#1931 The stage she is at, 7.9

She snuggles in close when we’re on the couch. Something sweet comes on TV… she puts her arm around me and leans on my shoulder.

We laugh hysterically at her Dad’s antics. We set each other off just by looking at each other: hers laughs are loud, addictive cackles that explode from her, wild and free; mine are silent laughs where my face contorts, as I hug my sides, gasping for breath.

We glance at each other as we lose control. So different, and so we laugh and laugh.

When she sits on my lap, she sits as close as she can. I nuzzle into her soft neck, notice her red cheeks, and kiss her precious head. She pulls me in closer.

I tuck her in at night. As I always have.

“You’re the best Mum.”

“And you’re the best daughter.”

Then she delays bedtime. Stories, search and find books, life’s greatest questions suddenly abound.

I kiss her goodnight again. She kisses me endlessly… it adds to the game.

I am stern, but grateful.

“Goodnight.”

She tosses, she turns. Eventually her breath turns even.

I love the stage baby girl is at.

I love the stage, we are at. 💖💖💖

#1635 Day 137 of getting there: kissing those cheeks.

Oh. Oh. OHHHHH.

It was one of those days.

Shitty. Frustrating. Annoying.

So when baby girl came to me at my work desk to watch what I was doing, I had to do what I had to do…

I planted a few big kisses on her cheeks.

“Mmm.” I breathed in her scent.

Ever notice how amazing kids smell? They say babies smell divine, and I definitely remember that, but boy, can kids smell delicious too.

I grabbed her and started kissing her all over her face, to her laughter and protests.

“Stop!” She yelled.

So I stopped.

And she leaned her head in to me again, grinning.

An invitation.

So I grabbed her again and kissed her all over.

Immediately, my load was lightened. 😘😍💖💕

#1620 Day 122 of getting there: everything and nothing

While waiting for baby girl to fall asleep tonight, I went over my day…

Looking for gratitude, as I do.

But… hmm. Nothing sprang to mind.

Hey, haven’t I been in this place before?

I sure have. Where there is nothing particularly enlightening or fascinating about the day, but at the same time, nothing is bad.

Things are good. Even amidst all this corona, things are good.

I reviewed some more of my day as I heard her breathing even out.

I had a great day with Hubbie and baby girl. Her home-schooling was finished early so that gave us the whole day to do… whatever.

We organised quotes for around the house. That was exciting (oh how very grown up we are).

I wrote.

I sent emails.

I caught up on STUFF.

I made yummy pasta with parmesan and pepper.

I pat Mister F.

We played Trouble… I won.

I heard from someone who really, didn’t need to call me, but she did… and it meant a lot to know, and feel that she really cared.

That, was lovely. 🙂

But other than that…

Oh, let’s not forget Bachelor in Paradise!

Hugs and kisses from my family.

Cuddling in baby girl’s bed at the end of the night.

And now, just chilling.

It’s nothing in particular. But it all amounts to something.

And these some things, are actually BIG THINGS.

It’s good. I’m happy.

So, I’m still grateful. 🙂

#1611 Day 113 of getting there: someone to hug

Today my gratitude is a bit weird.

Because it’s got to do with death. Death has been creeping into my thoughts.

A person doesn’t have to die for you to think about death. I think at a certain age we start to think of it more and more. Hell, with all this coronavirus around us, it’s a wonder that we don’t talk about it ALL THE TIME.

Past trauma can remind you of death. The process of life can remind you of death… it is guaranteed we will all end up there at one point or another.

Sometimes for me, just the simplicity and beauty of life can remind me of it.

Today though, it was death that reminded me of death.

My mouth dropped open when I heard the news that Kelly Preston, John Travolta’s wife, had died on July 12th following a 2 year private battle with breast cancer.

She was 57.

Floored, was an understatement. Even though I saw it on a reputable news network, I had to look it up to confirm it was true. I watched the news report on it later that night. Tears welled up, my mouth turned downwards.

It was so unfair.

Did I really know Kelly Preston? No, not really. I knew her as Avery in Jerry Maguire, one of my favourite movies of all time. She plays the classic high-brow, over-achieving, sexy, sassy and totally bitchy fiance to Tom Cruise’s sports agent character.

She played the role so well, I almost forgot it was Kelly Preston. In real life, she seemed so sweet, happy, her face was so gentle. I knew she and her husband had lost their 16 year old son to a seizure, and they had been able to have another child some years later.

John Travolta’s wife.

Maybe it was because of him that I liked her so much. I grew up loving John in Grease… another one of my fave movies of all time. Scenes will play, and I will recite, word for word from that movie.

I know there has been a lot of scandal surrounding them, especially John over the years. I know there was speculation about their relationship, and I know the way John was perceived in his younger years started to change drastically, for the worse, in these recent years.

But today, all I could think of was his tribute to his late wife.

All I could think, was how they had experienced so much pain, to have to lay their child to rest, and they got through it, somehow.

All I could think, was how their relationship stood the test of time, through scandal, through sadness, through HOLLYWOOD.

So many relationships out of there don’t last months, let alone years and years and tragedy.

And it just makes me want to cry.

These stories are sad. They are true. They aren’t taken from a movie, and then lo and behold, surprise miracle cure! The person is alive again. They beat the disease.

They beat the bastard cancer.

Some real life stories do take a turn of events, like in a fairytale. Many don’t.

Today, after hearing the sad news of Kelly Preston, I hugged my daughter, tightly.

We sat on the couched, rolled around and tickled each other, and I didn’t mind one bit as our heads collided, my nose bumped hers, and she swatted my kisses away playfully.

I didn’t mind it at all.

Because I had someone to hug.

#1240 Kiss-fest

I’m really enjoying watching baby girl grow and develop into a young girl. It gets me all misty-eyed MANY times, but what I am enjoying most of all, is also our relationship growing and developing.

I’m finding lately we are really laughing together more. I become her equal in those moments, and she mine, and we end up cacking over something totally hilarious or totally trivial, doubled over in laughter…

It can be us playing dolls and Mister F will walk past, and I act out the dolls – “Argh! A black and white monster!”

Or she’ll be sooking about something silly and I pull a weird/funny face, and she can’t help but laugh and pull one back, and then I do it again, and etc until we are totally losing it.

Or like tonight. She does this thing every so often at bedtime, and it is part a delay mechanism, part because she is so affectionate. But she will grab me as I am kissing her goodnight, her arms firmly around my neck holding me close, as she counts –

“1!” and then plants a kiss on my cheek.

“2!” Kiss!

“3!” Kiss!

“4!” Kiss!

“5!” Kiss!

“6!” Kiss!

“7!” Kiss!

“8!” Kiss!

“9!” Kiss!

And then yells out “10!” before blowing a massive rapsberry on my cheek.

I always brace for impact, but let her do it anyway… she has a ball. Tonight however, she got up to 10… and kept going.

“11!'” Kiss!

“12!” Kiss!

Each time she pulled back to count further I pulled a confused, exaggerated expression. Her counts became incoherent as she burst into laughter, so that at 17 I was like “what number are you even up to?”

She kept kissing me in hysterics as she counted something in a muddle, and I fell onto her laughing and trying hard to breathe normally.

Ahhh. It’s in these moments I let go of everything.

I let go of trying to make everything right.

I let go of being the parent.

I let go of rules.

I let go of routine and order.

I let go of worries.

I let go of the past.

I let go of what ‘should be.’

I let go of all those knots within me, and in the tremors of laughter vibrating off me, they untie and go loose, and waves of happiness and love pour out.

It is magical.

She counted up to 25, somehow… my cheek was wet… and then she yelled “10!”

And I got my raspberry. Though my insides were fuzzy too, not just my cheek. 🙂 ♥

 

#1093 The Goodbye kiss lives on

I didn’t expect it would happen so soon. Nonetheless, when the first bell rang at 9am, the kids on the playground did their momentary pause, before running at full speed towards the coloured caterpillars painted on the concrete, where they would line up.

I watched baby girl jump up from the bark-filled playground area, and start to run past me.

“No kiss?” I called out.

But she was GONE. I walked slowly, getting closer to her caterpillar, similar parents around me also coming closer for a look, kiss, and a wave goodbye.

Don’t get sad. You knew this day would come. I swallowed and tried not to think about it as I saw her line up. Don’t make a scene – she is happy.

Don’t make a scene.

The second bell rang. A couple of teachers were now present, and they started to lead their lined up preppies into the building. I watched as baby girl’s class was led forward, saw with happiness she was holding hands with one of her friends, and smiled at her when she looked my way.

Suddenly, a wave of horror washed over her face. As if in slow motion. Walking by near me, following the other kids in –

She realised she had not gotten a goodbye kiss!

I watched her, amused yet alert, knowing her sudden anxious reaction may spell bad things.

“Mum! Kiss!”

She had stopped, and all the kids behind her stopped abruptly too. Her friend kept holding her hand as she stood still, with the kids in front of them still heading on into the building. I blew her a kiss, but it wasn’t enough.

“Mum!”

I ran over quickly and leaned in for a hug.

SMOOCH!

“Okay, now go!” I urged.

I leaned back. Ok, drama kind of avoided…

Who am I kidding. We totally made a scene.

But I don’t care, because my girl still wants to kiss me.

Gratitude = √

 

#764 Games with our girl

We spend so much of our lives, rushing from A to K to Z, thinking of the future, reminiscing about the past, and constantly in a state of planning, that we often forget to live, engage and be in the present.

It’s synonym is gift for a reason.

I always have things to do. I guess, duh Fred, EVERYONE’S life story. I guess my point is, in my spare time I rarely am lounging about watching hours of TV on end. I try to limit my social media use when it is just aimless trawling trawling trawling through news feeds. Recently I’ve begun planning out my days meticulously, so I can get in the maximum number of productive seconds, minutes and hours out of it that I can while baby girl is at kinder. This usually involves Zumba, some kind of writing, and then doing some sort of house-related organisational activity, a work in progress that is 18 months growing following our move (still!)

But just as I am always trying to tick things off my never-ending eternal to-do list, so am I realising I need to sometimes, just stop. Sit and DO nothing, for like, 5 minutes. Go through that mag that’s been sitting on the coffee table.

Play with baby girl.

I am very aware of her words to me. I am also aware of phrases I use like “I’m too busy,” “I can’t now” and “after.” I don’t like to use them, and then again, at times you can’t avoid them. You will be in the throes of something, let’s say dinner, and if I were to stop and go and play with baby girl’s barbie dolls, well our dinner would end up being blackened chicken schnitzel with burnt mini pizzas and soggy vegies.

But as was the case today, I stopped. Baby girl asked if we could play an exciting game, and I paused – I am so used to thinking of what I am doing next that I didn’t even realise that there was nothing I had planned for that moment – and said “sure. Let’s play.”

She was to be sleeping beauty, and I was to get her Anna, Elsa, and another barbie doll, and wake her up by presenting to her the Prince. I did just that, getting the dolls to wake her up off of the carpeted floor, but she did her trademark “no, like this,” and showed me by kissing me on the nose, that she was expecting a kiss from Prince charming himself.

I smiled. Okay then.

I instructed her to stay there on the floor, then ran off to her room to get something. Back I came, with her dolls, and doing some pretend doll voices, the dolls then presented the Prince to a sleeping, Beauty. He leant down, gave her a kiss… she woke up…

And it was her Captain Feathersword doll.

The look of wild hilarity and fun spread across her face as she refused his ‘advances,’ and we doubled over on the floor cacking ourselves silly. I took the turn of being Sleeping Beauty then as she presented the feathery pirate to me, and then in my subsequent turns of finding a Prince for her, I presented to her my original 90s Ken Barbie, who honestly I thought was as good a Prince as any, but she said “yuck!” and on second thoughts and looks I realised that in his 90s bow-tie suit he looked more like a 40 year-old Dad figure than a suitor. Fair enough.

The last dude I found for her was also Wiggles themed, palm-sized Lachy doll from the latest group incarnation. “Here you go,” I mimicked the dolls, placing him on her face for a lip smacker.

“No Lachy, yuck!” she squealed, and we doubled over again in laughter, laughing more because we were there watching each other laugh and cry laughing. It was GOLD.

Tonight after all the cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the next day, I miraculously found some spare time. And I didn’t fill it with stuff on my to-do list. I turned to my private ‘me’ list, and sat at the table to read the Peninsula Kids magazine we had received at kinder that day.

Sure, I was reading articles written from fellow bloggers I knew and people who I had read about online. It was kinda like homework. But still, I was reading, I was engaging, and I was growing. And all the while a few metres away, Hubbie was creating his own game with baby girl – chasing her around the table, pretending to be distracted by something else and then running for her, until he would catch her in a bear hug, pull her into the couch, and then it would start all over again.

I sat there, reading amidst the laughter and the love, glad that she had had a full day of games, memories and love. I wasn’t in complete peace amidst the noise, but also somehow, I was.

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#672 What she said no.2

It was chaos at Bayside today. A bit insane. Almost as if Christmas were tomorrow, instead of next week.

It was ok though. We had found parking on the top, and it only took us 10 minutes.

We made our way through the centre levels and stores, going up and down the escalator and lifts a dozen times, trying to find those last few Christmas presents to tick off our list.

One such time as we were heading up, we happened to be on alternating escalator steps – baby girl on the highest one, me on the middle one, and Hubbie behind me on the lowest step.

As we rode up and up, Hubbie leaned in and kissed me sweetly on the shoulder a few times. Sometimes baby girl gets possessive and tells him to back off at moments like these, promptly letting him know that I am her Mama!

This time though, she smiled sweetly.

“Mama,” she started. “Tato like you.”

Awwwww. The sweetest thing EVER.

“You think so?” I asked with a broad smile. “He likes me, a bit?!”

She won the quote of the day, HANDS DOWN.

I am forever grateful for her insightful, funny, clever, entertaining, and touching quotes. She always wins the gratitude game:)

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#557 What she said

Sleep-coma was threatening to win me over at any moment.

I was so tired as I struggled to fight the fog, reading baby girl a book in the dark of her room, against her dim Skye lamp.

But soon it was done. She wanted some face tapping, which I promptly followed with, and then she was going to do it on me, so I closed my eyes and settled in for some random and non-parallel taps from her gentle fingers all over my face.

She ended by kissing me on the forehead, just as I always do for her.

I quickly tucked her in, getting comfortable sitting on the toy box beside her as I did every night, waiting for her to fall asleep. Then –

*lip-smacking sounds!*

She wanted another kiss. I leaned in quickly – do not fight the requests, it only delays everything that much more – and we gave each other kisses. To which she then said,

“Mama best friend.”

Awww.

“You’re my best friend too,” I whispered to her giving her another kiss.

“Yeah best friend, in whole world!”

Awww. I mean, that there. I’m done.

Tick tick tick. I’ll remember that moment, these memories, and this age, forever and ever and ever.

♥♥♥