It was their first summer. It had been a year of firsts. And like many of the firsts, this one too was coming to an end.
She spent the last weekend of summer camping beside the local lake, a place where she always found a much-needed sense of stillness. A comfort.
Here, she watched parents proudly and nervously, either run alongside or close behind, as their child excitedly took to cycling for the first time. She knew it wouldn’t be long before she’d know exactly how those parents felt. Time was going by so fast…
“Come on, ladies!! One! Two! One! Two!” And hearing those encouraging calls from the water of the coach of the local cancer survivor Dragon Boat team practicing ahead of a big race, always left her standing on the lakeside edge in complete awe of them.
Witnessing the strength and utter determination of those women, of all ages, refuse to be beaten by anything, to work together and in undeniable sync, to accomplish a joint goal, was just… incredible. To be that bold. To have that courage. To not waste time feeling sorry for yourself. Inspiring.
“Keep going!” She heard herself shout out to them. “Keep going!” she yelled again.
“Mamma! Ma”! her one-year-old impatiently squeals up to her, from his pushchair, wanting another taste of the sweet vanilla ice cream they were ‘sharing’, that was now mostly running down her arm. “Here you go, baby. Just a little more, then that’s it. Then we’re going to get ready for bed, alright.”
Once her son was in his pyjamas, it didn’t take long – in fact, it never took him long to drift off to sleep. The pyjamas were a gift from a friend. They had a whale on, and Having a whale of a time! written above it. That line always made her smile.
Someday – someday soon, she plans to teach her son all about whales. The Blue, the Orcas, Minke, and her favourite, the Humpback whale. It’ll be another first for him. She plans to teach her son about many things.
It hadn’t been easy this summer. No – it had been stressful. But looking down at the little boy in her arms, sleeping under the stars, it was – is – all worth it. And she’d do it all again, in exactly the same way, if it meant to have moments like this.