It's been an unexpected week.
Mark's dearest Nanna in Perth is very ill, and late Monday evening, we decided he would fly to Perth to see her and be with the family - leaving just 12 hours later! And then we decided Lily would go too. So, when she woke in the morning to get ready for school, we informed her she was flying across the country that day instead!! She spent thirty minutes crying about missing school (and library day and Japanese class and her six best friends, etc etc)... all part of her emotional processing, dear thing. She then got very, very, very excited about going on an airplane for a big adventure with Daddy (of course not understanding the full scope of the circumstances). She packed a bag of treasured items in about three minutes ;)
While the adults are dealing with tough decisions and emotions, she will bring joy and distraction and her special brand of sweetness and innocence. Although I deeply wished our whole family could have gone, I am also just so grateful these two could be there at such a time as this. Family is so very important.
PS I only just realised this moment that both her dress and travel bag are red, pink and orange! What a bizarre coincidence, especially as these are not standard colour combos. I guess she likes to completely coordinated her travel attire!
All of a sudden, I was faced with six days of solo parenting my two busy little men. After Mark and Lily so rapidly departed, I spent two days in a state of shock (mmm, yes, my daughter takes after me, I need time to process, haha). I then realised by day three that, actually, we were totally fine and as a matter of fact were having a lovely, quiet and simplified time! I took the liberty to scale back (without guilt!) to survival mode where I wanted to (eggs for dinner again, anyone?!) and so it felt pretty stress-free and rather sweet just having time with my little boys :)
(Not that I want to do this long term... hurry home, M&L!!)
Best of all has been time with this fella. A lot of one-on-one time and connecting in all these sudden quiet moments has been a rich blessing. He has been a great helper and flourishes under the extra peace and attention. Though he is missing his Daddy and sister deeply. 'When is my best friend Lily coming home?' he asks regularly, 'Can I call Dad? I need to speak to Daddy right now, 'cos I weally, weally miss him' is what he says first thing every morning. He is so heartfelt in his attachment to his family. It really touches my heart how keenly he misses any one of us when we are away. Such a tender hearted little dude!
I've tried to make it a special time for him while he is missing out on the big trip (though he doesn't at all mind that, he just wants his family back together again). We've had pizza while watching Toy Story 3 together (treat!), and lots of puzzle, play and fun time.
A big thanks to my friend Bel, who let Miles come take a nap at her place one day so E and I were able to duck out for a little Mummy & Eli date that we had planned before the Perth trip even came up. Ice cream and the park was the requested agenda! Together, just us. I could have taken a million photos but only let myself capture a couple of moments. I wanted to be hands-free to fully engage. Yes, I climbed the spiders web (to the top!), bounced on the see saw and we even spent a blissful 10 minutes swaying on the big net swing, cuddled together in the sunshine. It was wonderful :)
The cutest little drowned rat I ever did see.
Those eyes. Melt!
Why ya gotta be so cute, baby boy?!!!
Although certainly not under the best circumstances, the silver lining of this impromptu trip was some very special Father/Daughter time.
Six days of quality time together, experiencing all kinds of adventure, family bonding and emotional experiences. Both happy and sad moments were shared together. For a little girl who has recently started school, and with the associated flood of external influence starting to seep in... I just can't think of a better person for my little lady to get some extended quality time with than her loving, spiritual, wise and strong Daddy. He will always steer her right.
Melts my heart to see them together, setting off on this very weighty, memorable, family-focused trip. These moments will be written on her heart.
|Off they go...|
Project 52: A portrait of my family, once a week, every week, in 2014.
More highlights from the week that was...
|Bunny dress, fox umbrella, rainy day, happy girl.|
|My little darling was happy as a clam rotating on this little merry|
go round (iPhone)
|Spinning and watching his brother bounce - good times |
(this is the same park, different day - we love this place!)
|Is the first week of winter a good time for ice cream?|
|Brain freeze!! Cold!!|
|Mmmmm, totally worth it! ;) (Who knew they still made Bubble O' Bills?!)|
|This new version of a see saw was pretty awesome. Eli loved it and was springing up and down like a kangaroo. I half expected him to get catapulted across the park but thankfully it didn't happen, he handled it really well :)|
|Climbing around the spider's web. He amazed me with his bravery and balance.|
|'Eli, this is an interesting scene, what are all those people doing?|
'Just watching the cow.'
Is it just me? It's been three days and I just can't stop laughing about this scene. Oh, Eli.
|My super op-shopper Mum picked up these barely-worn Dr Seuss Converse All Stars. Aren't they just the coolest?!|
|It's the fluffy blue fringe that gets me. Super cute :)|
|'Don't hate me because I'm adorable and get to wear this little red cardigan with puppies and brass buttons.'|
|The audio to this photoshoot is Miles barking 'Arf! Arf! Arf!'. Dog sounds are his fave thing right now. Ok, he thinks about 40% of animals are dogs, but I still admire his enthusiasm ;)|
|So good to see my little sunshine back in full force! He was so sick and sad all last week, it was strange to see him so|
miserable. Thankful he is feeling better and back to his cheery, adorable self :)
|These fierce puppies are warding away anyone even *thinking* about cutting off these curls!|
|Making sure I am aware that he actually has a mouthful of teeth now. |
All four incisors poking through, which brings us to sixteen!
|Wet little lashes.|