I reckon my favourite decisions are those made on the fly. Totally spontaneous and going with the flow. The kind of decisions that seem out of reach when you become parents, because every situation has to be managed and planned. When you've got young kids, it's hard to imagine saying 'yes' to anything without first doing a risk assessment. Sure, you can hold your head high and pop out with a baby and toddler in tow and no spare nappies or clothes, but you’ve got to consider the consequences. A thirsty and hungry toddler and a bub with an explosion all the way up its back and seeping into the car seat just might be your undoing.
Happily, there is a time when parents can return to those nostalgic spur-of-the-moment days. This morning my brother and sister-in-law swung past our place on their way down the coast. On a whim, I decided to make a highly experimental passion fruit meringue pie, because recently I discovered that under-ripe passion fruit taste a whole lot like lemons. And we've got a bunch of them hanging on the vine - so there's a challenge! We took the tart to the beach and had coffee overlooking the ocean on a perfect mid-winter’s day.
As they were leaving, I wondered out loud if there was anything I could send to Canberra. I was pretty sure one of the kids had forgotten something on a recent visit. In response, my bro joked, “Gabe?”
We laughed. It was perfect. Why not? A perfect opportunity to get my 13 year old down to Canberra to see some friends during the school holidays. I’ll work out how to get him home later.
And so off they went just 10 minutes later. A spontaneous car trip with his aunt and uncle – door to door delivery. It was so great just reacting in a positive way. Not objecting. Not creating any mental obstacles but being opportunistic and creating a really fun memory at the same time.
In a few years, we’ll joke about that time we bundled him off in 10 minutes flat on a road trip to the capital. And all fuelled up on experimental pie.