We’ve had big adventures, beautiful waves and big changes in the last couple of weeks. We spent some time as a family in South Africa thanks to the AISA Conference a few weeks ago. That in itself was an adventure. Presenting three days of professional development with your kids around is definitely an experience. (no, they weren’t hanging out in the back of the room watching movies and playing games) They got to spend time with some fantastic friends of ours who played
grandparents cool aunt and uncle for a few days and also got hang with some cool high school kids as well. In between all that the kids helped us set up our rooms and checked in with us at lunch. I loved that they had the opportunity to see teachers come together to learn. I wonder how their little brains processed it all.
But that wasn’t the adventure I was headed for.
Once the conference wrapped, we hopped in the wrong side of the car and drove on the wrong side of the road a couple of hours to Pilanesberg to check out the animals. Some miscommunication meant we didn’t get to go on a game drive when we first arrived, but there were monkeys hanging out on our porch waiting for us. Which ironically, we were staying in a chalet with a porch because the safari tent we were supposed to stay in had been ransacked by baboons earlier that day. Gulp.
Our first game drive at 5 in the morning started in the dark with a bit of a sprinkle and some rumbling in the distant hills. Shortly after, the sky opened up. In that its raining cheetahs and hyenas sort of way. Holy criminy it was plain old silly. The driver passed back some minor league ballpark ponchos (you know the ones that are the size of a wallet when you get them) and continued to drive. If you’ve never tried to put on a cheap plastic poncho in the dark, pouring rain while driving in an open air vehicle, don’t. It is nearly impossible.
We did see some critters on our drive and eventually the rain almost stopped and there was some light to see by. But the day got better from there. Breakfast was tasty and the morning nap was fantastic. We piled into our car in the afternoon and headed out on our own. We saw a plethora of animals, bug and small and got back to the chalet just in time to jump back in the big game mobile for an evening drive.
The kids were nothing but smiles and amazement. That is until they fell asleep when we drove until well past dark. It was pretty magical, I have to admit. Just before dark, a lion walked right in front of our jeep and we had just left a couple of cheetahs that were munching on a wildebeest they had taken down in the tall grass. I won’t list everything we saw. You can check out the pics on you own.
Oh, but we did almost get trampled by an elephant on the way home. That was quite an intense moment. The video gives you an idea, but he came and stood close enough to the car that we could count the wrinkles on his legs. I’ve never heard my kids be so quiet. We had a good laugh as we drove away, but it was sketchy for sure.
We flew home on a late Saturday flight, so naturally the only thing to do was to get up and go surfing the next day. The water was warm and the waves were just right. Its a lucky life we lead when our days are filled with these sorts of opportunities. That’s often what’s floating through my thoughts as I sit out in the lineup and watch my boy sitting on top of the world. We’ve had a couple of good weekends of sunshine and waves since we got back. I find myself itching to get out there more. It doesn’t help that we take the same road to school every morning that we take to the beach. I could just keep driving…
Then come the changes. Maddox has his own room now. We’ve discussed it from time to time and he’s always said no, but this time it was an emphatic yes. Josie was not at all pleased with the conversation, but she’s taken it like a champ. She talked him into a secret bird call to communicate back and forth at night. There was even an attempt at a string and can phone.
It actually happened a little quicker than we intended. Robyn had talked to him about it and mentioned it to Tina. Then Tuesday morning Maddox took his pillow into the other room and Tina discovered it later and figured it was moving day, so she moved all his stuff while we were at school. Done. Just like that. We rearranged Josie’s room a bit for her and the painter is coming tomorrow. He’s spent the last two afternoons mostly hanging out in his room. I think he likes it.
I’m not sure I was ready for this. Those kids are growing up fast. Just like they are supposed to…