Today is much nicer, cooler. Grey, cloudy skies, no rain and a welcome cool breeze. Yesterday was blisteringly hot, my air-conditioner struggled to keep the temperature in the house below 26 degrees Celsius. We went out for a few hours, and because of the fire a few months back, we decided it would be wise to switch it off in our absence. Just in case. But today is relief.
I sit outside, coffee nearby, enjoying the atmosphere. Birds squawk. The wind tickles the leaves of the trees in my backyard. In the house, two of the kids are silent, engaged with their iPads. Hubster and Twin 1 are doing their ‘Sunday Thing’: watching old episodes of Top Gear over brunch. An idyllic, winsome snap of family life.
Families can be charming. At our best, the five of us reek of pleasantries, and it’s lovely. The pleasantries are contagious; one child says ‘thank you’ or ‘please’, and it echoes from the other two. But we’re not always so wonderful. Two days ago, we were invited to a friend’s home for an afternoon swim. It was a fine day, not too hot. The kids played nicely in the pool while my friend and I sat poolside with bubbles, and chatted. Later, as the afternoon turned to evening, Twin 1 took umbrage at a teasing remark from me. He glared at me, the rage almost burning through his googles, and then mouthed the words, ‘Fuck you’. He’s 10. Nothing winsome about that moment in time.
But, life is all about taking the good with the bad. Winsome snippets, loathsome scraps. Hot days and cooler days. Great family moments and those that are, um, a bit shit. Twin 1 was admonished over his disrespectful treatment of me, and I apologised for teasing him. Hopefully, he’s learnt a lesson. Something about limits, respect, saying sorry; a new day represents a new opportunity to live better, wiser. I’m doing everything I can to ensure my three kidlets grow into functioning adults. Well, at least functioning enough to be able to pay for their own therapy sessions with a qualified psychologist. It’s not easy, and I make a lot of mistakes. But all in all, I think they’re OK. And I am too.
At least, life is more appealing when the weather is not brutally hot.