#670 The bond they still share part 2

“Mama!” she exclaimed from the backseat of the car this morning. “Flowers! Two flowers for Baka and Deda!”

That’s right. She had picked a couple of yellow flowers from our yard while out and about bouncing on the trampoline before breakfast – possibly weeds, yet still bright and sunny-like – and had specifically told me that “this for Baka, and this for Deda.”

We were heading over to see my parents today. Her grandparents.

Baby girl is in this phase at the moment, where she will pick these flowers from within the grass in our yard and tell me who it’s for. Often they are for me, and if I’ve been complaining of something, it’s to make me “feel better.” 🙂 Awww.

But she rattles off names constantly: her grandparents, her Dad, her aunty and uncle, cousins… even kinder friends sometimes get a mention.

And it wasn’t just a flower. She had to pick it just the right way, with not too much stem, or else it would be carelessly and coldly thrown over her shoulder in a defiant motion.

I had left them on the kitchen bench, and in the car, she was almost devastated that she had forgotten and now couldn’t give it to them.

An hour and 20 later as we pulled into my parents driveway, I got her out and said “come, I have an idea.” We walked a short distance around the corner to the park they live next to, and started scanning the mid-length grass.

Sure enough, on my parents side of the fence, there were exactly two yellow flowers – no more, no less.

“Pick those for Baka and Deda,” I told her. “They’ll be happy.”

She handed them out proudly, and I wondered if my parents knew how much thought and care she had put into picking those flowers for them…

Some time later, in fact hours later, and I came back there after my hair appointment. I walked in to hugs and kisses and “Mama!” exclamations, and soon baby girl told me as we were packing up to leave “Me have very good time at Baka Deda house.”

Awww. There right there. You can’t fake that, a child can simply NOT lie about that.

To have my child who I love and care for so much, and my parents who cared for me so much and who I love, for those two entities to love and care for each other so much…

It is truly special. A beautiful, full circle. 🙂

#667 Trampoline Sunset

It was a pretty sunset out there tonight.

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But what was even prettier was the sight before my eyes, as baby girl decided to take to the trampoline in the late evening, and jump about to the fading light.

I don’t know what it was: whether it was her jumping so high, with a huge smile on her face, so independently; or the glorious pink and purple light behind her; or just the fact that she was a picture of contentment and satisfaction, which arose those feelings in me as well – or maybe ALL 3 of those – but I was immediately appreciative for the simple feelings of gratitude that came forward.

It’s the little things… that are the big things…

 

#611 New neighbours, old neighbours

A pair of brothers, primary-school aged, live next door. Confident, direct, interested. They sat perched on the fence bordering our homes as I put up the washing this afternoon, baby girl on the ground floor trying to scale up our side of the fence to reach them.

“Can we play with her?” the younger one asked.

“Ahhh,” I stalled. I didn’t have any reason to say no, but I had a headache, I needed to start dinner, and I didn’t know where they would play… I hadn’t even met their mother, and so I couldn’t just unceremoniously dump baby girl on her to play with some older boys at her house.

“She’s having an early dinner soon, so I’m not sure,” I bluffed.

“Is that because she’s going to bed earlier?” (I told you, interested).

“No, not really…”

“Maybe we can come over and play after dinner?”

“Yeah.” Push things to after. “We’ll see what happens.”

I then took the washing basket in thinking it was all resolved and nothing would happen, while baby girl jumped on her trampoline and let off some steam.

Well then, I actually started on dinner. And about 45 minutes later, with things well underway, Hubbie home from work and now my splitting headache also far along, I was sitting for a moment on the couch, doing a Bold and the Beautiful catch-up, when something caught my eye out of the front window, some figures coming up the footpath towards the house.

Boys. Barefoot. Bowed heads.

But ready to play with Baby Girl.

I turned to baby girl who hadn’t yet seen them, and when I asked her if she wanted to play with them, here and now, she almost couldn’t believe her stroke of luck.

She led them to the backyard and they jumped away like mad, performing all manner of tricks in the trampoline.

The boys came inside, spoke to us. Looked at our nearby photos, played with her toys. They slam dunked on a basketball hoop we have hanging off a nearby door, and we asked them about their primary school.

They were really gentle and kind with baby girl.

They all played together, just perfectly. And the level of respect they showed to her, just blew me away.

Even besides the impressing me part, I was reminded, and led back to the good ol’ days when I was that young kid. At my neighbours’ house – and I had three friendly neighbour houses who I frequented daily back then – that I knew back to front.

I knew their lives and their families. They knew mine. It was the perfect, best upbringing. Four houses in a row, and all four houses with girls of the same age. It was the stuff of stories. Not even writers could write this stuff and get away with it.

But so too, it ended the way stories do. People grow up. Parents separate. Kids go to private schools and remove themselves. And soon they all moved away.

It doesn’t take away from my awesome childhood memories, and honestly, I have too many. I am still in contact with 2 out of those 3 girls, and even went to their weddings, and they mine, so I think that is a fabulous effort considered.

But I sometimes think, and ponder, how nice it would be for baby girl to grow up amongst that kind of setting. Neighbours her age, where they could spend their days together, outside as kids should, running and bike riding and playing hide and seek within a one block radius, ‘park permitted.’ 🙂

Freedom, and yet safety. Where the parents know each other, know the kids, and all can play together, alternating houses, and yet the parents can still tell their kids friends to ‘go home because we’re having dinner now.’ That kind of honest, direct, freedom.

I thought of all that today. I thought of what I had growing up, and I looked at what was happening now in our house.

The noise, the kids, the neighbours. Her new friends 🙂

The ball rolled over to me as I was chopping cucumbers. I kicked it back to the young boy who took it and slam dunked against the hoop.

Later, Hubbie interrupted their jumping party outside and told them it was now our dinner time. Baby girl waved them off, “bye boys!” while he hoisted them OVER THE FENCE.

Now that’s, a real neighbour. I freaking love it :):):)

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Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

#512 Bullshit stories to feed to your child…

…or as some like to call them, little white lies.

Up until a little earlier, I had no inspirational, sunshine-y, happy-go-lucky or renewed vigour for life post to mention here in this little gratitude blog of mine.

But then, as all the other nights before it, the bedtime routine happened.

And as I stood there, counting slowly, breathing deeply, and making occasional bribes to baby girl that all her toys would be gone in the morning, in between warning her that my angry face was going to turn on soon, something suddenly occurred to me.

Just like the sun rising from the dark horizon to fill the world with light, so too did an incredible thought emerge from my fury, giving me Hope that I could remove myself from this shithole.

A bullshit story.

I’ve mentioned this here before. You know, those stories we as parents tell our kids, to get, I don’t know, anywhere?

To get them to listen.

To get them to comply.

To stop them crying.

To shop them whinging.

To distract them.

Hell, to make life easier.

“We have to leave the beach now, because it closes at lunch time. It actually closes.”

“Yes the park is also closing for lunch, everyone is going home to eat.”

“You can’t leave the house without brushing your teeth. The shop people won’t let you buy a kinder egg if your teeth are yucky.”

“Paw Patrol will wait until you’ve had a nap, and then they will come on TV.”

“You have to wear a jacket on the trampoline (in 11 degree weather). It’s the Rule.”

And we get away with it because we can.

Why do we do it? Well as you can see from the above list, sometimes it’s for their sake – cleanliness or health. Sometimes it’s for convenience.

Sometimes it’s for OUR sanity.

And tonight once again it was the latter. Because for some reason, baby girl’s room was too dark. In amidst stalling with a variety of ways to not sleep, she kept pulling this nifty excuse out of her bag of tricks. And all I wanted to do was rest, and have some kind of ‘me time.’

She has two lamps in her room, albeit battery-operated ones, so perhaps the room was getting dimmer from the gradual battery strength lessening. However when I was getting her to finally lie down, and again she complained too dark, I just ripped out –

“We can’t have too many lights, you know why? The bugs will catch us. The bugs and spiders will find us because there are too many lights. So we can’t have too many lights. Goodnight!”

And you know what I got in return?

“Goodnight!”

Thank Fuck. I love Motherhood, but I also love that she is at an age to still buy these stories…

 

#503 Sister’s surprise visit

Today was not as I had to expected it to be – and not in a nice way. It was pretty devastating and heartbreaking to tell you the truth.

I was going to spend the day at home, with baby girl, on this sunny day on the 1st of July, feeling sorry for myself. Disenchanted about life and everything in it, questioning signs, asking for answers, and tearing my hair out in the mess of it all.

And then, fate, divine intervention, a sixth sense stepped in… what else can we call it? Oh that’s right.

My sister.

She must somehow know these things, sense these things. Know that somehow, somewhere, a part of me is crying out for help, support, a shoulder to sob on…

She came by, and it was the most unexpectedly happy moment of the day.

I did ask for help. I did ask for support. And I did have her shoulder to cry on.

And she said yes, yes, yes, with all of her heart.

Not all the day was doom and gloom. We both purged. We both laughed. We both went deep and delved.

And I caught this light-filled moment, light in every definition of the word, as she and baby girl jumped on the trampoline.

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♥♥♥

Thank you sis. I couldn’t live without your love. 🙂

#500! Rum balls

Bloody sweets, again? This girl is crazy, you’ll say. All she does is bake!

Well, I didn’t bake. I rolled. And it just so happens that by pure coincidence, this week is heavy on the sweet-making front, because my cappuccino cupcakes I made half for us, half for some family earlier on in the week…

and the rum balls I rolled today, is for a shared plate I need to take to baby girl’s kinder tomorrow, for their end of term 2 PAR-TAY…

(and a little for us too).

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I mean, it would be pretty cool if I had heaps of time to just bake, and roll, and cook, and spend a heap of time making sugary-sweet-time in the kitchen… but by the same token I’m more than just a creative kitchen enthusiast, and I don’t like to be defined by just one thing. I like to spend my time outdoors, taking in sunshine, reading, shopping even when the account kind of doesn’t allow me, and jumping on trampolines… with baby girl of course.

Of course.

Oh, and writing. That little hobby too 😉

It makes sense to talk about the things I do and what makes me happy today – after all it’s a monumental post, the big 5-0-0! Woohoo! I say, make the cake, and eat all the cake!

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Well, leave some for the kiddies too. They are child-friendly in case anyone is wondering, totally rum-less.

So what exactly am I grateful for today? A whole bunch of things. I am grateful for easy recipes like rum balls, yes. I am grateful for milestones. And a big shout out to Hope too. Hope keeps my feet taking one step in front of the other. Hope keeps my chin up when things are down. Hope keeps me a glass half-full gal, and Hope is there to tell me that everything eventually works out, and everything is for a reason.

Celebrating sweet things, big numbers, and things to keep us wishing…

Thanks to you all for joining me on this ride, and here’s Hoping this 500 is the tip of the iceberg for the lifelong Gratitude Journey I am on. 🙂

#491 Hubbie’s early homecoming

It’s harder to hitch a ride on the gratitude bandwagon when the days are cold and dreary, and hibernation becomes your key activity. Which is why it’s so important to look closely around you, and appreciate all the little words, events, and actions, surprises and glimpses of happiness that find their way to you.

As such, today. It’s not like Hubbie never comes home early from work. There have been times here and there where he’s been let off a little earlier than usual – because, Winter. Slow days, and when the job is done, well often there is no point sticking around, 3 men to do the job of 1 for the last hour.

So today, as Hubbie approached the front door a fair bit earlier than his usual hometime, and I waved happily at him while baby girl took her position of ‘immediate hide and seek’ game under the table, I was immediately appreciative of his early release from the work quarters.

Hubbie is home earlier, which means we have dinner earlier. We get to sit on the couch for a bit afterwards and just talk to each other, about deep issues and light-hearted things, anything random and significant that pops to mind. We don’t usually get to talk like this when we are working, so it’s a bonus.

It also means I might get 5 or so minutes to put my feet up and browse through my Donna Hay cookbook, getting ideas and inspiration in the midst of these quiet and low-key months ahead.

Or, I can also watch through the window at Hubbie complying to baby girl’s request, and see them jumping wildly in the trampoline against the fading evening light.

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Whatever my reasons are to be grateful to have Hubbie home earlier from work, whether they be small or big reasons, they are ALL worth it… and yet the biggest reason to be grateful, is the simplest one… just to have him home, with us. Just for a little bit more. That’s enough.