#824 Shedding fears with Mum and Autumn leaves

Like trees, we start off small. Meek. Modest and feeble. We sway wildly with the gentle breath of Summer’s wind, and we soon realise we need to dig our roots in really deep to keep from being uprooted from the ground.

Over time, we grow. Tall, strong, roots spreading far, our branches reaching out, now covering some of those small and slender trees that we used to be.

And then Autumn comes.

The greatest tree must shed its leaves. Stature means nothing. It needs to leave everything behind, stripping itself bare and laying naked in front of the world. It does this slowly, releasing itself of three seasons, letting its layers fall away, yet still standing strong, proudly, knowing that one day, it will sprout green again.

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Today I revealed some deep-seeded fears and truths to my Mum, beside this very tree.

I had grown up thinking I could do it all on my own. But trees grow in clusters for a reason.

#819 What to be grateful for on Mother’s Day

They say ‘tomorrow is another day.’

But sometimes the crap feelings of the previous day seep into the next morning, and you are left feeling like the bad vibes just won’t leave you alone.

I was feeling pretty average this morning. After I swore I wouldn’t do anything to celebrate Mother’s Day for myself EVER AGAIN, my Mother’s Day presents told me that maybe, I was doing just fine.

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Sometimes, these ‘celebrated’ days are just too hard to handle. Polished and carefully selected social media photos make you feel awfully incompetent with any, sometimes ALL parts of your life, as you witness your immaculate family and friends, their children and Mothers and themselves, looking all smiley and happy and a picture of perfect family bliss.

They don’t show the tears. The fights that stopped just before the snap of the camera. The relentless arguing and disappointments that can precede the happy snaps.

Pretty snaps that, let’s face it, present a very brief moment in time. Often not at all a proper representation of life.

And yet, we still beat ourselves up over not looking as perfect as ‘others.’

Which is why, we must not worry about others and their social feeds. We find our own, real reasons to be grateful anyway.

We look for the simple things.

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The fact that mornings sometimes don’t start off too well, but we can still make something of the day, and turn it around.

The fact that we have family, and love, and also, great food.

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Some people don’t even have that.

Some people eat their lunch from a plastic container, their table the car park kerb, moving their life from street corner to street corner.

Some people are in hospitals right now, sick, alone and unable to move without assistance.

There are poverty-stricken children in the world right now, who have their sewerage pass them in an unenclosed hole, right near where they bath and feed themselves.

There are young girls being sold into sex slavery.

My sister told me that the frequency of ‘amber alerts’ that go off at schools is bone-chilling. Strange people loitering and hanging around the school gates, watching and taking photos of our littlies, trying to bait them over.

There are people, who don’t talk to their Mothers.

There are people, who don’t have their Mothers with them anymore.

And there are people, who want so bad to be Mothers.

Just because we may not know these people or see these things, does not mean it does not happen.

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So to have a day, where I was with my family, my loves, my happiness, spending cherished and truly special moments with them… my reserves were filled. My happiness was restored, and I felt again, that the simple moments with loved ones, are worth their weight in gold.

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#817 Sick Timing

When I was teenager, the word sick could have meant 3 completely different things:

Sick (1): Something great. Too cool for school. Ultra awesome. Best-thing-since-sliced-bread good.

Eg. “That N*Sync and Richard Marx love-song collaboration is sick.”

(Yep. I said teenagers).

Sick (2): Filthy. So wrong. Depraved. Inappropriate. Get-away-from-me-now-I-can’t-believe-you-just-said-that, sick.

Eg. “I love Maths.”

“You’re sick.”

The third definition of sick is funnily enough, the only one I have anything to do with nowadays, being a parent of a kindergarten-attending girl.

Sick (3): Of having your immune system worn out. With cold. Feverish. Unwell. Tired. Sniffly. Coughing, sneezing, achiness usually presents.

This is the sick I was dealing with today.

But I couldn’t help but be thankful for the timing. How is it that often the sickness comes when you have nothing on? For the first time in ages we were home today, and the last 3 Fridays we’ve had appointments appointments appointments. It’s been mad crazy busy, so when we woke up this morning and baby girl was still suffering with a sniffily and snotty nose, feeling very worse for wear and overly tired, I knew it was going to be that kind of day.

That ‘tending-to-her’ day.

I was actually glad I was the one to be there. I didn’t have anywhere to be. I wasn’t cancelling appointments – sure we had to cancel a playdate, but for now that leisure would have to wait. I gave her Panadol, checked her temperature, felt her forehead a billion times… blew her nose a trillion times… bathed her and fed her and cuddled and kissed her every time she asked… and didn’t.

I was grateful I was home with her for this most important of sick days – the first one is always the hardest – and though tomorrow I AM away from her, I sure as hell hope the worst has passed, and the love and support I gave her today will help her on her road to healing.

So the cold, though shit, had good timing. Sick. (Number 1!)

#816 Second Mother’s Day celebration at kinder

Winter had arrived early.

The cold snap was upon us. Icy winds and stay-at-home conditions meant all my running around after dropping baby girl off at kinder was definitely NOT what the doctor ordered.

The second half of the day was just as mind-numbing. A child getting progressively sick as the day wore on (I am not surprised anymore with all these grots at kinder), more freezing weather, a worsening mood brought on by stress and pressure and also, weird body feelings (please don’t let me get sick)…

Punctuated beautifully by a C U Next Tuesday of a job that meant Hubbie and I were scatter-brained and pushed to the limit this evening in trying to submit a form that HAD to be completed tonight… and it wasn’t even for us!

It wasn’t the best of days.

But the middle part, WAS. Because it was the Mother’s Day celebration at kinder day, so in amongst all of today’s crap, I got to spent some beautiful time with my baby girl, watching her play, and getting cute little gifts from her, to me.

What? What is crossroads?

Yes I like my eggs.

How often must I say I have work to do that she thinks, I actually like it?!

I must admit though, I ♥♥♥ that letter.

And my most favourite accessory of the day that I can take with me everywhere –

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Another Mum poked fun at the fact that our necklaces were so stunning, sarcastically speaking, and quietly I thought –

“I would actually wear mine out.”

It may not cost $100, and it may not be made from specially sourced and original jewels… but they were threaded by my baby girl’s hands, and that is more precious and prized than any store-bought item… 🙂

#812 Next gen yard play

It was a sweet moment tonight as I watched a handful of kids run around a backyard in the fading light of the evening.

Our should I say, it was a sweet couple of hours.

I was at a relative’s house… well, me plus the rest of the fam-bam. In my cousins large and expansive yard, baby girl and her cousins, all ranging from ages 4 – 10… started to play.

It has always been a bit harder for them all to play together, just because of the slight age gap, and various stages they have all been at. But tonight, that gap didn’t appear so big, as they all ran around playing chasy, throwing glow sticks into the night air, participating in hide and seek, and just all around having a great ol’ time.

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The blur of the lights and movement represents just how fast and go-go-go it was out there.

It was made more sweet, because they were our kids. Me, and my cousins.’ We had our own set of memories and times spent having fun together, and now our kids were all coming to an age where they could more easily interact with one another, giving each other memories that I just know they will hold dear forever… I know that, because I hold mine dearly to my chest too.

And inside I then went, to talk to my own family and cousins about our own reminiscing times, and both memories I had been involved in, and times I had not been around for, were equally fascinating to me, because they all shared the common needle and thread work that is, our extended family.

We were all a part of it, through time, through generations, through blood.

Not only were the kids outside having a ball amongst themselves, but it allowed us to do the most important and relaxing thing of all –

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Cake, and coffee. Vanilla slice YES PLEASE.

 

#811 His shoes were made for dancing

He didn’t dance for a LONG time.

This was a big deal. Dancing was Hubbie’s forte. The way he effortlessly and magically glided to the folk music, his feet seemingly floating in the air, arms waving about in focused movement as if conducting the people and arena around him…

The love and passion were so evident on his face when he danced like this. It was pure joy and happiness for the music manifested, and the expression came forth as his body responded to the music, from the beam stretching from cheek to cheek, all the way to his tip-toes.

It’s all about moving on your tip-toes. There is NO OTHER way to do it, he would say.

So I knew then when his Dad died, that he would stay off the dancing for a while.

Because, not doing the things you love, as passionate as you might be about them, is one of the natural processes of grieving. Hell, you don’t want to do barely anything, let alone something that makes you happy, or used to make you happy, when you are so sad.

It was harder in his case to even contemplate dancing… because it had been a great love he and his Dad shared.

Father and Son. The image epitome. Side by side, arms outstretched, touching shoulders, as they moved in perfect unison, in big grand movements, sweeping their arms wide as they turned around, and kicked and jumped and paraded for all to see.

It was the perfect image of familial bliss. And it was.

But after a year of grieving, Hubbie still couldn’t do it. He forced himself here and there, but there was just no love for the act of dancing…

He stopped dancing. Cold turkey. Just, GONE.

It made me so sad. Here was a part of Hubbie that brought him so much joy, and yet he wasn’t doing it anymore, so strong was the loss and unhappiness in his heart.

“Do it for your Dad,” I would suggest gently. “He would be so proud to see you dancing on in his name.”

But my words were empty. The intention was meaningless, because the person behind the meaning, was not here anymore.

This year will mark 5 years from his Dad’s passing. And though there were some small moments over the past year where he danced here, he danced there, with some substance of meaning, a breadth of the passion he used to hold, signifying a subtle change to the Hubbie of old maybe occurring… tonight something happened.

He had the music on before we headed out, and was dancing around the house, “warming up.”

He made sure to have his dancing shoes on.

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And when a suitable song sang out over the dance floor, he took me… and he also took the arm of his Dad’s peer – a close relative and friend of his father’s, a fellow music lover and dancing companion – and he said “you’re coming with me. In place of my Dad.”

WOW.

I was on one side of Hubbie, looking over as the two of them made light of their feet. They danced and jumped around, hopping and skipping, and turning around with grins from ear to ear.

His late father’s peer stood proudly beside Hubbie, honoured he had been chosen to dance in place of such an important and influential person from Hubbie’s life.

And in that moment as I glanced over at the two of them making a scene, causing a dancefloor stir, and galloping around jovially, something in my heart tugged, and I teared up.

There was that smile.

There was the skip in his step.

The lightness of movement had returned.

He was dancing again, full gusto.

My Hubbie, was back ♥♥♥