It’s been a very busy life lately, there’s family commitments, looking after kids and their needs, working part time and a couple of other commitments. Life’s a fantastic adventure with a toddler but occasionally I can lose all perspective and frustrations creep in, often it’s when I’m thinking of myself too much and what I want to do, or focusing on what I don’t have instead of the blessings in my life.
I took our nearly 2 and a half year old toddler to the beach last Saturday morning, the girls had gone out together for a girls morning so what better than to take the little man down to the ocean. I got him ready, packed us some snacks and off we went. He was happy. We got to the Ocean baths and they were shut due to rough seas. Amazing looking waves were breaking across the reefs in that area, groomed by a light autumn wind and sparkling under the morning sun.
“Man that looks nice” I thought, remembering many of the days like this I had spent out in that ocean. It had always been a panacea for my soul.
“Oh well, there’ll be other times” I tried to tell myself.
“Come on son it’s closed, we’ll have to go somewhere else”
He started to cry.
“Come on mate, it’s ok I’ll take you somewhere else and we can have a swim” I assured him. I was completely under the delusion I could reason with a toddler.
He cried as we walked back to the car but was calm by the time we reached Toowoon Bay, a beautiful protected bay 5 mins down the road.
We parked and made our way onto the sand. I looked out to the rocky point at the entrance to the bay and watched a surfer gracefully glide his way across a large, beautiful wall of water.
“Oh wow” I said out loud.
“Wow” said Fletch, mimicking his dad. He then starting crying and held his arms out, wanting to be carried across the sand.
“Come on mate, a swim will be nice.”
“You want to have a nice swim with dad.” I was keeping a positive, upbeat approach.
“You want to watch today”
He nodded. “Watch”
In we went in for a quick 30 second dip anyway which freshened both of us. We sat and Fletch had a snack and I watched the surfers riding waves out off the point as a nagging frustration simmered away in the back of my mind.
What happened next was inevitable, squawking seagulls spotted Fletcher’s food and moved in, ready to pounce. This freaked him out and he started to cry again.
It was time to admit defeat. He was obviously getting tired
“How about we go home buddy”
I scooped up all our gear and the crying little man and traipsed across the sand to a grassed area next to the beach showers.
“Come on mate lets have a quick shower.”
More tears flowed.
We showered and Fletch ran around on the grassed area. As I packed our bag I heard that familiar call.
“Poo” said Fletch, pointing at a large dog poo on the grass.
“Don’t touch it mate, it’s yuck”
“Flies” he yelled. He took his hat off and started hitting the dog poo with his hat in an effort to swat the flies.
The aroma of dog shit filled the air.
As I washed the dog poo from his hat I couldn’t help but chuckle. My self centred frustration at missing the surf disappeared and perspective returned. The surf would always be there. I was out enjoying life with my beautiful little son, something I do not take for granted.
“Lets go and get a nice cool drink mate”
He gave me a nod and off we went. Just another day out with a toddler.