Sunday, October 4, 2009

Carpe Ice cream

Last week was the equivalent of Spring Break in Australia. Not that my kids really needed days off after being in school for only 3 weeks. Still, there we were in a new city with some time on our hands.

At the start of the week I decided to search for some kid friendly parks in Brisbane where we could get some fresh air. Despite inventions like Google Map I really had no clue where these parks were in relation to our neighbourhood but, I thought, how far could they really be? Well, some were further than expected, perhaps because my GPS decided to pay me back for not listening to her earlier in the week. In spite of her questionable directions we managed to fit 3 parks and 2 picnics into 5 days.

Now, our picnics were not the glamorous type. Who needs fancy food and gingham napkins when you have peanut butter and jelly, some nacho chips, and juice boxes. I decided to add a little excitement by bringing along our ice cream maker. It's this cool contraption that looks like a plastic ball. You let the kids shake it for 20-25 minutes and viola - homemade ice cream!

For our last picnic of the week I decided to try a park on the other side of town. The park had been rated one of the top 10 parks for kids in Brisbane. If I'd been in Calgary I probably wouldn't have bothered venturing out to a unknown suburb but here - it's all an adventure baby!

A mere 55 minutes later, we finally found our park. Wynnum Wading Park - complete with cool net climbers, whale water sprinklers, a ginormous wading pool (Jack's words), and right by the ocean. During the long drive the kids had been taking turns shaking the ice cream maker. So, when we sat down at the picnic table for lunch the ice cream was more than ready. Jack asked whether we could eat the ice cream first, before having lunch. I thought about it for a minute. The ice cream was ready and I knew how good it would taste on a hot sunny day.
"But," the mother in me thought, "what if they eat the dessert and then won't eat their sandwiches?"

Too often isn't this how we think? We don't go out with good friends because we need to do the laundry. Or, we tell the kids we'll make cookies with them another day - we don't want to mess up the kitchen. When you look back on your life do you want to see the regrets? I don't. That doesn't mean that I'll let my house become a disaster area, but I do need to put aside my "mother/wife guilt" sometimes and just live life!

So, going back to the day at the park. I looked at Jack and Caitlyn and thought, "what's the big deal if they don't eat all of their lunch. These kinds of days don't come along as often as we'd like and if I can see the joy on their faces from a simple clandestine act like eating dessert first - then why not?'

So that day I decided we should seize the day and carpe ice cream!

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