#950 The 5-minute parental break

I wonder if my peers out there who have their parents look after their kids, realise how lucky they are.

I mean, it is a GOLD deal. You have the people that raised you, who love you and care for you and who are your number one supporters, caring for your child. You might be at working, getting your hair done, or even lucky enough to get a night out with your partner while your parents put your kiddies to sleep at night.

I was lucky for a short time anyway, where my parents co-assisted in watching baby girl when I first went back to work after maternity leave. Although it was only part-time, there was the greatest security and comfort in leaving my daughter with them, knowing she was being looked after, let’s face it, with MORE care than they had ever looked after me!

It lasted just under 2 years, until health issues and a major move impacted the schedule, and nowadays, they aren’t involved.. in that way.

But when I go to their place, I love, that I will always know the care, love, and babysitting duties are always there and on offer 😉

My parents said today: “Go and lie down. We’ll take her outside.” I was feeling tired after ALL THAT FOOD (i.e. Mum going overboard as usual) and was just feeling a little heavy, so I took the advice they had so adamantly laid out for me.

I lay in my old room, looking at the picture that has been on my wall for at least two decades.

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I can safely say with 95% confidence that it was given to me on my 12th birthday, and I can even tell you with assurance who gave it to me. I find there are many things from my childhood that are cemented into me, whereas ask me about my early 20s and I am all “HUH?”

But I lay there for all of 5 minutes, enjoying the calm, listening to my breath, my body, and the happy cries of baby girl yelling excitedly from the yard.

So when I got up, I naturally spied on them from the kitchen window and saw them playing.

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I could have gone back to lie down. But I decided it was better to join them. 🙂

 

#943 Primary acceptance

I’ve been waiting for it, for weeks.

I’ve been thinking about it.

Bugging the kindergarten teachers with my random pop-up questions about it.

Trying to oh-so-casually investigate other kindergarten parents and their knowledge of it.

But today, in letter form, I finally got my answer:

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“She has been accepted!”

!!!

I am sooo happy. Grateful, YES.

(Insert heavy sobbing, heart-clutching, and animal-like wails, reminiscent of the Mother mammal when she realises her offspring is growing up ever more…)

#936 Life lessons at the park

Today while on the other side of town at my parents’ house, we went to the park. This isn’t the hardest thing to do, since the park is literally NEXT DOOR.

Watching baby girl climb, slide, swing and re-discover the playground, I came to a realisation.

Learning at the park, is a lot like learning in LIFE.

 

Sometimes you find yourself pondering, ‘what is the meaning of it all?’

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Other times you will be as high as a kite, like a Princess with her head in the clouds.

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Times can be tough. You will need to push on through the battles, and climb higher and higher, work harder and harder, until you have reached your break-through… the clearing.
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Moments will be scary. You will want to turn back, and you will question if you can get there. But you can’t look down. You must keep your eyes straight, and take things, step by step.

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And if you don’t give up, you will reap the benefits of celebration – throw your hands up in the air if you will!

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And because life is cyclical, and we are meant to stay grounded, these phases will happen all over again.

♥♥♥

#918 Impromptu lunch visit

The best times are often had when you least expect ANYTHING to happen at all.

Instead of hanging around the house, cleaning up and tidying from the weekend’s party, and packing for our upcoming trip… I ended up driving my parents back to my sister’s place to their car, after their very impromptu sleepover at our place last night.

Hubbie, instead of cleaning up, also decided he would join us for the drive… and a short while later while having a drink at Sis’ place, bro-in-law arrived to “work from home.”

😉

It was the most random, unexpected but also the happiest time. We were there for a short while, and yet we caught up more today than in the 2 big family parties we have recently had over the last couple of weeks. It was quick, but it was hearty… it was light, but it was also meaningful… and it was on a Monday, so we all felt like we were cheating at the day, having a good ol’ gas bag, instead of doing much-needed ‘other stuff.’

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And the cleaning, tidying and packing? All done in super fast-forward mode tonight.

Because where there is a will, there is a way. And when the way is an impromptu catch-up with your family and loved ones, you will always make it work, rain hail or shine.

Cleaning, tidying or packing 🙂

 

#894 July 27th opens windows

Today.

Friday.

It is 2:40pm.

I am on the other side of town, driving my car after having had its regular service, back to my parents house.

I have a jacket on… but it is warm. There is no heater on.

In fact, the window is open.

WHAT?!?!

I can’t remember if the mechanic left it open after finishing with it, or whether I in fact did it. But all I can tell you, in that warm car on today the last Friday of July, the open window was INVITING. I can even add, that the sun was on my face as I jumped onto the freeway, and I wondered –

“could I get sunburnt?”

Get out of town! it is July 27 folks, this is insanity!

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Can you see the suns rays just BURSTING down through the open window. You can just feel the warmth.

I know I am creating a yearly theme here. But seriously, this time around I am 4 days early. So 2018 wins.

I felt it. I feel it. Spring. It is a-coming.

Shucks you under-achiever July… you may have me reformed on your Winter-y reputation, just yet…

#891 The half-year parent-teacher interview

I used to LOVE parent-teacher interviews as a child… can you guess why?

Though most of the time I don’t think I was allowed to sit with my Mum as my teacher went through my academic accomplishments, there were snippets I gleaned, the written report that came out of it, and of course, my Mum’s proud smile after it all.

I don’t mean to brag. I wasn’t some Einstein or anything. But I listened to the teacher. I did my homework. I did what I was told in the classroom. And therefore, the report represented that.

My favourite bit was always what my teachers mentioned or wrote about my creative writing habit. Even then I hung on every word, re-reading it countlessly, and I have to say, some things don’t change. I am still desperately hanging for feedback.

Fast forward a good 25 years, and today we had yet another parent-teacher interview. This one was not so academically geared, and it wasn’t to do with me.

Still, I left beaming.

I think from the moment baby girl started 3 year-old kindergarten last year, I have been worried. Worried about development. Worried about milestones being reached. Worried if she is ready for kinder… then worried if she will be ready for the next step, after kinder.

I have spent a lot of time in my head on this one. So today, when the kindergarten teacher said some lovely and positive words about baby girl…

“she is engaging with others more,”

“she participates in class activities and puts her hand up,” and then the clincher –

“I think she is ready for school next year”

Suddenly I became my Mum, and she was me, and if you know us all that ain’t a far stretch. It’s not to say that there is anything wrong when kids are held back in kinder, and I know plenty who have done that for their kids, and who are even entertaining the possibility right now. But as a parent, you know your child, in your heart of hearts. And when that feeling in your heart, is validated by the other major learning force in your child’s life…

You breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that you were right all along.

I am just thrilled with her progress. Again, no Einstein factor. No A+ accolades.

But she is my girl, and to me, her star is shining bright :):):)

#869 Late night soccer

Just as well I brought the hat home last Friday.

It had been in my old room, at my parents house. Just as I have been purging and sorting through my own stuff, so too have my parents been trying to purge – themselves of my stuff. LOL.

I always said I would tend to the big pile of childhood and teenage accumulation and mementos that I had left at their place when I first moved out. That promise turned into a faraway and not very concrete date, and so my parents took it upon themselves to take everything out of hiding and line it up accessible and for me to see in my old room.

Every time I am there, I go through a little more. I came across some carnival hats that baby girl was enamoured with… I thought ‘fine.’ There’s many things I am bringing home, simply because I am not sure of what to do with it, but I feel that I should really be throwing it away.

The hat, is not the case.

Because the hat, is from the homeland. It holds my parents roots, and is an emblem of where I hail from.

The discovery of the hat was so timely, because I was able to hold it near and dear to me, during the viewing of the Soccer, very very late (or very very early, whichever way you roll) last night/this morning.

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Croatia has progressed into the second round of finals in the FIFA world cup. I always said if they did get this far, then I would stay up/get up early, and watch. I knew baby girl having school holidays would make it easier – no early start and subsequent running around after a 3-hour sleep due to Soccer match… so very very early this morning, that’s what I did.

I had a preorganised massive blanket on the couch to wrap myself in. Little did I know it was the coldest night of the year, but I was all tucked up and cosy, the only light coming from the guys on the green field and the soft glow of our hallway.

In those 2 and a half hours, I learnt a bit. I didn’t think I would. I picked up strategies and things about the game which I had never noticed before. I got emotional, my head lifting from the pillow in anticipation when a goal was near; I whispered “damn!” at missed opportunities; and I also nearly fell asleep several times.

I am more sleep ambassador than a soccer one.

But it was the memories and the times I had spent watching the World Cup before, that led me to this night. I remember my Dad staying up late, and me sitting with him, trying to work out the game. Asking him questions. Things about the goalie, and how hard his job was. All of this came flooding back to me, the time I spent with my Dad watching this sport, excited about the rare late nights, and the bonding that I didn’t realise I was partaking in, ’til just last night.

And there was more. I remembered World Cup soccer parties at my sister’s place. The excitement of driving across town at midnight to watch the tournament take place. I remember sleeping in my bed at 3am, and the phone ring because Croatia had just progressed into another round, and my sister across town was calling to talk to my Dad, who was watching on our side of town.

“Sorry SmikG,” she said. “I’m calling for Dad.”

So casual, yet so novel. It was fascinating, how this event turned all our lives upside down.

And then when Croatia did make 3rd place in that same year, the happiness the people experienced and devoted themselves to, awoke something in me.

A deep curiosity for World Cup Soccer. Now, it was going to become a ritual.

Years later when Australia made the World Cup, remarkably it was Croatia they faced in one-play off. Although I couldn’t really lose in this scenario – ‘homeland’ team, playing ‘home’ team – I nonetheless went for the regional underdog, while Hubbie, then BF, was happily cheering for the land down under.

Our rules were: take a shot when your team makes goal. And run around the house with the national flag wrapped around you.

We did it.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, my parents were in Croatia, their native home, watching the very same game. They would wince when Australia faltered, silently cheering and smiling with glee when they moved ahead, noticed by my uncle who said to them

“Why, you’re cheering for Australia, not Croatia!”

That’s because Australia was their real home now.

Or maybe it had to do with going for the underdog in their current location, just as I was doing, cheering for Croatia to win as I sat in my Australian house.

I never remember who won. I don’t even care. All I remember are the memories.

I am not a soccer devotee. I will not claim I know all the players’ names. I will not pretend to watch soccer at any other time for the next 4 years after this event.

But I am a fan of where I come from. And as long as Croatia will feature in this 4-yearly event, so too will I haul my ass out of bed in freezing cold Winter temperatures, and remember, the memories from before.

For those keeping score… my ass-hauling last night DID pay off. Croatia won. In an epic extra-time plus penalty shoot-out setting. They won on the last kick!

Incredible. And if all I remember from this World Cup is…

coldest night

reminiscing on the past

cuddled up on the couch

Hubbie joining me post 6am before heading off to work

and then cheering happily because they had won (and I was going back to bed!)

then that would be enough.