I go through periods of being rather reclusive. I'm an introvert by nature and tend to get overwhelmed by life easily. I always feel better though when I push myself to get outdoors, even if it is insanely hot. When I'm on my own with the kids - which is a lot as hubby works away - I find the beach to be the least challenging place to hang with the ratbags. It's free, I can see them in every direction and if I don't feel like swimming, I can easily keep them out of the water by scaring them with jelly fish stories. They're not scared of me. Jellyfish and crocodiles however are another story.
So one afternoon recently, I pushed through the resistance to leave the airconditioning and took the camera and the children down to Blacks Beach.
I rarely take my camera out when I'm the only grown up as I have to cart all the towels, clothes, water bottles and children who conveniently forget they have legs. Consequently, I was having a really phat time taking photos. The light was really interesting, the kids were happily doing their thing and the scorching mackay summer heat was tempered by a cool ocean breeze. So, being in my own little world, I wasn't really paying too much attention to what the boys were actually playing with. It wasn't until a massive fight broke out between Oliver and Louie that I realised my children had been entertaining themselves for so long by playing with, wait for it, a BONG! See that thing in Oliver's hand in the picture above? Ah blacks beach, you never dissapoint. The boys rarely get physical with one another, but this was like a scene out of a wildlife documentary. I was sitting quite a distance from them so I only noticed the fight through my lens.
By the time I got over there to break it up, I learned that they were fighting over a 'really cool water bottle' that Oliver found and a stick that Louie found which fit perfectly into the hose of the 'really cool water bottle'. Somewhat amused by the fact that they had no idea what they were playing with and that drug paraphanalia was the cause of their first real serious fight, I did what any parent who was a teenager in the nineties would do, and put on my best Mr Mackey from southpark accent and tried to diffuse the situation.
Once, I separated the boys, they went back to playing, the sun started to set and I went back to taking photographs.
Later when I looked back over my photo's and zoomed in, I saw the bong was there all along. When it was time to leave, Oliver who didn't want to come in the first place said 'That was the best day ever! Only because of that really cool water bottle. It was SO fun.'
And that my friends, is why I love the great outdoors. You just never know what you're going to get.