Dave and I have tried to not let ‘traditional’ roles define our relationship. During our first year of marriage as twenty-two year olds living in Southern California, I would often drive home from work late in the evening only to find Dave, having spotlessly cleaned the house and made the meals, reclining in the bath smoking a cigar and drinking red wine! However, since having children and with the growth of Dave’s practice in recent years, I have unquestionably taken on a more active role as Minister for Home Affairs. While I can’t say I am a natural in this role, and even sometimes resent the responsibility when my working commitments also press in, I generally enjoy running a household. One of the things I was most curious about on this trip is what roles and responsibilities would be modelled to our daughters on the road.
This morning I found myself on a mountain bike, burning through the caravan park with Olivia on her own bike by my side, all while Dave hung out the laundry. It made me realise that the busyness and responsibility of ordinary city life had meant that my children had not seen the adventurous and fun side of their mother in quite some time. While I have been intentional in raising children who can adapt to the busyness of life, their experience had often been limited to seeing me ‘doing’ rather than ‘being’.
This trip, although still in its infancy, has already provided plenty of opportunities to model how to be brave and free in the everyday. This has really forced me to step out of my comfort zone. To wit, the girls made me feel like the coolest chick in WA as they accompanied me to book my surf lesson at a time when I barely had the confidence to step back into a swimsuit post-bub number three. Instead of them witnessing my insecurities and exhaustion, I got the opportunity to share with them feelings of pure exhilaration as I stood up, stayed standing, and rode my first wave at Wobiri Beach, at the northern end of Ningaloo. After seeing Mama ‘carve it up’ both girls decided they were going to ride waves of their very own. They were quick to hop on the foam longboard and each had a go being pushed onto the whitewash in the kid-friendly surf. We won’t be transitioning into professional surfers anytime soon, but still we had a little experience of how to be brave together in a completely unstructured environment. I can only pray that these continued experiences on this trip will act as building blocks for our daughter’s resilience and confidence to become the women that they were created to be.