Family. The only people who can torment us and get away with it
Family. The only people who can torment us and get away with it and who know us warts and all and still love us. I went away with my kids and husband and my sister’s family and we spent the weekend doing some very Australian things at Rainbow Beach: paying each other out and trying our hardest to beat each other at everything. There is nothing quite as grounding or humbling as spending time with your roots.
First, we spent the Friday night playing Monopoly with the kids. I soon figured out my sister’s family plays hard. They had accumulated more hotels and unit blocks than the Packer family on a real estate buying binge in Aspen. And they showed no mercy when my 5 year old landed on their pricey properties and instead cheered with glee at bankrupting him. But we were all laughing together. My sister played with the same tenacity when we played Monopoly as kids.
This is the big sister who used to sell me her toys. Her kids have that same Aussie drive to succeed (and are really talented I must point out at everything) where as mine as more inclined to want to give the Monopoly properties they buy away to Greenpeace. After they destroyed us financially we then switched to a game that is more suitable for young kids to play. It is actually called “Poopy Head”. Yep. Gross and true. If you lose this card game you have to wear a plastic poo on your head. The indignity!
We wouldn’t fit in with the Packers in Aspen faceting that little head accessory would we now? Again, my sister’s older kids showed no mercy and my husband ended up wearing multiple blobs on his head (sorry to divulge this information about you my love and good luck with that work meeting with
your boss next week after he reads about your weird weekend rituals). But again it was wonderful to see the light bulbs starting to switch on that it is okay to win. We perhaps need to teach that a little more in our house. I am of the controversial school of thought that every kid does actually deserve a medal if they compete in a race.
Even if they come last. At least when they are very young because I think one day they are going to grow up and realise the world is pretty cruel and ruthless at times. Back to the Underbelly of Rainbow Beach with my family turf wars being played out in broad daylight. We were in the surf on Saturday morning and we soon figured out it was all men, women and children for themselves when it came to catching the best wave into shore.
There was much cheating and sabotage and dirty tricks that may have involved shouting out “Shark!” in a failed attempt to throw my niece and nephew off catching waves. And then the big one came. On Sunday we went sand tobogganing. I use this term lightly as we actually just trudged up a huge sand cliff with our boogie boards and some bits of cardboard. But, hey, some would call us an elite toboggan team.
I had actually forgotten how good it feels to try to win and to have a little boast about it. I have become so politically correct and so focussed on being kind to everyone that that tiny part of me inside that loves to win had almost disappeared. Almost. It took climbing up the steep Carlo sand blow at Rainbow Beach with a flattened box from Dan Murphy’s under my arm to reignite my internal competitive drive that could rival Tonya Harding’s determination.
I went flying down that sand hill on my stomach like a woman possessed, with no thought to possibly breaking my neck or getting sand in places sand does not feel comfortable. I had to take my sister out. I did in fact go the longest distance at the base of the hill.
A victory! My skinny build of a sister claims it was my weight advantage. And the final night of the most fun weekend ever there was still no peace treaty in place. We had a block of Snack chocolate. My sister and I are both massive Turkish Delight fans. We always share this little bond that brings us together and simultaneously tears us apart in our quest to eat the last square of pink jelly. The trickery and treachery that went down that night could rival a Shakespeare play. What memories and what lessons from that weekend. Sisters. I feel so blessed to have mine.