Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Rhythm Of Our Days: Freo Fridays

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved Fridays - the closing of a week, a simple low key dinner, the anticipation of everyone in our household being home together for a few days and the promise of the weekend ahead and its break from routine. And while I still love Fridays for all of these reasons, there is a new part of this day of the week that brings me much joy...

Our Saturday morning market run has been a thing of the past for some time now.  When Grace began full time school and was visibly tired at the end of her fifth day, heading out the door early on the first day of the weekend was not good for anyone. Instead, Sophie and I began collecting our fruit and vegetables on a Friday morning and so began a new end of the week tradition.

Over the past year, these end of the week visits to Fremantle have become so much more.  They are our 'treat', our 'Sophie and Mummy morning' after a full week dictated largely by the school bell and endless 'to dos'. They are our chance to explore and browse in little shops and stores together because we want to, not because we have to.  Most importantly, they are our special one on one time and something I look forward to tremendously.

After dropping Grace off at school on a Friday, we often make our way to Fremantle. We run errands on the way, stopping here and there and then begin our favourite part of the week.  Purposely parking on the outskirts of South Fremantle, we begin a long slow wander down to South Terrace, Sophie's chubby hand clutching mine tightly, her endless chatter breaking the quietness of the streets as we walk. We stop to admire sweet features on quaint cottages - white picket fences, ivy trailing along limestone walls, trickling garden fountains, prayer flags strung across verandahs and mosaic lined driveways and paths. There are our 'must-sees' like the teacup path, goldfish pond and friendly backyard chickens and new discoveries are made on every stroll.  Taking time to slow down and notice the small details we pass has become a highlight for us both and seeing the enjoyment on my little one's face as we point out these interesting finds is priceless.

At South Terrace, we make our way to what has become affectionately referred to by Sophie as 'The Zebra Cafe', a quirky but trendy spot where we religiously order our three C's - a chai, 'cino and choc chip cookie. I have become somewhat of a chai snob and after one too many sickly syrupy versions, a skinny chai latte from this cafe is the only one I will now drink (other than home brewed chai).  My Friday pot of deliciousness is the perfect blend of spices and I always enjoy several cups. Sophie and I sit at one of the tables outside or in cooler months, try and score window seats where we can watch the traffic and passers-by.  We play 'I Spy' or draw together without interruption and free from distraction and after morning tea, sneak in a fossick in the Op Shop several doors down or Manna Wholefoods before heading home for lunch and a slow relaxing afternoon. This unhurried, free from time restraints part of our Friday has become such a precious way to end our week and definitely sets the tone for the weekend ahead.

I am so thankful that Sophie's kindy days this year are Monday and Tuesday and that this tradition of ours can be savoured for another year. I hope that one day in the future, she will look back on these 'Freo Fridays' we currently share with the same affection and appreciation as I have for them...

Friday, February 12, 2016

2016 Portraits: January

"Monthly portraits of my girls in 2015"

Sophie: The thought of my baby girl starting kindergarten brought a roller-coaster of emotions for me in January. In readiness for her first day, I'd been taping a five minute show each morning at the end of the holidays about a little bear preparing for his first time at school, hoping it would help Sophie... I ended up in tears myself after hearing the song in the first episode... "All you have to do is be brave little bear. It's all so new.  Just one little step, for me and you... All your friends are ready to explore with you, just turn and save a wave for me. There's things you have to figure out on your own. But you're never alone, we're always there. Little things can seem so big... take lots of little steps and suddenly you're there. Such a big adventure little bear."

Grace: She would spend hours pottering about on the shoreline if we let her... always content to use her imagination and invent her own games. It makes me so happy to see her enjoy nature and being outdoors.

Joining in with Jodi