Saturday, August 27, 2011

This and that

Life has been marching on as it does since I last made a post, several weeks ago. Things are pretty much back to normal as we don't have to have my girl reviewed by our various medical teams now until September/October. It has been lovely getting up in the morning and not having to keep medical appointments.

I still think a lot about our experience in hospital and what it has taught me and how it has changed us. I feel more like a grown up - finally - at 45 going on 46. One change has been a superficial but symbolic one. I had been talking about letting my hair go grey for months and months. I was finding it really hard to let go of my inner twenty-something self who had thick long dark hair which made me feel feminine, and on a good day, pretty. Since I turned 40, it has been shorter but still dark - thanks to regular dyeing. When I was in hospital with my girl, I stopped caring about what colour my hair was. I was actually glad it was short as I didn't have a comb for a week. I finally felt good about letting my hair be the colour it actually is. I still didn't like the idea of grey regrowth, so I have just been cutting it shorter and shorter with each haircut. When I went to the hairdresser last week, she suggested going really short - "If it's grey, you want it to be edgy, not mumsy" she said. So here I am with short grey hair. I like it - it feels liberating and my husband loves it, but I did shed one last little tear the other night (when feeling fragile about other more important things that are going on) as I bade farewell to my youth and said hello to the next chapter of my life.

I also learnt how important it is to be truthful with my children, especially about really important things like pain and love and fear and sadness.

When coping with a sick little girl, Scott and I learnt that truest of all truths - the importance of living in the moment and sucking up all the love and joy you can. So...I decided to take extended leave from my historian's job so that one of us can be home with the children instead of both of us juggling work and home like a crazy circus act. Even though I only worked two days a week, those two days were so rushed and busy and I felt like I was always thinking ahead to whether there was a clean school uniform ready and enough bread to make a vegemite sandwich for a school lunch. And we both had less patience, less energy and less time to do fun things, or even to do nothing occasionally. The universe has kindly stepped in and made my job disappear in a work place restructure so I may not even have a job to go back to anyway. Normally, this situation would have caused me considerable stress, but in the light of what has happened, I have been content to go with the flow and look for the good in however things turn out. I took G into the city this week to attend a the launch of a website I was working on for the year before G got sick. I had noone to leave her with so she came along and was beautifully behaved. I felt proud of her for sitting quietly on my lap during the two speeches and letting me catch up with my colleagues and other people from the heritage field that I hadn't seen for ages. She was a bit disappointed though that there was no game of Pass the Parcel. It was nice to pop into my work world for an hour and then nice to leave it again. Then we went and said hello to the kangaroo sculptures in King George Square.

My big girl just gets bigger every day. I swear her legs grow longer every night while she is sleeping. Here she is dressed up for "book week" at school. She is dressed up as Lucy from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" as we have been reading the Narnia books at bedtime together. Is there anything more lovely to do than to reread your favourite books with your children? She is holding her magic cordial that Aslan gave her to heal the wounded in battles. I was stuck for a suitable potion bottle but then we found the bubble bath the girls gave me for Mothers' Day and added a few drops of red food colouring.

Not working has given me the time and energy to get more involved with our local school. We love hanging out and getting to know the other families and helping out with fundraising etc. I have met such lovely parents who have a real sense of community. Every day when G and I arrive to meet E after school, there is always a mum who is keeping an eye on someone else's children because they are running half an hour late. I love that. The kids play on the playground and the parents sit around and talk and then we wander off home. One of nicest things is that I have met some crafty mums who meet regularly for what they call "Yarn Night". I went along this week and we sat around, drinking tea and eating cake and knitting, sewing or crocheting and talking about life, school, birth and who bought some of those ruby grapefruit that were on special at the local fruit and vege shop last week. It may sound a bit boring but it was just lovely - very relaxing and nice to feel like I belong. I really want to spend more time with the women I know who I can relate to, who feel the way I feel - that we are meant to live in villages and share our food and our sewing machines and our childcare. I hope that doesn't sound really po faced.

Obviously, not working means a tight budget but I'm hoping we'll manage ok and can find ways to spend less money. I have resolved not to buy any new clothes for six months (except maybe at fetes or thrift shops!). And I think having more time will make up for having less money. Well...that's the theory. And if I can cook more meals and iron the odd shirt, that makes Scott's life less stressful and busy. He has cooked the majority of our meals for years (I cook most of the children's as he gets home from work late) but I think it's time I relieved him of some of his duties.

Our dog pog was sadly neglected for the last few months and had become very very shaggy. He had a dreadlock in his tail and big knots under his colour. I finally got myself organised and took him to the vet as I was tired of sweeping up dog hair from the floor. He now looks so tidy and puppylike that I have a whole new love for him and don't mind him snuggling up to me for some cuddles. He came home with a smart red scarf tied around his neck and looked like a doggy pirate.

I hope all my bloggy friends are well and happy. I haven't been posting but I have still been peeking at your lives as always.