Sydney Mum finding motherhood is totes hectic
There is a light festival called Vivid here in Sydney. It is stunning to look at, it’s unique and an absolute success for getting people out in winter. Coloured lights and massive projected images on entire buildings including the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.. perfect, let’s take the kids.
The first time the festival started, 5 years ago, we took the one baby and stood underneath an awning, in a downpour, with 500 people waiting for the lights to transform the Opera House. We lasted about 20 minutes. The festival got bigger and bigger each year. We thought we’d try again.
We went last year (June, winter time in Sydney) The kids were 4 & 2. They love fireworks and coloured lights. But so do 20,000 other people who crowded out the harbour area in city night blackness in a swirl of slow moving people. It was losing-a-child nightmare. They wanted to run and would be lost within five metres. They couldn’t see unless lifted above our heads. A crowd in daylight is uncomfortable, a crowd in darkness with two small ones? I will gently say, Not Fun.
Okay, this year was even bigger, more areas were lit up, almost triple the size of last year. Next to the Opera House is the Botanic Gardens, and this time they were open for some spectacular garden lights including a walk-though cathedral of flower lights, a magical projection of colour and music on a giant fig tree and lawns of coloured lights. Ooh, the kids would love that, I thought. My brilliant strategy was to go on a weeknight. A quick hour through the gardens and back on the train home.
We had a big talk with the kids as I wrote my mobile number on their arms. “If you get lost” I said looking deep into their eyes, ensuring maximum concentration, ” Find a policeman or go to a cafe or shop and tell them to call me”. Such conversations can backfire, as my cousin experienced, her six-year-old, thought that was the plan, to become lost and play the call-my-mum-game.
What we expected to see; along with a few more people
As we were herded via a megaphone into the Cathedral of Light it was a sea of selfies. Were was the contemplation? the awe of quietness as you take in the walls of flower lights ? Any artistic benefit was lost in the crowd of photo takers.
Put it this way, there is no quiet time at Vivid anymore, not even on a Wednesday night. It was shuffle, shuffle, where are the kids? The husband and I just kept looking at each other, why are we doing this? Are we having fun?
Talk to me next year and see if I am planning another assault on Vivid. Then talk me out of it. Please.