We’d rented a cottage at Flinders Bay, a tiny, magical little place, consisting of only forty-two tiny blocks – a two hour drive south for us.
“How big is the world?” Ming asked from his car seat in the back. He was three years old. We were only an hour into our journey and I wondered if his question was another version of “Are we there yet?” I hoped not.
“Huge,” I said.
“Are we aweady in the other one?”
“The other what?”
“The other world?”
“Yes we are so!” he said with certainty.
“What do you mean?”
“We doan have hunnerts of twees in our world.”
We were driving through a forest of beautiful karri trees and I suddenly realised how weird this would seem to Ming who was used to living on a cleared farm.
A few minutes later we stopped at a parking bay to eat our picnic lunch. The forest towered above us, filtering out the sunlight all except for a few bright shafts that Ming took great delight in jumping through over and over.
“I like this world way better than our one,” he said, decisively.
An hour or so later we approached Flinders Bay and I reached behind to nudge Ming’s leg until he woke up. “We’re here, Ming.” I said, excited myself. “This is Flinders Bay.”
He took his dummy out [yes, I know a 3-year-old with a dummy is bit unusual] and watched silently through the car window as Anthony eased the car down a steep slope into the tiny bay area. The view of the water was spectacular.
“It’s annuva world!” Ming exclaimed. “One, two, fwee – this is numba fwee world! How many worlds is there, Andony?” He always addressed these more difficult questions to Anthony, which was usually a great relief.
“Just one,” Anthony said, still negotiating the steep slope of the road.
“No it’s not!” Ming replied indignantly. “This is numba fwee – I just toldja that.”
I nudged Anthony as we pulled into the driveway of the beachside cottage. “Ming thinks we’re in another world,” I whispered. “Humour him.”
“Whadidja say to Andony, Mummy?” Ming shrilled, never one to miss a whisper.
I gave up on Anthony, who looked perplexed. “Daddy reckons this is another world but he doesn’t know how many there are, all together, Ming,” I said, getting out of the car.
Ming unclipped his seatbelt and threw himself out and onto the grass. “Are we gonna live here in this world now?” he asked, pointing to the cottage. He was so excited he could hardly contain himself.
“No, just for one week, Mingy,” I said, picking him up.
“How big is one week, Mummy?”
Argh! “Ask Anthony,” I said, knowing then that Ming would definitely provide us with a whirl-wind, one-week trip around the worlds!
This was confirmed when Ming looked over my shoulder at the incredible beachfront and asked, “Is this where all the worlds get borned, Mummy?”
I looked at the view through his eyes and said, without hesitation, “Yes.”