Every so often your child grows up that bit more, and you hit another, really pleasant milestone.
Recently we’ve reached the ‘drop-off-and-drive-away-for-an-extracurricular-activity’ milestone.
This happens when you take your child to an after-school activity… but instead of staying there, like I do for swimming, I DRIVE AWAY.
Now, there are two reasons for the ‘drive away.’
1, she is old enough so I can leave her.
2, the session is too long to wait for her!
Hence why I hang around for swimming. Swimming is only half an hour. I check my phone, go on social media, make calls and send messages, as well as chat to a fellow parent. 30 minutes flies by.
90 minutes though? Today was her second gymnastics class after her trial last week, and I drove home, started prepping dinner, paid a bill, and rocked out to the entire A Night at the Opera Queen album, totally head-banging when ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ came on.
You know, the usual. 🤣🤷♀️
She is loving it though. She is an active girl, so she loves jumping about with the other girls, learning to do cartwheels and flips and all other cool stuff that I could never ever do, but hell I can live vicariously through her right? I mean isn’t that what ALL of parenting is anyway?
Totally joshing you there, you know it too.
But I love it as well. She’s already made a good friend, and even though she’s said both times “Stay!” as soon as they begin their stretch-ups and warm-ups, 5 minutes later she motions to me through the window “You can go!”
So I go, to do really important stuff like make dinner… and head-bang.
Life has been so busy lately. So busy, that we’ve forgotten a lot of who we are.
May has come around too fast. And another Monday, come and gone.
It was only last week when I went “damn. That came fast.”
Our ‘special’ day.
Not having the time to celebrate when you’re ‘meant to’ does not mean jack.
Take the commercial days, of Valentine’s Day, hell even throw in Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
They’re all the same.
We’re told as a society that we have to do something, we must do something to celebrate it, show off for social media, friends and family…
It is lovely to celebrate, appreciate loved ones in our life, and I’m not saying that I don’t do it, personally…
But you should celebrate your special people, ALL THE DAYS of your life. Not just when the catalogues and ads tell you too.
Same as for other days.
Days like, an anniversary. 💖💖
Our anniversary fell on a Monday this year. Work, school, swimming, groceries, phone calls, emails, basketball game, routine routine routine… it was all too much. It was a fairly uneventful day, and that’s ok, because we share our love for each other on other days, in other ways, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s not on this EXACT day.
I’m not trying to convince myself, honest. 😂 In fact, we are going out tomorrow night, and going away for a couple of nights soon too.
Let there be love on all the days. Let there be hugs, kisses, displays of affection, cards and presents, snuggles and all kinds of lovey-dovey things, on all the days.
Not just when it is deemed special, by society, by milestone, or by date.
I had a really lovely night… sans Hubbie. He was out playing basketball.
Baby girl and I had dinner together, then we sat on the couch and she read school books to me.
Then we watched Masterchef, and we never watch Masterchef. 😂
Hubbie came home, and then eventually we sat on the couch as a family, to do one special thing together, something small to highlight our ‘special’ day…
We looked through our official photos. 😍
Baby girl and I put on the special photo gloves, and she helped me leaf through the pages, as we all reminisced, and she learnt and discovered.
And I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end the night.
And I don’t swear lightly… on social media, that is. But today was totally fucking swear-worthy.
The start and end of it look quite blissful… see?
Baby girl’s babycino following our buffet brekkie. Then me enjoying some relaxing time while baby girl screamed “cannonball!” launching into the shallow swimming pool’s waters.
But the meat of the sandwich that was between those two photos? The middle of the day?
That is a story and a half.
Because we had started the day happy, you see. We had brekkie, and on our way to visit a beach we had only stopped by days earlier, made a pit stop to get a boogie board for baby girl, which ended up being a family boogie board, so awesome and big and colourful it was.
We were just pumped. Couldn’t wait to get to the beach, oh, 10 minutes away…
But then my car overheated.
The temperature gauge went to red.
Hubbie pulled over in a panic.
And in the space of a few hours, we were waiting waiting waiting, had a huge mix-up with our car roadside insurance that resulted in help being sent a lot later than we would have liked, we were hot, stuck on a busy road. were in the vicinity of a possible Wolf Creek type abduction attempt when a man pulled over after seeing me outside the car, and in between all of the waiting, being told by the roadside guy there was nothing he could do, daydreaming about the boogie board we should have been using then at the beach…
Well there were the water birds.
We called them ducks the whole time, but they were too big to be ducks. These birds were on one side of the busy road as we waited over an hour for help, and in that space they proceeded to leisurely cross the two sides of traffic, a number of 4 times.
At first, we couldn’t watch. We told baby girl to cover her eyes, sure that one of them would be splattered and flattened over the asphalt. They were lanky, moved slowly, and just lacked any kind of fear or trepidation when it came to forcing huge pieces of machinery to brake to a stop to allow them to pass.
And yet, they passed. They made it. There were 6 of these animals, with one of them hobbling like it’d been swiped by a vehicle… and yet they crossed the two-sided road 4 times.
It was a miracle.
Cars, even trucks, pulled to a stop. We watched in amazement as traffic on this busy tourist road came to a standstill, as these slow-moving water birds ambled across slowly, seemingly unaware of the chaos they were creating.
They managed to move, however slowly, while we sat there static, in the heat, a little bit in awe of their bravery (and sometimes, stupidity).
My faith in humankind was restored, even following the Wolf Creek incident, seeing ‘most’ of the cars patiently wait for these indecisive avian kind to work out which side of the road they wanted to be on.
And that faith in people continued when some time later, a random cafe owner we had passed only that morning on our fated way to the beach, ended up helping Hubbie get back on the road, however slowly, where we breathed a huge sigh of relief that we were back in a known, safe, comfortable place.
But now, we are stuck.
There are a couple of morals to this story. One is the REAL truth behind all the social media photos you see. Despite the filters being put on display, it doesn’t mask the truth in between the snaps of photos being taken and the 100 special effects being created.
And secondly… there are miracles to be observed, even amongst unbelievable odds and impossible situations.
Today I attended a Parent Helpers Morning Tea at baby girl’s school.
I wrote some time ago that I got the invite to the tea and happily accepted. To be honest, I was feeling a bit shit this morning and actually contemplated pulling out.
On top of my hesitation, I had called my hairdresser this morning to cancel my upcoming appointment with them, since it clashed with me helping out baby girl at swimming.
Why was I going?
I was busy already.
What was the point?
What made me say yes in the first place?
I had these questions circling through my mind, but at the same time the thought of not going didn’t sit right with me either.
So I went… and oh man am I glad I did.
Firstly, I had a reallygreat time. I caught up with other parents and baby girl’s teacher, and it was lovely to be in a slightly different social setting without our kids screaming “Mum look at me!” from the playground at pick-up.
Oh, my THE SPREAD. It was this insanely long table with all kinds of sandwiches, rolls and wraps, fruit and snacks and chocolate and cake and sweets and crackers and everything in between… it was amazing. The coffee and tea window was set up and moving quickly despite the long line, and all in all it was a really well organised morning tea.
But then the principal spoke, and thanked us… she pointed out and spoke about an elderly gentleman, telling us that despite his flailing health, he had been volunteering and helping kids at the school with their reading for 11 years now. I looked at the sombre-looking frail man hanging his head, wishing he would hold it up high. Tears gathered in my eyes and I willed myself to not be a sook by taking a big sip of my tea.
What a man.
Then there were two students who had made up poems for all the helpers. They read them out, and though they were simple, they were so, so sweet, and totally pulled at my heart-strings. I was standing there thinking “damn it, I’m not supposed to cry.”
And then I realised. I realised that all of us in there, all of the helpers really did deserve this special morning. We deserved the thanks. I was reminded of how only that morning I had cancelled my hair appointment as I had forgotten over a month ago when I booked it, that it clashed with the last swimming session baby girl had through the school.
Baby girl wanted me there at swimming, and I couldn’t let her down. I cancelled my pre-Christmas hair appointment instead.
But secretly, someone was looking out for me. Because when I called to cancel, the hairdresser was able to fit me in next week with her… at a better and more convenient time than the original one would have been anyway.
I made the morning tea. I gratefully accepted the thanks amongst so many more.
I cancelled the hair appointment and made that tiny sacrifice for baby girl…
And I was thanked.
These sacrifices we make, big or small, are all eventually noticed… if not by friends, family or your child’s school… then by the Universe. ♥
I realised it some weeks ago while out with friends. In conversation I went “oh yeah, my work friend so and so…”
And it was here that it occurred to me what I’d said.
‘Work’ – present tense… ‘Friend’ – present tense.
Perhaps it feels like that because it’s still all so new.
Perhaps it feels like that because I haven’t actually moved on to another form of paid work yet.
Perhaps it feels like that, because they will always be my friends.
Either way, this time of year has had me thinking about the crew a whole lot.
Because I knew, one of them would have started Christmas shopping already.
One of them would have a couple of holidays/getaways planned for the Summer .
One was going to visit the parents and pot around the garden.
A couple were going to spend time with the kids and do a whole lot of beachside activities.
And even a few more were looking forward to an extended holiday break to sleep in and watch the cricket.
I knew this, because I know them so well.
But yet, I was still not content. It’s been 3 months now, so long between catch ups, between drinks, between coffee walks.
So I messaged them ALL.
Well let’s be serious, not allof them. I messaged those who I had a connection with. Those I missed the most. Those who when I said, “let’s catch up soon” back in September, I had meant it.
Because I only say it if I mean it.
So during baby girl’s swim lesson this afternoon I took out my phone and started sending out messages.
In the hours that followed everyone responded. I returned text after text as baby girl and I got home, as she showered, as I prepared dinner and then as I cleaned up… I was grinning from ear to ear and going “awwww!”
Hubbie was smiling at me, crouched over the kitchen island, saying “that’s good.”
It was good.
I went to shower, but then got another message, so sat on my bed to respond. And it was here that I looked outside and saw the view.
Such a beautiful sky, dotted with those rippled clouds.
How did the sky look to my work friends? How did it look to them all? We were certainly scattered all over the city, that there was no doubt of, from coastal towns to country regions, and every where in between…
Did they see the same colours? The same sky? Were the clouds peppered in their view as it was in mine?
I thought about this for a moment and how we were now, as I always said we would be… strewn all over the place, far from each other, and away from our former place of work.
But we were still bound. We still are. By the memories. ♥
I got excited when baby girl brought home this today:
An invitation for all the parent helpers to attend a special morning tea, thanking them for their help with the kids this year.
I have been absent for so long… but yet I got one.
Why you might ask? It wasn’t that long ago (or maybe it was, time flies lately) that I was proudly showing off my visitor’s sticker in this post,as I started helping out baby girl’s class on Thursday mornings.
But that all came to an end at the end of term 2. While baby girl loved me helping out… she loved it a bit TOO much. So much so that when it was time for me to leave, she was beyond devastated.
As the weeks progressed she even grew anxious as the day of my helping approached. One week she asked me repeatedly, perhaps up to 20 times if I was helping… which I was… and it was here I knew something had to change.
I spoke with her openly and said I needed to take a break. She was not coping when I left, even though she was perfectly fine at the start of the day when I dropped her off.
When she nodded her approval and agreed, not only was I surprised, but I knew I was onto something.
I stopped helping.
But then she started talking about it again. Me helping. I told her repeatedly that I didn’t want her upset. I didn’t want her crying. I felt like half of her did want me there, whereas the other half was confused and still in-between.
But when the news came out about their swimming lessons some weeks ago, I knew it was the perfect middle ground.
Help out… on an excursion? A place where baby girl actually swims in her private lessons, no less?
She was happy. And so was I. 🙂
Today was the first time in a while I was there to help. And since the lessons are going on for several more weeks, I will be on hand for so many other occasions too.
I think I have just found a great middle ground – an excursion helper 🙂 I don’t actually leave… they do. Because they jump on a bus 😉
So it was timely that on the day I started to assist again, I got this invitation via baby girl…
And I happily accept your caffeine and biscuit invite. 🙂 ♥