There are days that seem to be never ending. Days where I feel like a complete failure. Days that seem like groundhog day and days I wish would be ground hog day just so I could correct all the errors I made. Then there are days that click, days that work seamlessly. And, if I am lucky, they have special moments in them that bring so much joy that my heart feels like its going to explode. I was so blessed to have a few days recently that had so many of those joyful moments. And the best part, they all came so unexpectedly. It made me remember why mother daughter relationships are important and how tightly I need to hold onto these moments.
I decided that my daughter and I needed a long weekend away, just the two of us. It was going to be a big week for us both, but I decided it was now or never. The day before we left, we had an epic class excursion climbing Mt Chincogan, which anyone who knows this trek, it’s no walk up the street. We were then due to fly to Bali less than 24 hrs after returning home from our girly trip. It was a tight schedule and I was mindful not to wear either of us out before our trip to Bali but I was super excited for what lay ahead. It needed to be done. So, the following morning after our hike up the mountain, we were on the plane for Mummy and me time in Sydney.
From the moment we got through security the fun began. Our time together was uninterrupted and we spent most of the time talking about what we were going to do and filled in the My Awesome Sydney Adventure book together. It was such smooth sailing – you know those moments when everything just clicks. We even had time to sit down for a coffee and juice before boarding. It was so nice to be present in the moment and not be rushed or stressed. The whole flight was full of chatter and giggles and before we knew it we were landing in our old stomping ground, Sydney. It was then that I started to notice (and remember) the beauty of being a child.
To put it in context, we live in a town with approx. 3072 people. There are no traffic lights, no big fast food chains, or sky rise buildings. Instead, we live in a semi rural area on 5 acres. Most shops/ cafes are closed on Sundays. Up until last year the independent grocer would close at 7:30 pm and the closest regional shopping centre is about 40 mins away. If you want something like Westfield, well that is about an hour drive away. So to take Miss M to the big smoke and being present with her meant I got to see Sydney for the first time (again).
Here are 9 things I saw through my daughter’s eyes?
- The airport. For me, arriving at Sydney airport was non-eventful. I’ve done it a million times before and can easily go on auto pilot. But for my little girl, the sheer excitement was beaming from her face, especially when she saw the travelator. The novelty of just walking on a travelator brought her so much joy, something we usually just take for granted.
- The taxi ride. Again not that exciting! But riding in a taxi through the ‘concrete jungle’ and then seeing the Centre Point Tower appear out of nowhere was amazing for her. Not only because of it’s sheer height and unusual structure, but because we had been discussing it on the plane. It was in an activity in her book that we’d completed earlier and then, there it was, right there in front of her ‘in real life’.
- The Sofitel. This has to be one of my favourite hotel chains and even I have moments when I walk into the beautiful lobbies. With their stunning chandlers, all immaculate and in perfect running order. When they have glass cabinets with realistic Beauty and the Beast displays such as the iconic rose in the glass case, you are all of a sudden a little girl surrounded with so much sparkle and loveliness. It’s like living in your own fairy tale and your left completely in awe.
- The crazy foot traffic in peak time. I was amazed at how hectic Sydney can be in peak hour. I lived in Sydney for 9 years (pre kids) and even worked for a law firm 2 mins from Town Hall so I’d experienced the crazy foot traffic before. But this time round I found it overwhelming with my daughter in tow. For her, she was taking it all in. Taking a moment to really see things like the detail, how things worked and the colours. But with so much rushing and hurrying by others around us, all I could do was preempt her getting lost in a sea of people without knowing it.
- Catching a train. In a spontaneous moment we decided to catch a train to Bondi Junction. No real reason other than I needed to pop into a shop there before our trip to Bali. Again trains are a non event for me. But for a little girl who rarely rides or sees a train, that train ride lasting maybe 15 mins happens to be a highlight in her trip.
- Meeting the turtle. We had a random encounter with a man dressed as a Turtle. He was raising awareness to the issue that Plastics Kill Oceans (#Banthebag). The whole group was lovely and patiently explained what they were doing and answered any questions Miss M had. Her passion for animals, knowledge and compassion shone through and revealed just how much she is growing and has grown up.
- The smells. Nothing says Circular Quay to me like the smell. I am not sure why but it just has this distinctive smell for as long as I remember. Taking Miss M to Circular Quay for the first time and have her unpromptedly talk about the smell took me right back to my childhood days.
- Hearing a clock chiming. We were walking through the crazy streets in the Sydney CBD the QVB clock chimed. My daughter stopped in the middle of the street and just watched the clock and listened. So, as you do, I did the same. It only took a few moments and if she wasn’t there I’m sure I would have kept walking or I may not have even noticed it at all. But that moment itself was a real eye opener and lesson for me to slow down and be more present.
- The uninterrupted girlie moments. The magical Beauty and the Beast High Tea. The novelty of being pampered and getting our nails done together. The giggles and 1000 silly photos. The first time we watched a movie in bed and ordered room service for dinner… The utter joy of experiencing new things with my daughter was one was totally priceless.
“A good life is a collection of happy moments” – Dennis Waitley
It doesn’t matter if you have 5 mins, 5 years or 50 years together, it is the memories you make. It’s the quality time you spend together, stopping to be present in the moment. Time is precious and I am so privileged that I could spend this time with my daughter and in return, she could spend that time with me. She may be only a child but she teaches me so much about life, how to really live in every moment and how to be patient and present and for that I am truly grateful.
An earlier blog, Mummy I need You Too, is a little bit more of an insight into why I spontaneously decided to do this trip .