#1492 Turn to simple things in times of stress

Seriously… this stuff can’t be written.

Though you could maybe imagine a great sci-fi book running along the lines of –

“mega virus spreads across the globe, sending people into a panic as more and more towns, cities and countries self-isolate, close borders, cancel all events and people go mad buying EVERYTHING in the shops.”

Yep, you could imagine that on a book’s blurb.

But not the toilet paper. No one could EVER have foreseen the toilet paper.

It truly does feel like a very weird dream. So unbelievably surreal.

I sway from ‘this can’t be happening,’ to ‘oh f*^$ I don’t want to use public transport tomorrow.’

Everyone and everything is coming to a halt. Forcibly. Never have I witnessed such a thing, and the unpredictability of the beast has us all scratching our heads, yelling out loud, or running around like chickens with their heads chopped off.

I was happy then, to try and make life normal today… if only a bit.

One of those things was being a parent helper at baby girl’s school. I know, I know. Even Hubbie was like – “wash your hands well after.”

It was something I promised long ago, and not being at work today, made me all the more available for the reader-helper task.

Baby girl was rapt. Soooo rapt. I wandered into her class at the end of the day and listened to first her, and a few other kids read to me.

It was so beautiful. The simplistic nature of the task, helping them sound things out, listening to the rhythm in their voice, and just being in the presence of such innocent and naΓ―ve natures, made me feel like slowing down, in the best way possible.

But they are so honest aren’t they. One boy who finished reading for me randomly said at the end “Mum said we have to be careful of coronavirus.”

Oh F*%&. Yeah, Mum’s right.

The best thing though, was having my girl read to me. She was beyond excited to have me in her class. And although I don’t know how much my other commitments will allow me to visit the classroom in future, baby girl, whether by coincidence or not, made her sentiments pretty clear through the book she chose to read to me today…

“Mummies are Amazing.” β™₯

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#1490 You can always rely on breakfast

What do we do at this time of world uncertainty, unease, lack and limitation, fear and even some would say, global crisis?

Why, you breakfast.

Now, that’s not to downplay anything anyone in the world may be going through in relation to this coronavirus bug spreading. It’s affecting a number of people significantly, yet it hasn’t reached an even larger proportion of people out there.

And let’s hope it doesn’t.

But there has been so much confusion and uncertainty surrounding what to do.

How serious is this virus?

Should we be worried?

Is this all going to blow over before we know it?

And as people fight for toilet paper in the supermarket shelves, clear the aisles of all tinned food, and start to self-quarantine, there is one thing that will never change.

We will always need to eat breakfast.

And what’s better than catching up with some loved ones over such a meal, for a bit of heart and happiness, while everything else around us goes crazy.

It is the most important meal of the day. You might as well start it off right.

Hopefully it makes everything else right. β™₯

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#1483 New and old memories with best friends

It’s always a great time when you catch up with loved ones, but it felt extra awesome tonight when bestie and her hubbex came over.

It really has been too long. It made everything all the more sweeter… the conversation, the music youtube shares, the d&ms, and all the pet talk about those furry friends of ours that we love.

Baby girl decided she had new ‘owners.’ LOL. I feel safe and secure when she selects people who are dear to me, to add to her special list too.

But perhaps the funniest and weirdest moment came when bestie remembered something from our childhood years… I’m still trying to come to terms with it and remember it, but the visual she gave me is stirring some deep memory from within, and maybe, just maybe, I CAN remember.

What I had forgotten, for apparently my whole life, is that when we were in primary school, WE HAD OUR OWN BOOK CLUB.

Oh-em-gee.

We would take our books and sit in the inside of this massive playground tyre, six of us, and share what we had read. We had diaries too that we would write in after.

!!!

I was freaking out over this fact. Firstly, I would love to now be in a book club, but sadly don’t think it’s the right time for it, for where I am in my life… but I used to be in one… when I was about 9?

I would bring with me, wait for it…my The Babysitters Club books. I was spinning out even more, because that is SO me. Was so me.

I loved the recollection, because it told me that even though there are things we can’t remember, there are others who have memories of things that we have forgotten.

Also, the knowledge that I was doing such book-related stuff before I even remember wanting to write seriously for a living… double wow. Some things are just meant to be.

And thirdly… well friends. Having this lifetime of knowledge between old friends, with experiences that are constantly gained, and memory upon memory added… well, it is something special. Truly special.

β™₯

#1481 School care

Earlier tonight I was telling Hubbie how I would tell any new Mum, a Mum with young child, hell, even a parent who had a child that didn’t have the perks of what I’m about to divulge, about something unbelievably fantastic that they MUST have in their child’s school.

I would even encourage parents without this school perk to seriously consider moving their kids elsewhere.

But firstly, to explain… baby girl has been babied, all her life.

She’s had me picking her up from kinder and primary school, at the precise start and end time, every time.

With the start of primary school, Hubbie was thrown in the mix too, so that on Wednesdays he joined me in dropping her off and picking her up, and there has maybe been, um, 3 times that he’s had to get her that I wasn’t there…

But really, I have dropped her off/picked her up from school 99.99% of the time… Hubbie 0.01%.

But it’s always been US. 9:15 and 2:15 at kinder. 9:00 and 3:30 at school.

ON THE MARK.

But that ALL dramatically changed today. Because not only was she there for before school care… she was there at the start time of 6:45.

6:45!

And if that wasn’t enough, that wasn’t even all. She was there for after school care for about 30 minutes as well.

Hubbie and I were stressing a bit, I won’t lie… but she was amazing. She got up on time, listened to us in the crazy morning rush, and by the end of the day when I picked her up, I felt like I was interrupting her… here was a hall full of 40 kids, all sitting around tables having healthy after-school snacks, with baby girl lining up to get her share!

She took a plate home though… too right, I paid for that half hour! πŸ˜‰

But she seriously loved it.

It’s all fun and games for the little ones. And why wouldn’t it be? She was with friends, kids from her class, they got to eat breakfast in the morning, snacks after school, have a supply of movies, board games, colouring, games they played with the care teachers, they had really, EVERYTHING.

It’s a freaking holiday.

On her takeaway plate was some fruit, vegies, a pancake with jam, cheese and crackers, and as we got into the car I said “no fair, I want to go to after school care!”

“Nope, you can’t!”

Damn it. But quietly, YES.

So back to my main point. If you are looking at schools for your kid, look at which ones provide before and after school care. It’s a win-win. Your child has fun, they’re in a familiar place, and you get to be a human being and go to work and talk to adults.

Like I said, WIN-WIN.

BEST. THING. EVER.

#1476 Together again

I don’t think I realised just how much I missed them all, until I saw them all today.

I’m talking about my family… my WHOLE family.

Cousins, aunties, uncles, kids, people who aren’t my blood technically but who I still faithfully call “cousin.”

And making it sweeter, having my parents, and sis and bro-in-law in the mix.

Age, gender, cultural ethnicity… it’s all irrelevant. We all blend and merge seamlessly into one. I talk to my younger cousins as easily as I do with my uncles, or the 3 year-old birthday girl.

We are all in such different stages of life, and it makes catch-ups like tonight that much more interesting. Either someone is plowing through work, looking for work, or thinking of finishing up work. Some are raising young kids, others teens, while others still are free now that their brood are independent of them.

Some are retired, enjoying the good life in the garden.

Some holiday a couple times a year.

Some are dreaming of their next holiday (um, us? πŸ˜‚)

We get along, but we also argue. We shit-stir, and we agree to disagree.

And although there’s so much separating our very specific and individual lives, there’s one major factor unifying us all.

And that’s family.

We were together for a kid’s birthday today. And not ‘kid’s birthday’ in the literal sense… although there was rainbow cake, pink balloons, dress-ups and a jumping castle…

But there was so much noise. Rowdiness. Gee we can be f$#&ing loud! Anyone passing by outside would be forgiven in thinking it was anything but a kid’s birthday party.

We are passionate, yet we still have our problems. Health problems, kid problems, work problems and just generally, LIFE problems.

We share all this to lighten our load, then we smile. Eat some cake and drink some wine.

Go home full in our bellies and our hearts.

Because we are family.

And gee, I missed them. ❀

 

 

 

 

#1463 So close to royalty at the firies concert

I wish we were in Sydney tonight in the crowd of thousands, watching artist after group after band perform on stage to raise money for the bushfire catastrophe that has gripped Australia and the rest of the world over the last couple of months.

Did I say artists? I meant legends.

We only caught the last couple of hours of the show on tv, but were there in time to watch Adam Lambert and Queen take to the stage.

Anyone following my blogs knows what I think about Queen.

😍🀩

It was truly something special. My thoughts kept going from “how amazing is Adam Lambert” to –

“How can he stand up to Freddie Mercury?”

“Of course he can’t, he’s his own person.”

“But Freddie was the best.”

“But look how far Adam has come to be performing with Queen!”

To and fro, my thoughts, and my words to Hubbie next to me on the couch.

Then they put Freddie on screen doing his legendary operatic solo bit where the crowd copies him, and seeing him lighting up the darkness of the arena with his yellow outfit, so large and life-like, I swear it was like he was there.

πŸ˜ͺ

But then baby girl came into the room, and I was a little on edge.

As way of explanation… we haven’t quite spoken about death with her. She knows that if you do something stupid (like run out onto a busy road, get caught in a fire, or don’t put sunscreen on) you can die.

Things like that I bluntly drill into her. Shock effect to make her listen.

But real-life death, death of those around us? As far as she gets it from what I can tell, there are people ‘here’ on earth, and then there are people who are not… the in-between from here to there I think she doesn’t comprehend, and as for ‘there,’ the concept is all a bit cartoon-like for her, like Ursula the sea witch being stabbed to death in The Little Mermaid, or Mother Gothel falling out the tower in Rapunzel.

It’s all a bit exaggerated and other-worldly.

Add to that my first experience understanding death when I was about her age… and the thought of making her as sad and scared as I had been, was devastating to even consider.

So when this rock star princess of ours entered the room to “We Will Rock You,” took one look at Adam and asked “where’s Freddie?” I knew it was the perfect opportunity to break into a discussiom about death with her, and it might even just work, because Freddie, wasn’t part of our extended family.

But then again… with the amount we played Queen around the house, he might as well have had his own bedroom downstairs.

“He’s not here tonight honey…” I shot a confused look at Hubbie, who just shrugged. He’d previously said that talking about the death of a celebrity was the perfect segue into real-life.

But now he was looking as reluctant as I was.

“… he’s not singing anymore,” I ended. I waited for her to ask, but the question didn’t come. She stared at the screen for a few moments, before turning to our cat on the couch.

“Mister F, who do you like better? Freddie Mercury or this guy?”

OH LOL.

“Mama, who do you like better, Freddie Mercury or this guy?”

“Freddie.”

Off she went to the other room to ask Hubbie who had just walked off, and I heard his answer as short, simple and brief as mine: “Freddie.”

“Baby girl, who do you prefer?” I asked as she came back in.

“Freddie Mercury!”

He almost is like a part of our family…. so that conversation will have to wait, for another day.

But for tonight at least… Adam and Queen brought him back to life.

You can still donate to the bushfire relief here: https://firefightaustralia.com/

Thank you. ❀

#1429 Sharing the beach love

Okay, so it’s not MY beach. But when your friends visit you from across town and ask for a beach-playdate-destination-recommendation, you kinda feel like a part of you is being exposed, on show for all to see.

I was pleased, because it was a pretty perfect beach day.

Still, sunny, but with some cloud cover at times. The water was mild. The kids had shallow waters.

Us Mums were (mostly) happy. Kids make that sentence ‘mostly.’ 🀣

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But it wasn’t just the fun and frivolity of being on sand, or wading on water that made today fun and totally chillax-worthy.

I felt there was a lot of meaning attached to the day. Sure we were on the beach and all, but I couldn’t help thinking of how we had come to the beach that day.

I was thinking of friends, and friendship, A LOT. It was two of my oldest friends that I was with today. They with their brood, me with mine. And it had nothing to do with watching the kids play, fight, argue over who had the body board next or lie in the water and float, things we used to imagine way back when in high school when we’d say to one another that our kids would be friends just as we were.

It was more about the ‘time.’ That all-too-important commodity that everyone argues they have little to none of. I was thinking of how we were all there on the beach, dedicated to the task of spending time together, our kids having fun together, while there were so many other things in our life distracting us, so many other things we could do, and so many other places we could be.

But we chose to be there.

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It was humbling. It was heart-warming. When someone chooses you to be the place they spend their time with, it is something special. In a world where the word ‘busy’ flies out of our mouths all too often, it was a day where we chose each other, and in doing so made one of the best sacrifices of time and best decisions possible:

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Because we made memories for not only us, but THEM. β€πŸ–