#670 The bond they still share part 2

“Mama!” she exclaimed from the backseat of the car this morning. “Flowers! Two flowers for Baka and Deda!”

That’s right. She had picked a couple of yellow flowers from our yard while out and about bouncing on the trampoline before breakfast – possibly weeds, yet still bright and sunny-like – and had specifically told me that “this for Baka, and this for Deda.”

We were heading over to see my parents today. Her grandparents.

Baby girl is in this phase at the moment, where she will pick these flowers from within the grass in our yard and tell me who it’s for. Often they are for me, and if I’ve been complaining of something, it’s to make me “feel better.” ๐Ÿ™‚ Awww.

But she rattles off names constantly: her grandparents, her Dad, her aunty and uncle, cousins… even kinder friends sometimes get a mention.

And it wasn’t just a flower. She had to pick it just the right way, with not too much stem, or else it would be carelessly and coldly thrown over her shoulder in a defiant motion.

I had left them on the kitchen bench, and in the car, she was almost devastated that she had forgotten and now couldn’t give it to them.

An hour and 20 later as we pulled into my parents driveway, I got her out and said “come, I have an idea.” We walked a short distance around the corner to the park they live next to, and started scanning the mid-length grass.

Sure enough, on my parents side of the fence, there were exactly two yellow flowers – no more, no less.

“Pick those for Baka and Deda,” I told her. “They’ll be happy.”

She handed them out proudly, and I wondered if my parents knew how much thought and care she had put into picking those flowers for them…

Some time later, in fact hours later, and I came back there after my hair appointment. I walked in to hugs andย kisses and “Mama!” exclamations, and soon baby girl told me as we were packing up to leave “Me have very good time at Baka Deda house.”

Awww. There right there. You can’t fake that, a child can simply NOT lie about that.

To have my child who I love and care for so much, and my parents who cared for me so much and who I love, for those two entities to love and care for each other so much…

It is truly special. A beautiful, full circle. ๐Ÿ™‚

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#661 A very cookie birthday

I love celebrating the birthdays and special occasions of my family. Even more so, when it is done so naughtily, mid-week.

Throw in a blue cookie monster cake, and I’M SET.

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It was my younger nephews birthday today. The handsome fella got the cake he wanted, which the little group of us enjoyed immensely, baby girl especially so.

It was a fabulous night since it was just a small group of us, but often the smallest gatherings are the best. Casual chit-chat, relaxed vibes, all with a mild Summer evening as our backdrop and a lot of love to spread around…

And like I said, mid-week. On a Wednesday night. I feel like I am cheating by having so much fun and seeing my family like this, in the middle of the working week.

But maybe we should do this more and not even wait for the weekend to arrive…

Throw parties. See the people we love.

EAT COOKIE MONSTER CAKE.

Life is short, so why the hell should we not enjoy it for all its worth?

Oh, and by the way… it was good.

“C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me…”

#627 Plaits

The mornings are usually a rush. Even though baby girl is not yet in primary school, we are usually somehow rushing for something.

But in these hectic moments, furtive glances towards the clock, and agonising begging for baby girl to “just sit down,” there is a time-consuming activity that slows us both

A-l-lย  T-h-eย  W-a-yย  R-i-g-h-tย  D-o-w-n.

It’s when I sit to do her plaits.

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She likes when I do two plaits for her, like the character Anna from Frozen. And today was no less an exception, since it was dress-up day at kinder, and who should she choose to dress up as of course?

None other than the fiery freckled brunette with plaits.

I realise often as I’m doing this activity, that we both pause, and go very still. And it has less to do with the fact that I actually need her still, and more that we are in this beautiful moment, where she is allowing me to get to work, and I am relishing the crazy, busy, and yet so so precious moment where she is dependant on me to make her hair all pretty. Where I can help her, and she needs, and wants my help.

I remember the days when my Mum would do my hair (my Dad even took to the task a few times when Mum was not around!) and I see with clarity how fleeting, and transitory life really is.

And so I sit there. I ignore the clock. I divide her hair into parts. She goes quiet.

And we sit in this moment of Plait-itude.

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#614 Mementos from the past

I am in the process of sorting through all the childhood things I left behind at my parents house when I first moved in with Hubbie. So each time I visit, I go through a drawer, a cupboard, a shelf, and I sort into 3 piles:

The throw away pile

The recycle/donate pile

The take home and keep forever and ever pile

I have come across some absolutely amazing things, LET ME TELL YOU. Watch this space carefully. I even came across a note, that nearly made me clap my hands with joy… it’s not with me yet, or else I would have posted about it already.

In due time. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

But anyway. Along with getting rid of some items today (if I can’t remember where it is from, or it doesn’t spark any interest in me, I remove it from sight immediately in a rather ruthless and cold manner – I have to because I hoard soooo easily) I took home a fair few more.

All little things. Which makes it ok.

But some of the interesting finds were these:

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Bits I had TOTALLY forgotten about. Bits that told a story, of another time, and another place. And Bits that just made me go “huh?”

Bits I had TOTALLY forgotten about

The pale blue rosary. Who gave it to me? I don’t know. Was it a baby gift? I don’t know. Did someone think I was going to come out a boy?

I DON’T KNOW.

But it has always been there, and therefore has always given me some kind of comfort, since I know it has been around for as long as I have.

The Christmas tree pin. It lights up. I think. My mum gave it to me… I think. But regardless of who gifted it to me, it’s Christmas, and so immediately, KEEP.

Bits that tell a story

The blue and pink zig zag choker. When I was 13 and overseas for the first time, my cousin gave this to me. I think I can even remember, that she had made it.

I am not now, nor have I ever been a choker wearer. But I wore it then, several times, both in front of her and away from her, as a kind of experimentation with self, and you know, teenage years. I had completely forgotten about this one. It takes me to a very memorable and significant trip from my childhood, and so this has to stay.

My incognito watch. I wore this in my teenage years, even possibly leading up to, and during my aforementioned overseas trip. I have to say, I had no idea what incognito meant when I wore it. Oh man.

Bits that make me go “huh?”

Those keys on the bugs bunny key chain. You know how you accumulate a thousand and one keychains in your life? No? Well I somehow received a lot. As a present, attached to some gift set, and hey, key chains are an awesome present to give somebody as a holiday souvenir, because who doesn’t want a picture on their keys of some kind of landmark, that they have NEVER been to???!!!

So, I have no idea who gave me this key chain, or if in fact, I got it when my parents and I went up to Surfers Paradise one time. And those keys… like, what? I told my Mum to throw this one out, and then stopped in my tracks.

What would those keys open up?

???

“Maybe you should keep those,” Mum suggested. “It might be to open those brown boxes that kept all those books you used to write in…”

My old diaries. Hmmm. She knew about that VERY well…

So, what a memory blast. As life goes on, I find it fascinating that we used to live a life so long ago, that we can’t remember a lot about. And we come across things, that used to be so regular in our lives, and now, we draw a blank. It’s incredible, and as a child, I used to always say “I’ll never forget,” baffled with adults who couldn’t remember events of their childhood.

I now forget.

You know what might help me though? A watch. I know what incognito is now, and I certainly go by it online… ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

#611 New neighbours, old neighbours

A pair of brothers, primary-school aged, live next door. Confident, direct, interested. They sat perched on the fence bordering our homes as I put up the washing this afternoon, baby girl on the ground floor trying to scale up our side of the fence to reach them.

“Can we play with her?” the younger one asked.

“Ahhh,” I stalled. I didn’t have any reason to say no, but I had a headache, I needed to start dinner, and I didn’t know where they would play… I hadn’t even met their mother, and so I couldn’t just unceremoniously dump baby girl on her to play with some older boys at her house.

“She’s having an early dinner soon, so I’m not sure,” I bluffed.

“Is that because she’s going to bed earlier?” (I told you, interested).

“No, not really…”

“Maybe we can come over and play after dinner?”

“Yeah.” Push things to after. “We’ll see what happens.”

I then took the washing basket in thinking it was all resolved and nothing would happen, while baby girl jumped on her trampoline and let off some steam.

Well then, I actually started on dinner. And about 45 minutes later, with things well underway, Hubbie home from work and now my splitting headache also far along, I was sitting for a moment on the couch, doing a Bold and the Beautiful catch-up, when something caught my eye out of the front window, some figures coming up the footpath towards the house.

Boys. Barefoot. Bowed heads.

But ready to play with Baby Girl.

I turned to baby girl who hadn’t yet seen them, and when I asked her if she wanted to play with them, here and now, she almost couldn’t believe her stroke of luck.

She led them to the backyard and they jumped away like mad, performing all manner of tricks in the trampoline.

The boys came inside, spoke to us. Looked at our nearby photos, played with her toys. They slam dunked on a basketball hoop we have hanging off a nearby door, and we asked them about their primary school.

They were really gentle and kind with baby girl.

They all played together, just perfectly. And the level of respect they showed to her, just blew me away.

Even besides the impressing me part, I was reminded, and led back to the good ol’ days when I was that young kid. At my neighbours’ house – and I had three friendly neighbour houses who I frequented daily back then – that I knew back to front.

I knew their lives and their families. They knew mine. It was the perfect, best upbringing. Four houses in a row, and all four houses with girls of the same age. It was the stuff of stories. Not even writers could write this stuff and get away with it.

But so too, it ended the way stories do. People grow up. Parents separate. Kids go to private schools and remove themselves. And soon they all moved away.

It doesn’t take away from my awesome childhood memories, and honestly, I have too many. I am still in contact with 2 out of those 3 girls, and even went to their weddings, and they mine, so I think that is a fabulous effort considered.

But I sometimes think, and ponder, how nice it would be for baby girl to grow up amongst that kind of setting. Neighbours her age, where they could spend their days together, outside as kids should, running and bike riding and playing hide and seek within a one block radius, ‘park permitted.’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Freedom, and yet safety. Where the parents know each other, know the kids, and all can play together, alternating houses, and yet the parents can still tell their kids friends to ‘go home because we’re having dinner now.’ That kind of honest, direct, freedom.

I thought of all that today. I thought of what I had growing up, and I looked at what was happening now in our house.

The noise, the kids, the neighbours. Her new friends ๐Ÿ™‚

The ball rolled over to me as I was chopping cucumbers. I kicked it back to the young boy who took it and slam dunked against the hoop.

Later, Hubbie interrupted their jumping party outside and told them it was now our dinner time. Baby girl waved them off, “bye boys!” while he hoisted them OVER THE FENCE.

Now that’s, a real neighbour. I freaking love it :):):)

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Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

#605 Head of the house and Heater

It happened a few nights ago, and today again, the same thing.

We were feeling bad, for wanting to put the heater on.

Why, you ask? Because it’s Spring. We should have the doors open ’til 5pm until the seasonal fresh air wafts on through at which point we close up the house. The sunnier weather should seep through the windows and comfort our home. The increased daylight savings should also add to the overall light-filled and jovial nature of our household.

But it’s Melbourne weather we’re talking about peeps. Spring just ain’t Spring, and we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.

On average October is a wet month, and so in amongst our starting-sunny days, the rain also comes WITH the cold.

You know those memories you have growing up, when you were just a child living with your parents, and there were days where you were cold, but your parents were like

“It’s not cold, put on a jacket.”

“I’m cleaning the house, we need some fresh air.”

“Here’s the vacuum cleaner.”

That from your Mum, and then your Dad didn’t help you much either, as he had been out in the gardening sun, tending to his vegetable patch, and had no need for a heater either.

“Here, I’ll give you a heater,” he would say as he handed you a garden rake.

Sigh.

Hubbie and I remembered this all in amusement as we were feeling bad for wanting to put the heater on in mid-October. And then he was like “hey, we’re in charge here.”

“We make the rules.”

“Yeah,” I started encouragingly. “We do!”

And just as he put the heater on we high-fived each other.

Damn straight we make the rules.

And just like that, a simple act of gratitude for the day was born.

The ability to put the heater on when we damn well liked.

And as much as people whinge and bitch and moan about the bills, responsibilities, chores and routine of adulthood, can we just stop for a minute and remember that as adults, we get to make rules?

WE GET TO MAKE THE RULES.

High-five.

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Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha on Unsplash

#590 Park Days no. 3

Baby girl and I had been eyeing off the re-developing park for about 8 months.

Well, maybe more. I wasn’t counting. But I know it was a while. Every time we went over to my parents house on the other side of town, we would drive past this park that was getting a much-needed facelift.

It is on a kinda-main-road, and bit by bit, looking in at this fenced-off development, we would see the workmen, putting up poles, ropes and all kinds of play equipment; measuring off play areas versus green and seated areas; and finally, the day arrived when there was a huge hose-like machine pumping out bark onto the areas surrounding the kids play.

Then I knew we were close.

We were over at my parents place today. And not only did baby girl and I decide immediately upon driving past this finally-completed park, that we would definitely check it out… but after waiting seemingly endless months for it to be finished, the beautiful symmetry of our first park visit there, culminated in us getting to see my parents again after 24 days.

Yep, exactly. I remember the number, because the last time we were there it was the day before Father’s Day. There’s been a health scare, lots of us have been sick, and there’s even been an almost buy at an auction. I feel like a lot has happened in these 3+ weeks, making it feel more like 3+ months since we were last in each other’s company.

But what a day for it all to come together. Sunshine, Spring, perfect Still days, a brand new Park, and being in the company of my Parents, who, I realised today, I had missed so much…

A gorgeous Spring Park day. A perfect metaphor for all the joy we felt today.