#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. ♥

#1171 Lovely in the sun

I found myself a bit overwhelmed by life this morning. So much so that when baby girl had a fairly decent ‘moment,’ that seemingly appeared out of nowhere and had me wiping away her tears in front of her class, before walking away when she was settled and then wiping away my own… well let’s just say that problematic thoughts kind of took over.

I had so much to do, things were upsetting me, I was trying to stay in control… it was too much. I looked out to sea as I drove along the Esplanade, thinking how much I wanted to get out and stare at the water.

“Do it,” a voice whispered.

But I have so much to do… I told myself. And now I’m sad.

Still, I faltered. I pondered my options, as if I were hopping from one foot to the next, and when I got to the familiar clearing amongst trees and saw there were no cars approaching, I spontaneously turned in.

Grabbed my phone and keys. Left my bag in the car. Walked with my not-appropriate for gravel/sand boots over to the table and bench that was free.

Waiting for me.

And I sat, and I stared.

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It was post 9am and sunny in April, so people were taking advantage. They were out and about. I dared not turn as I heard runners crunching on the gravel behind me. To and fro they moved, some silent, some making quiet conversation to their partner, when suddenly…

“Morning!” A voice clearly directed at me startled my Bay-stare, and I turned quickly, compelled to answer immediately.

“Morning!” I replied. He smiled, this short, yet fit 50-something man, charging happily on his lonesome past me. “Lovely in the sun?!”

“Yep it sure is lovely,” I replied. I smiled as he walked off, grateful that someone had snapped me out of my listless watching.

Lovely in the sun… had it been a fact, or a question? A friendly greeting, or a check in to see if I was ok?

Yes it was lovely in the sun… the sun allowed light to bathe us and take us out of darkness, but sometimes that light failed to penetrate deep to our thoughts…

Thank God for words. Thank God for people.

#1141 The Retro unit

We bought a new piece of furniture today.

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Just as well it has fit in nicely housing some old records, CDs and the whole reason for its being, a place for Hubbie’s old inherited record player to sit on.

We were in the car park of the shopping centre for a good 20 minutes, trying to work out how to fit the thing into the boot, back seat, front seat of the car… and only when a family passing us went by and the Dad figure offered to help out Hubbie, did we manage to properly get the thing in.

Phew.

Thank God for lovely people.

It looks even better amidst our room than in this isolated photo. We realised once we put it in there that our lounge room is slowly taking on a bit of a boho-coastal theme…

And ain’t it lovely when things are beginning to look less living-out-of-a-box, and more, check-out-the-room-in-that-catalogue… 🙂

#1111 The lollypop man

I am convinced beyond doubt: baby girl’s primary school has the best lollypop man.

Maybe it is a thing. Maybe ALL the lollypop men and women go to the same lollypop school, and go off to their respective crossings full of character and humour.

If your child’s school also has an exceptional lollypop person… please, let me know. Give them a shout out for goodness sakes.

But from the day I started crossing the road with baby girl to get to her primary school, I knew he was something special.

He is something extra. Because he carries with him something, something amazing, something more common than the brightly coloured-neon vest of his work attire, his seasonal hat, and something more regular than the red stop sign he carries every day.

It is his contagious smile and ability to notice every single person that passes him.

Every single person. Every day he greets parents and children with a smile. A genuinely warm greeting. He makes a joke and wishes every one of them a wonderful day.

He talks about the weather. Makes a jovial tune out of his whistle so you could almost dance to it as you cross the road.

He gives the stop sign to a 2 year-old going to pick up their older sibling with their Mum.

He completely stops to goo at babies and makes a whole conversation with their Mums.

But today he went, above and beyond.

Today his stop sign, though still present on the scene, was replaced with a very important object. So vital and monumental it was, that surely his lollypop man status has just skyrocketed to legendary status, worthy of some school crossing hall of fame.

As I arrived after 3pm for school pick-up, on what was yet another 35 degree day, I saw from afar something different in his arsenal.

The stop sign lay against a shrub to the side of the road, and instead there was a…

spray bottle.

He was spraying parents with cool water as they walked by!

Of course in this socially conscious day and age with movements like #metoo, he asked me jovially if I wished to be sprayed as I approached, to which I nodded vehemently while asking if he would be spraying kids on the way back. I knew baby girl would just LOVE it.

“Keep walking keep walking!” he instructed with his usual smile as he sprayed water in my face.

And guess what? Baby girl did love it. And on such a hot day, would you believe those wet drops of air actually did make a difference?

Even supposedly little things, make a difference 🙂 ♥

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Photo by Anwaar Ali on Unsplash

#725 Game ticket freebies

We’re back, we’re back.

We did a lot to fill the day today. Because as I said to Hubbie amidst severe cold/flu conditions days ago, almost as a forewarning to the world: “when I am better, we are painting the town red.”

Well, I AM better.

After kindergarten we took baby girl down to see a cinema screening of Paw Patrol in the Village Vjunior lounges, complete with a huge slide going down the length of the room. If that wasn’t enough to keep her happy during the forced 10 minute interval, running after other kids and jumping on the floor keyboard lights at the front of the room, well there was also popcorn.

I kind of had to enforce her to stop too much of that, too… because we had dinner plans later…

We love going to TGIs, so much so that baby girl will ask us “TGI?” on various occasions just when she remembers she needs her fix. She gets crayons and colouring paper, she gets her cheesy pasta, and it is noisy so that any loud outbursts by her are completely muffled, and EVERYONE is happy.

After a spot of shopping because ‘why not?’ on a weekday night while on holidays, we headed to the store that baby girl had been eagerly asking us about since we had passed it.

Totally Game is like my generations old-school Intencity or something, where basically you play games, get tickets, and then transfer like, 100 tickets for a packet of chewing gum.

Some things NEVER change, even though the names do.

But this is where the gratitude game rose a bit, because there is nothing like being happy for holiday time, family time, being grateful for health and everything time, and then someone does something unexpected and selfless and just raises the bar a whole lot.

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Because we were playing at various games as you do, collecting tickets, and at one point while looking for another game to play suitable for baby girl to help out Hubbie, she almost crashed a neighbouring game where a group of people were already playing. We called her to come back, and in that party of people a lovely girl looked over and smiled. I thought nothing of it other than to think just that, she looked so happy and friendly… and I found out how much so about 10 minutes later, when we were feeding our game tickets into the machine to find out via receipt how much we had, when this girl popped out of nowhere and said to us

“Here take our receipt, we were just playing for fun.”

Really? We thanked her and I looked at the receipt, which read along the lines of 240 tickets.

240?!?!

My $10 of credit had resulted in about 80 tickets, and she was giving us 240, just like that?

“Are you sure?” I called out to her.

“Yeah,” she replied with a smile as she walked off.

And if that kind generosity wasn’t enough, when we were looking at a prize for baby girl in the window case, she came back and gave us a roll of other tickets.

“We’re just killing time before our movie!”

Another 60 tickets!

We thanked her again and again, and baby girl was fortunate to be able to pick from a lot of toys there…

You think she got something good?

Nah. A little wind up lady-bug and a wind-up pony is all she wanted. And can you believe, the wind-up lady-bug is stuffed already.

Like I said, some things NEVER change. Like gaming stores ‘prize toys.’

But regardless, the moral was there. The kind message and offering. It was the icing on the cake of a very happy day…

There are really nice people out there. 🙂

#506 Shopping with my girl no.5

A day of two sides, where one weight on the scale main support would dip perilously low, before the opposite weight took heed and balanced it out.

So to fuel today’s fire, first the following events:

  • nearly losing my voice in an effort to get baby girl out of the house
  • having to take a detour en route because a major road was closed
  • spending up to 30 minutes looking for shopping centre parking because school holidays… AND baby girl needed to go to the loo.

STRESSFUL.

But then the other weight chimed in.

  • baby girl choosing rice for lunch over a happy meal, and eating it gratefully (Parental win moment!)
  • whispering to me cheekily, 30 minutes after purchase of a new doll “one more toy, and finish, shhh!” (her cleverness makes me shake my head in ‘I can’t believe she’s ours’ moments)
  • and after she heard  a person walking past us say sorry to another, explaining to baby girl that sometimes people make mistakes and then have to say sorry, examples being people bumping into others, or stepping on someone’s foot – to which we had to step on each other’s feet, and bump into each other, as we walked through the centre, for example. Laughing and bonding along 🙂

It wasn’t a day of huge purchases – in fact I didn’t get what I wanted, so another shopping day will be on the cards this week – but there were a few things that we walked away happy with.

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‘We’ is a strong word. We all know ‘baby girl’ was the happy one. Well me too, when I see her so happy. From our friends at Tar-gé, baby, the gorgeous aqua jumper with pink heart and Ariel doll with layered outfits; and baby girl received a cute little muffin box from Muffin Break, containing two mini muffins, an apple juice, and then the kind gentleman there threw in some colouring pencils and a picture for her to draw with.

I am not in any way endorsed by the above two brands for my opinions, but if they ever wanna get me involved…

I AM HERE. Just sayin’.

😉

Yes, a day of two sides, but I will remember us bumping into each other while walking through the centre, more so than anything that may have tried to weigh me down otherwise. Glass half-full, like that.

 

#459 Local help

Everywhere I turned, I seemed to run into them. People at the shops, bumping into their friends. Acquaintances. People from down the road. A local they hadn’t seen in a while.

Two women stood in front of the apples talking about how it was when they ‘showed’ so early for their second child. The grocer guy sang out to his buddy stocking up corn, and they chatted loudly about people they knew from other stores.

Another older woman held her arms out in an embrace as she came across another woman, and then the woman being hugged pointed to a third woman and said “this used to be my neighbour.” I saw them picking out groceries together and helping the older woman later on.

Two old ladies stood at the entrance to the biscuit aisle, whispering lowly about God-knows-what, but their faces were so solemn I nearly hung out a second longer to catch a word or two about the latest scandal, I could only assume.

I felt a bit left out. I couldn’t just bump into someone I knew in our town. Not yet. I didn’t know anybody. Baby girl was slowly making friends at kinder – soon she would know people out and about. Hubbie was also now working locally, so he too was recognising faces here and there. I was still based out of town, WAY out of town for work, so I wasn’t really based in any such way in our new town, not yet.

Not yet. I told myself this. I told myself, as I smiled at the exchanges I came across, wishfully thinking that my time would come, and soon enough, I would be bumping into people, and saying “oh hey! How have you been?” Maybe I would talk about how the corn was in season. Or maybe I would indulge in some scandal/gossip or two.

Or maybe all of the above. If I was lucky.

And this I pondered, as I searched for fresh yeast.

It was becoming extremely difficult to find. Back where we used to live in the Northern suburbs, I knew exactly where to find, and where to go for the fiddly, specific, random items I sometimes required. Fortunately for me, where I used to buy yeast was just around the corner from me, at a continental deli in the large shopping centre in town. There were that many wogs, (ahem) Europeans there, of course they had fresh yeast for sale, frequently. It wasn’t odd to look for it.

Here however:

“No we don’t sell it,” said one gourmet deli cashier to me, as she genuinely looked quizzical, adding that she didn’t know where I could buy it while looking around to serve the next person and get rid of me.

“I don’t know where we get it from,” said the bakery lady who had walked out to place bread on the shelves in Woolies, implying that yes they had it, but no, they did not SELL IT.

Where was I going to get fresh yeast from? It almost seemed like I was asking for a Unicorn’s horn, or something. People looked at me like “Wowzee, geez, good luck.” I was making a bunch of bread-like cheese rolls for my parents’ upcoming anniversary, and I was going to make them tomorrow. So I needed to buy the yeast, NOW.

I decided nothing was lost by asking the cashier who had put through my items a previous time at Woolies. She seemed like a really lovely person. As she weighed my apples, I asked, “do you know where I could find fresh yeast around here?”

She thought for a moment, throwing a bit of a clueless look as so many before her had thrown when I had posed my question, and then turned to the Mum with two kids behind me who was placing her groceries on the conveyor belt, and without hesitating asked “where can you buy fresh yeast around here?”

They knew each other.

This Mum was lovely and started rattling off heaps of names. One on the Main street, and then the cashier jumped in and mentioned a grocery store in town.

“My Hubbie works there actually” I said. “I’m just waiting for him to get back to me on that.”

The Mum then remembered a gourmet/organic grocer that was a few shops down in the little centre we were in, and immediately I was like “of course!” How could I have forgotten that little unique and quirky-buys place?

I high-tailed it out of there after thanking them, and upon walking into the gourmet grocer, came across a very smiley lady at the counter.

“Do you sell fresh yeast?”

“You know who would know that? Our chef. And she so happens to be a few doors down. Follow me.”

And just like that, she left her post in the grocer store at the counter, and walked off, me following her with my trolley full of groceries, containing almost everything BUT fresh yeast. She kindly introduced me to the chef who was chatting with another shop owner, and then left to resume her post, while I asked wide-eyed “was there any fresh yeast around here?”

The chef, was super-friendly. She was surprised Woolies hadn’t just given me some, but said to try all the bakeries in the area… she mentioned the Baker’s Delight just several stores down, and Banjos on Main street, and then another fine foods deli off the Main street. She was so friendly and helpful, and placed confidence in me that I WOULD find it.

I still tentatively walked to Baker’s and when it was my turn to be served, asked all high-pitched “do you sell fresh yeast here?”

“Yeah” responded the cashier with no confusion or Unicorn horn- questioned look.

Finally!

And so, I got my damn fresh yeast. The locals had been lovely, and gone out of their way to help me, just as you would expect in a village-type seaside town.

And just as I had been wondering how long it would talk to get it, the fresh yeast came across my path quite suddenly, as it had been there in front of me, all along…

And I realised that like the yeast rising, hopefully so too would my ‘locals’ friend list also go up… much sooner than I expected.