#1031 What she said no. 10

It’s been one of those crazy, busy, anything-can-happen-at-any moment days.

So when I vomited for the 5th time today (food-related, random bug or both, you take your pick) and baby girl said to me softly –

“Mama it’s OK, you’ll get better, don’t worry anything you need I’m here” –

with those big round gentle imploring eyes of hers, I thought –

‘Damn. I’m actually grateful for those words.’

Then I went and barfed again.

 

#1028 Nothing’s changed

It’s been a good 4 months since we’ve last seen our ‘best man and fam.’ We always say we need to do it more often, but alas, LIFE happens people.

The kids grow… interests change… news happens around us, and to all of us…

And yet, our times together do not change.

We still laugh.

We still sing.

We still play.

We still love, respect and admire one another.

We still love doughnuts…

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And baby girl still goes to sit next to her buddy when it is ice cream time 🙂

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We definitely won’t leave it for 4 months next time. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

#1026 Kinder photos from the past year

It’s an early post for me today, but sometimes you know in your heart of hearts, what you will think about for days, weeks, even months later, when you look back at a certain day.

And I know what I will think of when I look back on today.

It was the most beautiful day at baby girl’s kinder for her informal graduation ceremony, and Christmas family day. It was an early one this year, because the kindergarten teacher will be off overseas soon, and so they held the party today.

Never mind I am already having kinder withdrawals with 2 weeks to go. Not only will I miss the place terribly, the innocent culture, the amazing teachers, the kids, the community vibe… but I will miss their greenery.

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After the kids sang some very sweet songs and Christmas songs to the parents, and were presented individually with a group photo congratulating them on their kindergarten participation, we took a couple of graduation hat photos, before heading off home with all her Christmas presents and goodies from the day.

I went through one of the bags at home. She had received book upon book upon book. I instructed her to put them under the Christmas tree, and she promptly did so, as I came upon an envelope…

I peered inside.

There were photos.

As I started to pull them out, I gasped, and burst into tears.

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It was tears of happiness. Tears of gratitude. Giant, sobbing, shoulder-heaving tears. I went through the photos, only half a dozen, but photos that showed my daughter playing at kinder. Interacting with others. Playing with her friends. Mucking about on the slide. Posing in capes.

I tearfully went through each one, pouring over it enthusiastically while trying to gain an inside glimpse of her kindergarten life from the brief snapshots I had.

They were soooo valuable to me… because baby girl rarely tells me what happens at kinder.

She will tell me dribs and drabs. Who she sat next to for lunch. Whether she had a turn on the spiderweb swing or not. How many times she went to the loo. She seems persistent to not tell me much at all, and though I try to find ways to ease the information out of her, and the teachers put up photos of their various activities week in and week out, I still don’t get the feedback I so crave.

Which is why I figuratively clutched the photos to my heart when I saw them.

It was a build up of everything. How far she had come. How far she had grown. Where she had started when she started there last year, to today, standing front row during the  songs and singing loudly “there’s a reindeer on my roof!”

I am so happy today. So proud. Time goes on, and sometimes it goes slow, yet sometimes it goes fast…

And it’s on days like today, these brief glimpses within our lives, where we look back and say “wow. Here we are.”

Here we are. ♥

#1025 That he also had a tough day

It may seem awfully cruel and mean-spirited for me to be happy, grateful even, that today, Hubbie had a trying day with baby girl.

But you really need to see it in context.

A couple of days ago I was sitting at the dinner table, my head in my hands, telling him how I wanted to rip my hair out!

Baby girl was in a weird way lately. Talking back constantly. Arguing at my every request. Putting up a fight for any little thing possible. It was insane. I didn’t want to let her get away with it, so it meant me constantly telling her what she was saying or doing was wrong or not nice, and this in itself created more of a cycle of stress!

He chuckled to himself while watching me.

“You think this is funny? I’ll ask you on Wednesday if you think it’s so funny. GOOD LUCK.”

It wasn’t a wish. It was a challenge.

Today, Wednesday, I got home from work – LATE. I had had to make a stop on the way home, and leaving so much later meant I was on the Monash freeway later…. and I crawled, I swear, for the entire stretch of freeway. I had left the city at 5:10, and I got home before 7pm.

ARGH.

But I was happy. I was home. The sun was out. I moved towards the front door, and as I turned the corner –

swoosh! a butterfly had been hanging around on our fly screen door, and as I came closer it flew off, almost colliding with my face.

It gave me such a shock, and rattled my nerves so much, that it took me several minutes to calm the fuck down still my beating heart.

Inside, I went to give baby girl a kiss. As I leaned down to kiss her head, she went all baby girl on me, and jumped excitedly…

OUCH! Her head hit my lip, and the pain seared all over.

I stomped upstairs, to find a red bruise on my lips.

Great. Just fucking great.

I was now seriously peeved. I had come home, wanting respite from the mammoth traffic jam that had been my route home, and instead was assaulted by winged insects and young girls. I may as well have stayed at work.

Instead I sat down with Hubbie and baby girl to eat. He had made pan-fried chips with our dinner, as I had requested last night. This made me happy, as when I said it I hadn’t seriously expected him to do it – but he did. We ate in silence, as he was breathing heavily with his own shit weighing upon him, and I had my own reasons as to why I was major cranky-pants – and then there was baby girl in between us, chowing down on her pasta.

Once enough food had gone into us, we started to open up, and talk…

And he began to tell me all the ways in which she had been difficult that day.

Arguing at the park. Falling over. Crying. Having it her way – ALL DAY. Making him buy her stuff. Squirting him with water when they washed the car. Insisting she went out to ride her bike in the maximum heat of the day at 5pm.

He said he had gained 10 grey hairs just that day.

“Ha!” I exclaimed. “And you were laughing at me days ago? Now do you see why I am the way I am???”

He didn’t say a word, instead a small grin coming onto his face. He knew I was right.

“Sorry, but not sorry…. suffer in your jocks.”

And though the most juvenile thing to say, it was actually the most fitting and he took it well… after all, the hose had gone in that direction.

(And then we proceeded through all the nagging talk to still bestow upon baby girl a million kisses by bedtime 🙂 She always wins.)

#1021 Start of a BIG month speaks volumes

Colours. Confetti. Joy. Love. Happiness.

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It was another Wiggles BIG show. It was also just another Wiggles show, and I have lost count of the many we have been to over the years, whether BIG or small.

It was a BIG day. And it was filled with BIG love. Because not only did we head into the city to watch the 4-coloured group perform all their best catchy songs, but we did it with family.

There’s nothing quite like making memories, laughing, singing and dancing about with those you love most.

But beyond that… sometimes you may not see someone in a while, and there is still love there.

And beyond the Australian kids entertainment group, our day kept going. We had some family friends come over this evening who we haven’t seen in a long while. Baby girl, though tired and spent and overexcited from her Wiggly day, took almost an hour, maybe more, to come out of hiding and say hello to them.

But once she did, THAT WAS IT.

Kisses. Hugs. Dancing. Love. Much like earlier in the day. But only this time it was with people that we don’t see so often.

And something very simple came up. In amongst talking about this, it was noted – “kids can tell.”

Kids don’t lie.

Whether it is with people they see on a regular basis, or people they haven’t seen in 2 years… they don’t lie. They can’t. They can ONLY tell the truth. You can read it in their behaviour towards them, and how they respond.

How they look at them.

It’s one of those Universal things that just, IS. 

And so, on the first day of December, on the first day of Summer, on the first day of what begins the madness of the Christmas and end-of-year catch-up season…

Big things are all around us at this time of year… but hopefully we can respond to it all with happiness and laughter, as long as we are with the right people.

Whether we saw them yesterday or last year.

Blood, or water. As long as there is ♥

 

 

#1018 The Primary Transition

She clutched onto me, hid behind my back, and shrieked out when any of the other parents/ her new teacher tried to get her to sit down with the other kids.

Uh oh. We were reverting back to the old days.

The days where I had to beg her to enter her kinder class. The days where I questioned what I was doing wrong. The days where I pulled at my hair (and wits end) wondering how in the hell to make her calm and happy about being in a room full of kids she didn’t know???

But instead, we let her be. Today, on this 3rd transition day at her primary school, she stood back at first as the kids partook in a ‘movement,’ sport-like class… and once given the option to start jumping on coloured spots and acting like an animal…

She literally jumped right in.

Maybe it was the end of the day and she was getting tired. Maybe she was hungry. Maybe it just felt all too real, and suddenly she was really seeing herself going to this new school – new kids, and even a new teacher!

But despite her initial hesitation and fear, she ended up being amazing. She willingly participated. Her animal of choice was the meerkat, and she put her hand up, offered the suggestion, and all the kids started to act like meerkats as they ran from coloured dot to coloured dot.

OMG. What a 180 from only 10 minutes earlier.

It was a wonderful afternoon. I saw her character. I saw her kindness. I saw her eagerness. And I saw that she still needs us, now more than ever… but she will do ok. She will be ok.

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And just like this clay creation she made in her art session, I think it will all come together. All the colours and shapes out there, textures and concepts that are the kids and teachers next year, they will all come together like her picture, and find a way to stick. A way to work. A way to be beautiful, creative, and inspired.

♥♥♥

#1014 Scaling heights and shedding fears at Faber

I remember going skiing with my sister and her friends when I was about 16.

It was then that I had to face my fear of steep inclines. A fear I didn’t even know I really had until then.

I had these long narrow skis on for the first time in my life, and after becoming quickly bored by the amateur kiddie slope, I knew I had to move on to something more challenging.

But the next step up was actually down down down… a slope that seemed dangerously steep.

It probably wasn’t. Being next in the skiing procession, it likely was a realistic step 2. But for me terror gripped my heart and made my arms and legs go numb at the prospect of going down it, and it wasn’t just from the snow.

I must have expressed my fear to my sister then – I wanted to ski, go down, do something… but it was so damn steep.

She gave me some sage advice. Advice that helped me through that moment, and advice that you can apply to almost any overwhelming situation in life:

“Just look at the space in front of you. Don’t worry about the next 10 metres, or even try looking all the way down the slope – just keep your eyes in front of your feet.”

I was completely shitting myself, but following her lead, did as I was told.

I made it. Sure, I fell over myself awkwardly a few times, but soon I was sailing down, swerving left and right, and making sure my eyes were safely trained on that small space in front of me, that small space I knew I could accomplish.

Little skiing steps.

I had to overcome a similar fear today… but this one involved looking UP.

It’s been 5 years since my last writing workshop/class, an activity that was severely overdue for this creative head. I headed over to the Allen and Unwin East Melbourne office to partake in a Faber Writing Academy one-day course.

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I absolutely loved every moment of it. The interactivity, the encouragement. The shared and similar ideas, sharp proof that I was on the right track. The writing space provided, and of course, the highly sought after, terrifying feedback.

Wooo.

I can honestly say that once the day was done, I felt with all of my being, that I was definitely on my lifelong path. With so much upheaval this past year, uncertainty and confusion being such a prevalent theme in my life, to find that what I had always known and hoped for, was definitely the path I had to take, the path that was for me, was a true joy to realise.

How did I know?

Just the way you know in the feelings that emerge from such an experience.

Like when you have custard for the first time and you go “mmm.”

Or when you hear a new song and straight off you KNOW you’re going to play it until all those around you start to despise you.

The way you feel when you find love, and that little voice tells you “watch out – this is it.”

It’s that same knowing.

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I’ll leave you with one of my writing exercises of the day that we did off-the-cuff… it tells you more about my journey today in ways that I simply can’t at this heady midnight hour.

Theme? A journal entry. Why, I know ‘a little’ about that 😉

 

THE JOURNAL ENTRY EXERCISE

I thought I had given myself ample time to get there.

6am start.

Local café brekkie. My cappuccino had a leaf design in it, the way all hipster cafes do nowadays, and it reminded me of my most favourite emblem, the tree.

Tall, looming and abundant in nature, its roots expansive and far-reaching, to places our eyes were not privy to.

The tree was the symbol of growth and renewal, and the way in which it bared its leaves for all to see, still stood grandly amidst its shedding, and then found the innate courage to sprout green all over again, was an inspiration to me.

It was to be a similar fate for me that day.

The unveiling of myself. My deepest and most personal stories, a torchlight shone brightly on, magnified and criticised for all my like-minded peers to see.

There’s nothing like being in a room of those who do what you do, to instil the greatest sense of doubt in oneself.

Suddenly, I had 10 minutes to go and this huge mother of an escalator LOOMED before me. What? No one had told me I would have to scale those insane heights?

I clutched the rubber rail to my left at the train station, staring at the man’s orange tiger on his sneaker in front of me, willing the mechanical steps to go faster.

But because I had a fear of steep inclines, of course it took its time.

My journey to the top, body leaning forward at a 90 degree angle, was a brutal one. I couldn’t even look back down to the depths of the platform below to see how far I’d come.

I think I’ll take the lift on my way down.

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And that is why I am a never-ending… work in progress.