#1419 The Pool

Gratitude of the day?

THIS.

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Sis and bro-in-law have a pool.

Oh, it’s not just the splashing and jumping and swimming with loved ones that is AWESOME.

(True, that is awesome enough all on its own).

But tonight most of us got over-excited and made paper planes to sail over the length of the pool against the night sky, to see whose would travel furthest.

I love our random nights together. In a year it won’t matter if we dont remember whose plane made it furthest.*

All that will matter is the memories. ❀

*Baby girl, care of Hubbie πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

#1397 The hair can wait, but the help can’t

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 really great 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.

So, winning.

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. β™₯

#1373 What side of the sunset do they see?

You know, I still call them my work colleagues.

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 all of 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.

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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. β™₯

#1370 A date for helping

I got excited when baby girl brought home this today:

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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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ I don’t actually leave… they do. Because they jump on a bus πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚ β™₯

#1361 The first Piano Keys

When I was about 7, I started swimming lessons.

This was a big deal. Back when I was a kid (I feel sooo old saying that) there weren’t so many kids around me doing after-school or extra-curricular activities. I did swimming for a couple of years. I know Hubbie only started playing basketball when he was about 12… and that he had to FIGHT FOR.

Today it is a whole different ball game. Parents are booking in their kids to things that they have absolutely zero interest in, let alone what they actually like.

They book them in to activities that they themselves failed at, so that they can live vicariously through their offspring…

They book them in to lessons so that they can become the next musical/sports/arts prodigy…

They book them into classes that they think are cool, or that they think they need, like a foreign language for when they have to travel overseas in 30 years time as a political minister or something…

😏

Baby girl currently does swimming. She also wants to do gymnastics (and I am holding off with all I can until next year for that one).

And today, she started piano.

I can’t keep up.

I feel for her. I mean, she loves doing these things, but if I am tired taking her to and from these places, how the hell does she feel?

It is a great opportunity to learn, I must admit. After sis and bro-in-law passed down their piano-keyboard to us, Hubbie saw the potential in setting her up young, and looking to see if she had any musical inclinations within her.

Yep. It is all Hubbie πŸ˜‰

But she surprised me. Following her lesson today she came home, ran to her piano-keyboard and proceeded to copy the simple keys she had learnt during the lesson.

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I was impressed.

Who knows where this road leads her. But if she lets me, I’m more than willing to take her for the ride. 🎹 🎼🎢

#1338 Hearing the Novel name

I don’t know how I am going to say this. It’s a bit hard to talk about something when you don’t want to use real names.

So I will use pseudonyms. It comes natural for me, being SmikG and all πŸ˜‰

Let’s say the over-riding name for my novel, the series as it were, since I have written the first, and have started the second (albeit very s-l-o-w-l-y) with my intention for it to be part of a very long series…

Is ‘Mountain Peak.’ Yeah that’s about right. Let’s call it that.

But that’s the title of the series, so it comes to reason that each novel would need an individual name, right?

So for this current novel that I am working and re-working and re-working ’til FOREVER it seems, it is called…

‘Experimentation.’

YES! Perfect. No that is not the name, but for purposes of this experimental exercise and real-life scenario, let’s go with that.

Mountain Peak: Experimentation.

That makes sense! You experiment while climbing a mountain’s peak, right?

Tee hee hee.

I was at swimming with baby girl today. She was doing her thing in the pools, while I was doing my Mum thing… having a quiet moment. In the peak of swimming centre traffic, with kids entering pools excited, then exiting the same waters drenched and exhausted, with parents amidst it all watching the clock and holding out towels, and ordering that wet clothes go into plastic bags, I sat with my head lowered, looking at all of social media and trying to remember if there was anything I needed to look up during this temporary moment of non-interruption.

I was getting bored while scroll scroll scrolling, as a Mum sat beside me with her older primary school aged daughter. They were doing something, I didn’t really look up to see, and I just figured they were waiting for a child/sibling to get out of the pool.

Then all of a sudden…

“Experimentation.”

Huh? Had my ears deceived me?

I looked to the side where the Mum and daughter were. They were doing a crossword puzzle. Not wanting to stare and be obvious I quickly looked away, wondering to myself…

‘Did I just imagine that? Did I just hear the name of my novel? I must be kidding myself.’

I went about getting out baby girl’s towel as the end of her session drew near, and the curious cat that I am, I just couldn’t help myself…

The mother-daughter duo were positioned to my right and baby girl’s class was also in that direction, so it made perfect sense to linger my gaze a little longer to watch her retrieve dive sticks from the pool…

(Meanwhile my eyes were insanely scanning their crossword from a distance, looking at all the long words to see, if really…)

BINGO!

There it was. Experimentation.

They had it crossed off.

They had found it.

OMG.

I found it the oddest, funniest, yet also spookiest thing to have someone whisper to themselves, loud enough for me to hear sitting beside them, the name of my novel!

And this name, it isn’t even as common as ‘experimentation.’ Sure, for one particular group of people it might be a daily utterance … but most folks would usually say testing, instead of experimentation, you know?

Yeah, I know, you don’t know… ha ha ha.

And I was just like… woah.

Before I had time to smile or ponder any further, baby girl came over to me soaking and wet, with raindrops of water cascading off her hair and swimsuit, as if it were falling out of the sky… πŸ˜‰

 

#1268 Two steps forward, one step back

A little bit different and backwards to the Paula Abdul and random cat song, Opposites Attract…

“I take, two steps forward, I take two steps back…”

But that is what we are here, we are different. Good for some… not so for others.

Good for baby girl, because she had two bits of good news today… she moved two steps forward. Firstly she moved up a word group level at school, already so soon after having moved up not so long ago, so she was stoked, as were we.

And then after school she moved forward again, when she was at swimming and moved up to another swimming group! She had been getting tested by the walking swimmer-all-overseer, and when the woman bobbed down to tell her the good news, after having watched her give her all, diving like a fish, kicking like a kangaroo and putting everything she had into doing an olympic time across the swim lane, baby girl yelled “YIPPEE!” before doing a massive splash into the shallow end.

I knew what was going on before the woman came over to tell me.

I was so happy for her. I still am. She is heading into the BIG POOL.

Dum da dum dum.

But I am sad for myself because it is August and I am sick! Sick.

“I take two steps back…

More like ‘one’ step. WAAAA.

But you know what? Like all of Motherly sacrifices, I would rather it be her, than me…

It’s still crap. I am just hoping like the song goes…

“But when we get together it just all works out.”