So, a few years ago, I bought tickets for Michael, Hakavai and I to go and see The Wiggles.
I’d been eagerly looking forward to the concert for months (I’m not sure if Hakavai realised what was going on 😂).
The concert was in Sydney, a three hour drive from where we live, so I booked a hotel. That’ll be fun! I thought. Luxury fun, even! I booked the deluxe room.
We got to Sydney and went to the beach, because we’re a beach family and going to the beach is fun.
But Michael and I had a fight at the beach, so we retreated, grumpily, to our deluxe suite.
To put us in a more fun mood, Michael went off to find a bottle shop to get some beers and I ordered takeaway.
Our takeaway arrived and I took Hakavai downstairs to pick it up. On the way back to our room we got out at the wrong floor and had to wait for another lift. As we waited, ten debutantes and their partners came out of their rooms. The lift arrived and they filled it.
We got the next lift – to the right floor. I opened up our Vietnamese takeaway. The spring rolls were old, the fried rice soggy, the chicken stir-fry gluggy. We went to bed.
At 1am I was woken up by the debutantes partying on the floor above. Electronic beats were pulsing their way through the ceiling, high heels clattered above us. Hakavai woke up. He was not happy.
In the morning we went back to the beach and had breakfast. Hakavai didn’t eat. Michael and I argued about how much he wasn’t eating.
We drove to the concert. On entry we were accosted by a woman selling balloons and stars. I bought a star for Hakavai who promptly started crying and pointing at the over-priced food. I gave him the healthy snacks I had packed and he threw them on the floor.
Because I desperately wanted to redeem the day, I lined up for twenty minutes and bought a cookie and a chocolate milk for Hakavai. He didn’t want it. So I glumly chomped my way through his snacks thinking what a dismal disappointment the weekend was.
Forty minutes into the show, Hakavai fell asleep. Michael said, “C’mon, darl, let’s go.”
He picked up Hakavai under his arm and started making his way out. I picked up all our stuff and, seething, followed Michael out.
‘That’s it!’ I screamed (in my head. I didn’t want anyone at The Wiggles to know just how mad I can be). ‘That’s the last bloody time I organise anything fun for my family. They’re a bunch of whingers!!’
So, we all piled into the car and started the long drive home.
About an hour in, Hakavai opened his eyes and, unprompted, started singing the big red car song.
And Michael and I looked at each other and smiled.
So, was the weekend fun? Look, overall, the weekend I’d planned for and saved for and looked forward to didn’t turn out to be that much fun in the moment.
But it was memorable.
And now, drawing on the memory of that moment – the three of us, warm in the car, singing about a big red car – that makes me happy.
Sometimes things just don’t go the way you expect them to, or want them to.
Hold on to the little moments. The little pockets of happiness.
And they make for pretty damn good memories.
Sending love to you,
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