhere to spend some time with them.
In the peace and quiet.
Away from the City and the utter ridiculousness of a public holiday for a freaking parade (one of my vehement dislikes about Melbourne is the obsession with “its” game, and how nothing, nothing can be discussed or done without someone mentioning football).
All the peace. All the quiet. All the good company.
All the boys that were involved, including, but not limited to, an additional male tweenager we managed to acquire some seven minutes after leaving to head off for lunch.
The teenager was a little miffed at having to be out of bed before 2.oop.m. and the little one was in his usual state of dinosaur. As in, being one, and talking about them. He even gave me an “assistant” in the form of a small, rubbery-plasticy triceratops.
Whilst I could very well use an assistnat, this one was not of any real benefit to me.
After changing the seating in the car, picking up additional child, heading off on the short, hour-long drive, we found our destination. Lots of room, lots of trees, and plenty of fencing to keep the dilophosaurus/velociraptor/orthomimus (depending on how he felt in the moment) contained.
It was all going well. Lovely, calm and … well, as lovely, peaceful and calm as it can be with 6 boys and lots of room to run around in.
And a damn with yabbies in it. Although the only one to be found was actually half a yabbie, and was “so gross” that we had to poke it with a stick …
So after lunch we went for a wander through, and up, the local national park, Black Hill.
A lovely way to burn of some energy (the kids), work off lunch (me) and do something – anything – to be physically and active (me, again) I was all up for it.
The view was amazing, the scenery inspring, and I never fail to be awed by nature’s force to survive; even in the devestation and death of a bushfire, it doesn’t take long for the growth of new leaves, flowers and plants to happen.
I’m always inspired by this; I kind of see it as one of those motivational quotes that are designed to keep one going. How even in the worst, you can still grown and bring new life.
I’m also equal inspired as to how the bizarre will occur when my family is around.
Despite the wire fencing, complete with sticky out sharp bits, the dam, the climbing of “rustic: (i.e. splintery) wooden fences …
… the scaling of boulders and finding himself in precarious, and potentially dangerous positions (and freaking everyone the fuck out!) …
… being carried down slippery, pebbly paths, over rocks and down steep inclines on the shoulders of his older brother (and freaking everyone the fuck out and wondering at the level of mind-vanishing that also occurred) …
… running ahead, and finding himself not only out of sight, but out of earshot as well, causing five older children and four adults to reach that emotion, one step away from “do we panic now” and scuttle in several directions, calling and trying to find him, for one of the teens to come upon him – he was one of those very fast dinosaurs that can run as fast as a cheetah – sitting there calmly, waiting for us to hurry up and and enquire why we were taking so long …
… after all of this, and the amount of freaking out that he caused everyone, all it took was a gravel carpark to bring him down.
A small slip, a sizeable graze on his knee, blood and bits of dirt and gravel between each small cut …
In all of the possible scenarios for things going wrong, I’ll take this one over all of them.
Even if I was still washing bits of dirt of the knee of a screaming, wriggling child at 9.07p.m. … I’ll take it.
Also, I’m not at all surprised that this is how things went down. It’s how they usually do …