A-Z of Gratitude- F is for Firsts

When is the last time you did something for the first time?

Kids have firsts all the time – first ice cream, first camping trip, first vomit in the back seat of the car on the way to said camping trip, first time riding with two wheels, first time drawing on your friend’s walls with texts…you get the drift.  But there comes a time in our lives when firsts are at risk of extinction and become few and far between. This is a sad reality of being “all grown up” for so many. One sure way to remain adventurous and be an interesting and fun person is to keep having firsts!!  What are the most recent firsts you could tell us about? I’d love to hear them!


A few of my recent firsts:

Our first night in a caravan earlier this year – usually tent campers, we purchased an old school pop top for some family adventures.

My first taste of octopus terrine with some girlfriends at a tapas restaurant last week. Delish.

My first furniture restoration project, almost completed.

First day at a new job yesterday! This job will be perfect for our family situation and I’m excited and thankful for a new opportunity to work with young people.

The first teenage trilogy I’ve ever read turned out to be addictive! (The Hunger Games.)

No, there’s no jumping out of planes or glacier climbing adventures on my list, but firsts are always an adventure, no matter how tame they may seem. Sometimes a first becomes a lifelong love, other times it’s a case of first and final. Either way, I don’t want my kids to have ALL the fun of firsts.



The Big Rollin’ Eski

We went away for a night in the “Big Rollin’ Eski” last night – that’s the name we have given our old school camper trailer.  A 1975 Chesney pop top:

We stayed in a lovely town called Snug only 45 minutes from home, right by the beach.  It was a beautiful beach despite the weather being bitterly cold.  Of course the lads were not deterred by the weather. We went to the beach four times and only once made it back to the van without the rain pouring on us.  We had purchased an umbrella on the way, but this broke within a few hours.

Fast forward to bed time… Has there ever been a child that has fallen asleep with ease whilst on holiday? How many parents have uttered these words – “That’s it! We are never taking you kids on holiday ever again!!! GET TO SLEEP!!! STOP KICKING EACH OTHER!!  LEAVE YOUR BROTHER ALONE!!!!”

Once they were asleep and the heat of my frustration had left me, I knew the Big Rollin’ Eski was living up to its name – I was trying to sleep in an ice box!!  I was NOT ‘snug as a bug’ in Snug.  When I finally drifted off I woke up to Matt calling me to get Asher who had fallen out of his bed onto the floor (Matt was trapped behind me in our confined sleeping space). This was at a drop of over one metre for Ash, resulting in screams of “Mummy!! Mummy!”   I missed all of that.  I jumped out of bed, still in my sleeping bag feeling around in the dark to pick him up and then slipped in my bag on my butt whilst holding him.  Poor child, rescued by his mother, only to be dropped again.  I handed him up to Matt.  By this stage I realised I needed to pee badly.  I was still mostly asleep, so there was no way I was going out in the wet, freezing weather. I found a bowl and made good use of it. Matt was disturbed and Ash was still crying, so I started searching for him in the dark, stroking his head saying “It’s ok Ash.”  Matt responded by saying, That’s my head”, pushing my hand away.  I think I finally started stroking Asher after the fourth attempt, only because Matt actually placed my hand on the correct head.   Ash stayed in my bed, and I had to get the child back into his sleeping bag every hour or so for the rest of the night. Anyone else hate that sleeping bag material noise?! Grr.  It was seriously freezing and seriously tired.  In the morning when we were packing up we found a leak and a hole – on my side of the camper.  Meanwhile, Matt had Isaac on the other side saying he was hot.  I wish.

Gotta love small spaces with small children, combined with icy weather. This is my theory – holidays with kids are like giving birth. While you are in the moment you vow you will never do it again. Then in the morning, all you can remember is how much fun it’s been so far, and start planning the next one.