#1079 January family bonding

Let’s squeeze one more family day trip in before the holidays end, shall we?

That was the thought as we headed down to the luxurious RACV Cape Schanck Resort to meet my parents and sister and fam, 2 days before baby girl is set to start prep.

PREP.

(Eeeek!)

It was a magical day. Did we need a reason for it? Other than Summer, holidays and family love? Nah. Well we had it though. An after-present from my Mum’s 70th late last year, and a timely silver anniversary celebration for my sister and bro-in-law.

We spent the day, doing what we do BEST.

Eating.

Drinking.

Bonding.

Making memories. 🙂

Oh, and of course swimming.

We enjoyed the stunning views, and vowed, like all the times, that we WILL be back again…

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♥♥♥♥

It was a perfect day. 🙂

#1045 Christmas at a different place

As far as I can remember, I’ve celebrated every single Christmas in the same place.

My parents’ house.

There was that Christmas my Dad caught a stray canary, which ended up being Hubbie, then ‘boyfriend’s pet bird aptly named ‘Chrissy.’

The Christmas it hailed golf balls and our cars and the backyard pergola got a beating.

Or the Christmas we went mad throwing water balloons at each other all over the yard, and got told off by my Dad… (oh that was in recent years 😬 )

All those warm Christmases, dancing in the garage, walking to the park, eating, drinking, memory making…

The Christmas I snuck off to see Hubbie-then-boyfriend for a bit. 🤫

The Christmas we drank too much vodka in the first hour. 🥃

The Christmas I drank nothing – with a precious new 4 month old. 😍🤱

The Christmas some of my friends came, and some of my family could not handle the extra crazy. 😜🤪🤩

34 Christmases.

Today was Christmas number 35.

But… it was spent at my sister’s house.

I thought I would feel more nostalgia going into the day. All of these years of tradition, of memories, retreating to the same backyard post-lunch… and it was all changing.

But very quickly, something became apparent to me.

It wasn’t the location. It was all about the people.

Sure the house was different. The decorations would be different. The food and drink would be a bit different, and sure, the location was completely different.

But different didn’t mean bad. It was different, but it was still beautiful. And of course, there was a lot of love.

All of this was present, the beauty, the love… because the people were the same.

As long as I am with my loved ones, I am happy.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope yours was spent with loved ones, no matter where you were. ❤️🎄🙏🎅

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#1034 When one door closes… a window opens and in pours rain

I’m finding that a lot is changing.

Lately, many things seem final. Ending. I remind myself that it is simply the natural order of life for things to be constantly moving and in a shifting state – nothing ever stays the same.

Even love grows.

But the feeling is still bittersweet. Especially when the door closing is to see the back of someone who has helped your family so much.

So much change. So much moving on. Today my heart was overcome with sincere gratitude and thanks, while also deeply affected by this next chapter in our lives, for a dear individual who has helped us for years now.

Sometimes, it’s not us who wants to move on. It’s not them. It’s just life, doing what it always does.

It’s a process we all have to adhere to.

I find the timing most interesting. How so many things seem resolute and final, all at once, and the most fascinating thing of all?

To be standing in the middle of it all, with utmost alertness, watching it unfold.

Completely aware. I go by each day like this. My ears attuned to every conversation that passes. My eyes go through all of life’s details. I decipher dreams, remarks, people, places… ALL OF IT.

To be totally aware in the middle of change is a truly wondrous place to be.

And once again today… there was release.

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Once again, I was caught in the deluge. It was while was driving in my car, back to my parents house after being at the hairdresser’s. I saw it start to come down slowly, then more quickly, leading to a rapid downpour, all in a manner of seconds.

And meanwhile I was in the car shouting happily “Come on, give me more!”

It did.

There’s some link here, something between the release of rain and the always changing nature of life.

December rain… summer rain? Closing doors, but perhaps better rotating doors?

Moving, sudden, release.

Ahh, that’s it.

Change can come swiftly and without warning if you’re not aware. Watch your windows carefully, because when you’re not looking, rain can come pouring in.

 

 

 

#1020 The beauty in, and beyond life

Today in my parents yard, Mum told me something I never knew.

She pointed to a flower. A rose bush. And she had a name for it – her niece’s name.

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Mum’s niece, and my cousin, was a very dear person to us. IS a dear person to us. Although by rank you would expect her to be much younger than my Mum, her niece was in fact only a couple of years younger than her – that’s what you get when there are 8 siblings in the family, and my Mum is the youngest of them all.

Her niece was only a few years younger than her, because she was the daughter of the eldest of her siblings – in fact Mum was probably in some ways closer to some of her nieces and nephews due to the wide age gap between her and her eldest sisters and brothers.

Anyway… they made memories, right? As you do when you grow up with someone. When I went overseas with my parents back in 1997, despite being initially heavily underwhelmed by the whole go-and-meet-people-I’ve-never-met-before process, that holiday holds some of the best memories of my life.

Now I was the one making memories. Not only with my cousin who was almost old enough to be an aunty to me, but her children, and grandchildren. As age would have it, her granddaughter was only a few years younger than me.

Big families can be highly fascinating.

Many years later, Mum’s niece came to Australia to visit us all here. We had a fantastic time showing her around our beautiful city, and I like to think she, had an equally memorable time.

She made memories.

While here, she got my Mum a bunch of roses…

The ones you see above.

Mum planted those roses. Not thinking much at all other than it being a permanent and beautiful reminder of her niece, who she had made so many amazing memories with, including other generations of the family.

As the unfortunate nature of life would have it, a while after Mum’s niece was back home, she got very sick and passed away.

.

So today, as Mum told me this, how she had planted this rose given to her by her niece, unknowing then of the future bittersweet nature it would hold, I was amazed. This rose bush was still growing, with one simple red flower, 13 years later.

Thinking of her, and the often cruel nature of life, makes me sad. I sit now, and think of her voice – deep and gentle – how she said my name – with love and tenderness – and how she laughed – gently yet giddy – and remember all of the wonderful times we shared.

I think of that flower… how it still grows… and I know it blooms, solely, because of her.

It still lives, therefore so does she.

In Memory of her… M. ♥♥♥

#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.

♥♥♥

#1011 Feeling good about primary school

I’ve been missing the end of kindergarten, even though we still have weeks left of it.

Kindergarten is just different. Smaller classes. A few teachers. 20ish kids, and since you have been seeing them several times a week for the last year, you know them sooo well, as you do their parents.

The kids can explore. Out in the yard they go, giving grass a haircut, making bird feeders, and watering the flowers. Weekly cooking is a must, and in Winter it is soups and scones, whereas in the warmer months we see things like mini berry muffins and juices.

Although it is a small place, it is set amongst big trees… a big yard. It makes the premises, and everything within it, look that much smaller.

Everything is smaller at kindergarten. And I’ve realised, I like it like that.

Because, with small kids there are small problems. But with big kids… yep, you get it.

It has been a very bittersweet time for me. Because although I am excited about baby girl starting primary school next year, I have been missing what she won’t have, before it has even ended.

Today, during her second transition day at her big primary school… I realised something.

Not THAT much will change next year.

Sure, new school. New kids. Not just a class of 20, but maybe 4 of those. Many teachers. Many yard areas. Longer days and weeks.

But as I looked around the prep area today, I noticed…

The parents. They all looked really nice and respectable. I could be friends with any of them.

The familiar faces. I already knew half a dozen of them, as there were 6 kids coming from baby girl’s kinder. And it wasn’t just the familiarity of the kids, but the parents too, who I got even more acquainted with today.

The yard. Sure the equipment was bigger. But it was still kid-friendly, and there was bark underneath it.

The vibe around us was that of innocence. Naivety. There were still big trees, but this time they were set amongst buildings.

There was still happiness.

This brought me to my conclusion.

They are getting bigger, sure. But not that much will change.

Because they are still our babies.

They aren’t growing up one year all at once.

It is second by second.

Minute by minute.

Hour by hour.

And day by day.

They will still be holding on, and will need so much love and support from us, their parents, during their first year in primary school.

And I think all the parents there, me included, will be so glad to give it to them 🙂

I am feeling more sweet and less bitter, second by second… minute by minute… hour by hour…

and day by day.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

 

#997 A day of 7s, and 11s

Let’s start off by noting, the number ‘7’ in the above post number.

😉

It has been an odd day of symmetry and repetition, in numbers.

Firstly.

On this 7th day of the 11th month, baby girl had her first transition day at her new primary school.

It was sooo good. Sooo good, in that she was happy, peaceful, and holding her kinder friend’s hand as they walked off into the classroom to go about the next 90 minutes without Mums or Dads present.

(Waaahhhh!)

Seriously though. It was gratifying to have her calm and chilled about the process, amidst other crying children and reassuring parents.

It appeared I was the one needing reassurance though.

And how did we spend the short time away from her?

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With Cherry Pie and Coffee. Mmm hmmm.

My 2nd gratitude. Comes in the form of my Mum’s birthday, in particular a BIG one, in particular one that involves the number ‘7’….

Get it?!?!

Finally! My third item is an anniversary I am also celebrating today, that of having started working at my place of employment, exactly 11 years ago to the date and day (it was a Wednesday then too).

I started working here then, and I am at work now. In 2007, 11 years ago, I started working at –

HA HA HA.

But with all of life’s wonderful things, there is a balance right? So the toilets and sinks here are not functioning tonight, due to some pre-organised pipe upgrade, and they have provided us with porta-loos in the meantime…

And all of this started, from 7pm.

!!!!!!!

(count them↑)