Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Orange rocks

This island is littered with the things ...

We spent Sunday up in a far away corner of the state. Mt William is deep in the backwoods: roadkill territory, spotted with old mining towns slowly, slowly emptying out. We had lunch under the trees by the beach, sheltered from the waves and the horizon, which terrify Lucy. She is afraid her parents will be swept out to sea, and afraid of that point where the two blues meet and people drop off the world.

It's a long drive from our place, and the journey was punctuated with the 'are we there yet?'s our own parents suffered. We did some mammoth drives when I was a kid: bundled into the Nissan Urvan before dawn, and driven from rural Victoria to Brisbane in one long, straight line, Dad driving through the night as we slept in the folded down seats in the back. The trips were in summer and I remember the blazing light and the heat in outback New South Wales, my parents stopping at small towns to buy us a can of fizzy drink. Oh, the delicious anticipation and the quandary: Passiona or green lime? The drinks came in a size that's long been phased out, much smaller than the standard 375 mls, and the cans were uncrushable.

I remember too, the car lulling me into my inner world, the place where kids fantasize when there's nothing else to do. Bored, bored, boring: Lucy uses these words all the time, now, to get my goat. I used to worry about my kids being bored - am I not enriching their lives enough?; am I cheating them of necessary experiences? But after some fidgeting Nell picked up her Barbie and told stories to herself (a two year old with a Barbie and a feminist mother - yes, there's something to be written on that) and Lu pulled over some books and then drifted off in an un-focused stare. Both were heading places where I can't, I don't want to, follow.

We take our girls to some beautiful places. They won't remember the heart stopping blue of the water on this particular Sunday, but when we strap them in their car seats, I think we are giving them a chance to explore something more than this particular island.