More and more, I seek to ensure my greatness of days does not happen in retrospect. Knowing it, feeling it in the now is important. Sometimes, with kids especially, it is easy to get bogged down in the tedious musts of everyday existence. The great moments are always combined with, for example, standing outside a restaurant bathroom in a dark hall trying not to notice the cart piled high with dirty dishes, nor the grunts from your child on the other side of the door trying to poo.
Brennyn and Gammy are waiting for us back at the table where we have brunched with a view- sun beaming, river flowing, mountains draped in freshly fallen snow. Now is good, even if I have read every pamphlet and inspected every kid-made art pinned to the hallways bulletin board waiting on my girl. “Mom?” she begins upon finally finishing, “You really like adventures.”
Apparently she has done some thinking on the toilet. “Yes, yes I do.”
“Thank you for taking us on so many adventures!”
Her gratitude allowing me to breathe in the now, accept my impatience, then carry on. A zen moment amidst filth and stink as good a place as any in the buddhist tradition right?
Odd that she is thanking me now when our adventure of the morning included a 15 minute drive to the ocean whereby we are slammed with bitingly cold winds that prompt us to get right back in the car and drive 15 minutes back. I am annoyed that we drove all that way for nothing, especially with my mom in town, but quickly adapt to the change and come up with Plan B. This here, this is what makes so many of my days great these days. The letting go of my ‘vision for the day’, then adapting to the change. Unfulfilled expectations would once leave me feeling down or annoyed or pissy for the rest of the day. My initial reaction may still be one of annoyance, but now I am more open to the change, more willing to roll with it. Because, of course, great things often occur in those unexpected places, not to mention the fact that while my vision may neglect poo, when a girls gotta go, a girls gotta go!
Plan B brings us to a local riverside restaurant that I haven’t visited in ages. When our wetcoast town gets sun in November, it is wise not to waste it. We soak in every ray we can at our patio enclosed table, and even with a couple pouts and potty visits, brunch is enjoyable.
Upon leaving the sun-filled restaurant, the crisp air and lingering frost reminds us we are in late fall. Mamma me manages to zip jackets and put on colourful toques before the girls race off down the trail. Kaya is in adventure mode it would seem for she is running far and fast. Lil sis is holding her own keeping up. My mom and me hang back in more of a saunter.
Until Kaya runs to the edge of a cliff (okay, more like steep hill!) signalling she’s headed down. That’ll get a mamma running!
Catching up, I hear Kaya squeal “Mom, look! I found a secret passageway!” just before taking her first step down.
And she has. A trail off the main trail that we must have walked by dozens of times, but never noticed before. Kaya is beaming. “This is an adventure mom!”
So down we go. Down, down to the most glorious soft, sandy beach. Kicking up sand, the girls run in circles, skipping, giggling and making Gammy chase them. Fun includes digging and drawing and hide n seek.
There are falls and tears and emergency runs back to the restaurant for more poos too. But mostly there is magic.
The kind where time stops and giggles soar in the wind like musical notes in a theatre all amplified and vibrating.
Magic in the fishermen’s casting lines dancing along the shore as far as we can see up the river. Ducks dive, seagulls visit and salmon splash around us.
As if that weren’t all magic enough, an eagle comes by, swooping in for her own lunch.
No zoom lens but look how close she is!
She spots something!
Yup, caught a fish!
I try to follow her but I’m too excited so the following pictures are blurry and unrecognizable. Though it seemed an effortless grab, the fish is big and the eagle struggles to carry it to the other side of the river. Weighted down, the eagle flaps its enormous wings hard, only to dip back down as a fish gives a kick. Absolutely amazing to witness!
Writing now in retrospect, that day was great. I know it now, but more importantly, I knew it then too.