It's been a while, I know, but life has been really busy for the past few weeks - 'busy' in a good way (mostly), but we've also been dealing with our usual routine of fielding children's project deadlines, tests, homework and daily drama.
In between my responsibilities, I have - for the past few months - been immersing myself in some or other obsession. A few months ago I rejoined the public library and ended up devouring the books I borrowed at such a rate that I'd return to the library every few days to find others to appease my addiction. I read late into the night after the kids were asleep and just after dropping off Aisha (3) at creche in the morning, I'd grab another few minutes of reading time for myself. I'd even leave home early to fetch the kids to give myself 30 minutes of delicious self-indulgent reading time in the car outside their school.
But when my lower back started aching about the month ago, I started going to the gym more regularly as advised by my doctor. That 1 hour and 30 minutes of gym per day effectively put paid to my obsessive reading streak as I now have to squeeze in my commitments. But, on the upside, after a few yoga classes and other strengthening exercise sessions, my aches and pains have subsided and I once again feel like a spring chicken. Okay, maybe not a spring chicken - but at least like the fairly fitter, ever-so-slightly leaner, 1.5 kgs lighter version of my old self.
But, as I've become more active, I've started to feel guilty about the fact that my kids get so little exercise - especially since they broke my heart by quitting karate about 2 months ago (after 2 and a half years of classes). As a result I've been trying to get them outdoors to open spaces during the week whenever possible, since we do not have much space at home. Fortunately my girls attend school in the City Bowl area, which means we are able to take time out by going to Green Point Urban Park after school.
Here the younger two are enjoying some after-school fun while we waited for Tharaa (11).
Since Shakeel (14)'s school is not in the city, but closer to our home, he does not get the opportunity to join us. One Friday I felt really bad seeing him come home from school looking so drained and lethargic, so I convinced Mo to take us to Green Point before sunset. Even though it was icy, I loved seeing how a few minutes outdoors, jumping on the park equipment, transformed my son from a lethargic drained-looking grumpy teen to the little active boy I've so been missing.
[Please excuse the awful picture quality - these were taken with my phone in fading daylight without a flash (since a flash apparently will not work if the phone battery is on its last legs. Who knew) ]
Not to sound like an old granny or anything, but isn't it sad how, in much of South Africa today, parents no longer feel comfortable letting their kids run about freely (the way we did way back when) for fear of something awful happening to them? And since most people here don't have massive backyards, it leaves children with limited options for free outdoor play.
I hope to take the girls to spend some time on one of the little beaches in Mouille Point after school one day this week. Perhaps they can finish their homework there if need be. Suddenly I'm really looking forward to the week ahead.