It's hot today, the first time in a week where the rain hasn't pelted down and I'm loving the heat. Usually I would take soft, cool greyness any day, but Australia Day needs to be hot. Sweaty and glowing, listening to the Hottest 100 and BBQs sizzling in the background.
When I was a teenager my friends and I used to drive out to a waterfall in a national park with a deep pool and blast the Hottest 100 from my portable stereo, hoping we had enough batteries to keep it going for the whole broadcast. I remember being curled up on a rock, wet hair sticking to my shoulders and wrapped in a towel as These Days won the coveted number one spot and grinning from ear to ear. Youthful and on the cusp of the next phase of my life which was so full of potentialities.
Today the kids are running around outside on the grass playing with the hose and an inflatable Australian flag beach ball. The Hottest 100 is blaring from at least 3 different sources, and is heard echoing from the neighbour's annual pool party. I have a selection of rubbish to eat for the day including chips and cheese and icy poles in between the burgers and sausages on the barbeque and long glasses of cordial. The first one I've been home for in a while - last year I was on night shift in an emergency department and dreading the glut of drunken arrivals, but this year I can just lie back and grin.
It's been a good week, the girls have started their new school and the Monkey is enjoying Prep. She is making friends and the layout of her day is not so very different to Kindy such that she is very casual about the whole thing though she adores her uniform. She looks so tiny with her massive bag on her back, tripping off into her classroom blithely without a backward glance. The Elfling has also remained positive, though her sensitive soul is obviously anxious about being lonely. I agonised about moving her from her old school and the friends she had there, but I am hoping that this fit will be better for her. And she is a resilient little girl, and growing up too fast.
The Possum started Kindy this week too, gambolling into his room each day with his tiny smackable bum swathed only in undies and shorts that hang off his bottom. The tiniest in his class, all big eyes and floppy golden hair. His language so far behind the others that it scores me to the quick to hear the little girls in his class chattering away. But he is gaining so much confidence and so much cheekiness, and he has so many more words than before. It may be slow but they are coming and we encourage him daily to chatter away to us and we are understanding more each day.
It's about 30 degrees outside and it's time to break out the beef patties and the tupperware container of beetroot and salad. 3 of my favourite songs of the year have already been played in the countdown and I am in dire need of a cold drink. I can feel the sweat beading on my forehead, and even though I could turn on the airconditioning and be blissfully cool in minutes, I wouldn't have it any other way.