There are times when embarking on a personal challenge with your kids, that you have to just step back and hold your hands up to the fact that they are, well, kids.
What I mean by that is that they don't necessarily have the same kind of steely determination as I do to complete the challenge. Sure, being kind for twenty-nine days sounds like fun at the time, but thirteen days in and you're just a bit sick of your Mum going on about it. There are only so many times I can start the day with "So, Lads, how are we going to be kind today?" before they are retreating back to the bedroom bleary-eyed, without even a whisper about breakfast.
So today I decided the back the hell off. Yes, I sensed in myself a slight nervous energy (but what will I blog about tonight?), but I let that energy reside and just got on with the day. 'Twas the day of the annual town festival, after all, and it would be a shame to spoil that.
Off we all trotted to the beach to see what 'Brixfest' had in store for us. The festival, now in its 7th year is precisely the type of reason why we moved to Brixham a little over a year ago. Pair that with the gloriously sunny weather forecast for today and you've got yourself a little holiday at home.
Today's celebrations included rock balancing at the beautiful Breakwater Beach, yoga sessions, mermaid storytelling, boat-building, live music and arts and crafts tents. A positive plethora of fun for the Yardimci Lads.
What I found out when we arrived, however, was that when there are rocks for climbing, the mermaid can basically do one.
As much as I wanted to support my local festival and try out every single thing on offer, I wasn't going to drag the Lads into a tent to meet the Mermaid now, was I? Instead, the hubby and I found a sunny spot on the beach (Ahem. They were all sunny) and kept a watchful eye on those rock-climbing fiends.
I have to admit, I had thought to pack some permanent markers this morning, so that if the mood took us, we could decorate some rocks and give them out to other beach dwellers. So I sat crafting some kindness-themed rocks, hoping that when the Lads came back to me all sopping wet and worn-out, they might be tempted to do the same.
But really, I should know better by now.
Not long after the hubby went off to work I sat and watched my boys play. Over the course of an hour or so it was easy to spot their totally unprompted kindness, which was kind of nice. Little Lad helping a granny to get her tiny grandson off the rocks and into a blue dinghy. Big Lad giving his mate a knee-up onto the rock face so they could laughingly jump over the precipice together. When left alone with the prospect of adventure, I think most children will find kindness in their hearts.
Unfortunately, this adventure couldn't last forever and eventually I had to announce to the Lads that it was time to go.
It's no surprise that neither of them wanted to be prised away from the rocks and Little Lad, in fact, felt he couldn't be prised away from the rocks. Despite the fact that he was dressed in swimming shorts and can swim beautifully he was adamant he simply could not cross from the rock he was currently sitting on to the shoreline.
He was just far enough away from me that I couldn't possibly employ a gentle tone that simultaneously meant business, and I have to admit that my only option was to shriek like a bit of a banshee at Big Lad to go 'rescue' his brother.
All credit to Big Lad, he tried his best, really he did, but Little Lad was having none of it. So you can guess what happened, can't you?
Yup, in I went, fully dressed.
Yup, I had to borrow somebody's aqua shoes.
And yup, I gave him a piggy-back whilst waist-deep in freezing cold water, trying not to slip on the rocks and smash both of our heads.
And all of the above may have been absolutely fine, had he not, as soon as I placed him down on the shore, run along the other end of the beach and splashed into the water for - can you believe this? - a swim!
So upon writing the post-it note for the kindness calendar today, I couldn't help but feel that I had been somewhat involved in the kindness myself.
Kindness or stupidity? I'll leave that up to you.
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