Andrea Mara

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Sometimes it pays off

Breakfast time. Blue sky. Visible on both sides – out the back window and out the front window.

“Will we go to Killiney Hill this afternoon?”

“Yes,” says the joint-boss of decision-making.

Lunch time. Blue sky now only visible out the back window. The front window shows a decidedly  white outlook.

“Are we still going to Killiney Hill?” the kids ask doubtfully.

“Of course we are, sure it’ll be grand. The sun’s just gone behind a cloud.”

We drive, we park.

“I’m freezing,” says the sandal-wearing seven-year-old.

“I’m starving – when is the picnic?” says the always hungry six-year-old.

“Where’s his jacket?” I ask, pointing to the three-year-old.

“You said it was in the boot,” says the joint-boss.

“Yes, but then I said to check if it was there,” I say, looking at the white-grey sky.

“I not cold,” says the small boy, making the decision for all of us. We start to walk.

Half way up, the first drops hit. The kids are climbing trees, we’ve stopped to wait. I know that if either of us suggests turning back, we’ll go back. So neither of us does. We keep going.


By the time we reach the last sea look-out before the top, it’s pouring.

We huddle under a tree, hoods up. Except the jacket-less small boy. The rain eases. Turn back or keep going? We keep going.

We shelter in the obelisk and open the picnic. Picnic is an ambitious description for the three banana chocolate chip cookies and single pack of popcorn, but the kids are happy.  We peer out from our shelter. The rain has stopped. The sun is back. It’s lighting up the city and Dublin Bay below.

sky and rocks

We walk over the rocks and breathe in the view. The kids decorate a puddle, filling it with flower petals.

puddle decorating

The one wearing sandals takes off her coat, because the sun is hot now. The one who was hungry has forgotten all about food – she’s busy stirring mud with sticks. And the one with no jacket has an I told you so look on his face.

sticks and mud



city view2

The grown ups soak in the sun and the view. There’s no need to say it – we’re glad we kept going. The lesson – because everyday has one – isn’t so much that it’s always worth it, but that it’s sometimes worth it. And when it is, it’s wonderful.






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