I'm not ashamed to admit, I've been struggling in the last week. I have felt like I haven't been the mum I should be or the mum I can be. But what's been even worse, I have felt like my kids feel the same way.
Late this afternoon, our day was taking the same path as it has been doing lately. Kids getting cranky at each other, me getting cranky at them, setting ourselves up for a night of tears from all parties involved. It was nearly time to start dinner but I decided to take an impromptu trip to the beach. I wanted to get out of the house. I decided I should take the kids with me. (joking, joking, I was always going to take them).
10 minutes later we were down at the beach. Eliza headed to the water straight away to jump waves. Ruby, in true little sister style, followed straight after her. But she wouldn't let the water touch her feet, she was too scared.
So I went in to where the waves were mid-calf and she ran after me. Facing out to sea, she stood behind me and wrapped her arms tight around my legs. Every time a wave rolled in, she clung tighter, pressed her head against me and squealed with laughter. For 15 minutes she clung there. Her grip never faltered the sand swallowed her feet and the small but powerful waves rushed past her. She made me feel strong and happy. I was her rock, she trusted me 100% to keep her safe. It was exactly what I needed to remind me of what I mean to my kids. And what I need to be for them.
Eliza's need was totally different. She spent her time running in the water, jumping waves and chasing imaginary fish. She was content to play on her own, without any interruptions, periodically looking over her shoulder at me to make sure I was watching out for her. Which I was. I will never stop watching out for her.
We came home happy and salty.