The house smells amazing.
We took these to the Hawkesbury today. The weather was hot, humid and windy. Poppet struggled with the heat before falling asleep in her stroller with a hibiscus print muslin wrap draped over it to keep the sun and the flies off her sweet sweaty skin.
Sweetie was beet red and desperately unhappy until he found a spot in the cricket chair under the shade of a willow on the banks. Those willows may not be good for our rivers but they are languorously beautiful and lent a little shade to our unhappy picnickers today.
G, J and JW swam in the tea stained water along the banks of the river and took turns riding on the flat deck tube squealing with delight as they bounced along the wake and the hot wind tore through their hair. They sat on the edge of their seats with their hands gripping the boat rails and their eyes wide as their aunts and uncles (and dad) took turns water skiing. C watched from the banks, joining in the swimming but not joining in the tubing until she had watched everyone else take their turns and then she rallied herself and had a go. She has a deep and impressive strength that girl. It is not as easy for her to be brave as it is for some of the others but she breathes deeply into her belly, takes her time and then goes for it. Every time I see it it amazes me. I admire her.
They ate chicken and lettuce rolls for lunch, drank bottles of water warmed by the day to quench their thirst and proudly shared the gingerbread they had made and decorated.
I waded in 'til the water was over my knees and the hem of my dress was wet to be close enough in case my little ducklings wandered a little too far out or forgot about the current coaxing them downstream. My new brother-in-law came past on the ski kicking up a spray to impress the children and showered me with warm river water. My hat and dress were soaked but it was the kind of day where things like that are delightful and not annoying.
We listened to Haim, Flight of the Conchords and Passenger in the car on the way home with the a/c turned up high and everyone safely clipped in to their seats. We sang loudly, wondered aloud about how lucky we were to have had such a great day and then the little ones fell into that lovely sun-warrmed sleep. Mr Duyvken and I carried them into the house when we got home feeling their warm cheeks on our shoulders and laid them gently on their beds so they could sleep off some of the heat.
We hung out load after load of laundry and talked about our Christmas plans, and as we passed pegs to each other under the clothesline I felt the wet grass beneath my bare feet, the warm breeze on the damp hair at the nape of my neck, and a deep contentment settled within. I want to remember this, I said, I am truly happy.
Contentment and joy to you, dear reader, with lots of love from me.