Today was the first day of the October school holidays. New Zealand has a very different school-year schedule than what I grew up with in the Northern Hemisphere. Our school year begins the first week of February and ends in the middle of December, with three two-week holidays in March, July, and October. I actually love the pace of the school year here, we have 6 glorious-weeks of holiday at Christmas and January, when Summer is rewarding us with lovely weather, and the two-week holidays during the year are the perfect respite from the grind of the school routine.
Normally I look forward to the holidays and the change of pace, but to be honest, this is the first one I have been a bit blase about, mostly because my two kiddos have such different needs with their 7-year age gap. Oliver is Mister Social, when he was little he would cry for play dates, and today that actually happened again! I signed him up for a tennis camp every day this week from 9:00-1:00 in hopes that would stretch out our day a bit. It has been raining for days lately so I wasn’t sure if he would be happy with the choice, but the rain let-up today and he actually loved it. But he hadn’t been home for more than 45-minutes before he was distraught and angry about being “bored” and having “nothing to do” (this may have had to do with me ending iPad time), and begging for a friend. I couldn’t wrangle up a friend because I had a few Skype calls to attend to, and the landlord coming over to look at the property, so I asked if he would be OK with a North Head walk after dinner, and that seemed to do the trick.
I made dinner a little earlier than usual and we were going to leave after we ate. Normally we have no idea when Clarke is coming home and I assumed we would go on our walk and he would get home while we were out or after we got home, but he actually texted at 5:20 that he was going to make the 5:40 ferry (miracles happen!). This actually ended up being perfect because it meant we waited a little bit and timed our outing perfectly with the sunset.
After such a grey day the sun peeked out right as we drove up North Head and it was glorious. It was a #livinlivinlivin moment if there ever was one. One of those times when you just look at each other and say, “How do we live here? How are we lucky enough that this is less than 10-minutes from our house?!” Hearing the waves lap down on Cheltenham Beach below, feeling the warm sun on my back, taking in the way Rangitoto frames our view of the ocean, the intense green of the long, long grass, the view of the City in the distance, and of course, being with the People I love the most, it made my soul smile.
Normally we explore up on top at North Head, but this time we took the little path that winds around the base. I love how just elevation can change your experience with the same space. North Head has such a different feel when you are down at ocean level rather than up with the wind and the birds on top.
The low track ends up winding back up on top of North Head and Oliver loved exploring the Engine Room at the end. There is nothing like wandering those old WWI and II tunnels for a little kid, so creepy and exciting.
We timed it perfectly to see the sunset and the clouds light up the sky over the City. What a view.
It is one of those things where you start to feel a little badly that you don’t do it more often. Why don’t I go for sunset walk every night?! Oh wait, because I am normally making dinner, and prodding homework along, and orchestrating baths and bedtime, and often on my own, that’s why! And daylight savings means that the sun is setting later, and the school holidays gives us that cushion that we normally don’t have. So I have to remind myself of one of the first posts I ever did on this old blog of mine, we can’t live in the magic all the time, it wouldn’t feel like magic if we did, we have to be present enough to be open to when it presents itself and enjoy it while it lasts. So that’s what we did, shook up the Monday evening routine, and man were we rewarded.