The Little Things are the Big Things

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The Little Things are the Big Things
31 March 2015

Last week dad was telling me about something we did when I was a kid. I had absolutely no recollection and I could tell my dad was a little sad about my lack of memory. This is, however, a brain that forgets where my keys are 5 minutes after I have taken them from the key hook and that drives to school on a Saturday.

This weekend I went to Gippsland to hang out with some friends at a festival. When I asked google maps to tell me where I had to go, I saw the festival was only a half hour drive to the beach dad used to take me to as a kid. Most of our summers were spent in Gippsland, and it annoyed the crap out of me. All my friends were going to the Worlds on the Gold Coast or somewhere just as sunny and exciting. I, on the other hand, was going to Wonthaggi, Philip Island, Woolamai and Cape Paterson. BORING.

I left the festival in the pitch black of early morning and drove to the coast.

As the sun came up, I reached the end of the dirt road. Dressed in my post festival outfit, smudged make up, ‘I’ve just slept on the floor of my friend’s van’ hair and bare feet, I started to walk down the path my little feet used to walk down.

I remember the burning of hot sand and running as fast as I could to the cold (always SO cold) water. Once I got to the beach and heard the waves, and recognised the place etched in my memory I was overcome with emotion.

I am not entirely sure why I was crying. I wasn’t sad.

I could see the little version of me running on the sand, and I knew stuff she didn’t. Some good, some bad. I didn’t dwell on that for too long, that was a train of thought that could get out of control fast. Instead I started thinking of the memories we create for each other. The memories my parents created for me and the memories I am creating for my girls.

I know the big adventures I take the girls on, they will remember forever, like I remember my crazy family adventures. But I also remember my dad sitting on my bed and making up bedtime stories and cooking me corn fritters on the weekends. The small day-to-day things are just as, if not, more important. They are the true memories of love and affection and the real lessons we take with us throughout life.

I wanted to go to the beach in Gippsland to let my dad know that I do remember things. And to thank him for teaching me the important stuff, for helping me be the person I am today.

This is a photo my dad took of the Big Merino in Goulburn (circa 1980). As you can see my dad didn’t feel this attraction was worth getting out of the car for, but it is the Big Merino, and you need some kind of photographic evidence of your visit. I took exactly the same photo as I drove through Goulburn a few months ago.

The big things aren’t that important.