The end of summer is almost here and suddenly we have two 3rd graders and one 6th grader. This school year and summer has been one of spreading wings and learning to fly. I have learnt that perhaps I don’t always know best and I need to take cues from my kids. They are no longer my babies, but independent, smart and intelligent children, who are capable of making their own decisions about many things, as my older one constantly says ; trust me. This means I have more time and fewer excuses to not do what I am always saying I want to do. Now is the time to put my money where my mouth is and just do it.
Up early this morning, our three little monkeys were busy getting ready for school. With bags packed and breakfast left half uneaten, we were done. The apprehension from last night was replaced with excitement, helped by the novelty of new bags, lunch boxes and water bottles. Brother is starting 3rd grade and is full of wisdom about all things school related, the twins are starting kindergarten and are in awe of his knowledge.
They waited for the bus, messing around outside, catching up with friends. Once in view they walked up and followed Brother onto the bus. No qualms or hesitation. The bus driver was making general chit chat and I was trying to hold back tears. I was so proud of all three of them.
The summer has been one of growth. The children have blossomed into new beings, more confident in their abilities and I am thankful for the journey. It’s the start of a new phase of our lives and I’m really looking forward to what is coming up next.
“Home is found not a on a map, but in the company of those you love the most”
We’ve just got back from family vacation. The first time in a year that both my sisters, my mum and I have been together. Daily squabbles, and disagreements only strengthen our bond and remind us of how it used to be; before I moved away, before my dad passed away. Twelve years on, and some moments are still hard.
When we are all together I feel complete. Mum trying to keep everyone happy and stress free, even when we protest and is successful most of the time. I am in awe of her stamina. My sisters are fun and silly, and the glee on the children’s faces only encourages them more. My youngest sister surprised us the most; assertive and energetic, she commandeered a boat , sat atop alligators and played with pythons. This time she had a partner in crime – a nephew who could keep up.
This vacation we got soaked by the splash of a giant whale, fed a school of dolphins, built sandcastles on the beach, swam in the sea, zip lined over crocodile infested waters, and played in the rain. Who knew Florida could be so much fun?
The end of the Christmas season normally brings gloom, the still dark nights no longer have the twinkle of rainbow fairy lights and cheery inflatable Santa and snowmen have gone . This year is different, we seem to have skipped over winter in the desert and gone from autumn to spring. The Palo Verde trees already have small yellow buds appearing, and the lavender is blooming; attracting a family of quails to keep the humming birds company.
The mark of the New Year is arbitrary but I feel my anxiety dissipate. It’s also accompanied by a new feeling of freedom.
Yesterday we went to the park. Oldest son and his dad went over to the field to play football. The twins and I stayed in the play area. My four year old took his mini basketball to the courts and kept trying to get a basket. I watched him from afar. He was nowhere near his target but didn’t give up. He changed tactics, and moved under the basket and attempted to throw the ball up through the hoop. He played for at least 25 minutes, happy in his activity, completely unaware and without worry of failure .
Watching him, I felt my heart would burst. From his perspective he could achieve his goal, his target was attainable. I pray that this confidence and perseverance stay with him, and feel blessed for the lesson I have been taught.
The day starts off cold and grey. There is a menace in the clouds shadowing the mountains. The silhouette grim and distant. It feels as though nature is sympathetic to my mood. In these quiet moments before the start of the day I am in synch with the world. We breathe in unison trying to exhale the anxiety that we both feel.
Today is the day before the anniversary of my father’s passing and I always find this day harder than the anniversary itself. Regret is never far from my mind, many “what if’s?” come and go, but the melancholy slowly abates, overtaken by the sounds of the children waking up. General busyness to get ready for school ensues, and momentarily; it’s just another day .
When we come downstairs the sky is still black and so we put the Christmas tree lights on and have breakfast. Chatter and squabbles, a mad rush to make sure homework is put away and a dash to the bus. I drop the twins off at preschool and I am alone with my thoughts again. The sky is still dark and foreboding; a down pour imminent, but my heart feels lighter. The sun that peeks through makes me smile.
I don’t always have the opportunity to tell you directly how special you are to me. Amid the Hallmark adverts and Christmas music, while I’m watching Charlie Brown cartoons or looking at the art work bought home by the kids I have moments when I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.
I forget the envy that I have for people who have their loved ones close-by and remember that mine aren’t really so far away. Every year as the kids continue to evolve from being constantly needy, to independent, funny, kind and sweet Smart Alecs; the empty hole in my core lessens.
Thank you to my mother, who shows love by her actions, and has always been here with me when I’ve needed her without me even asking .
Thank you to my sisters, who I think sometimes love my children more than I do and never fail to surprise me, good or bad, and without whom I would be lost.
Thank you to family that I don’t always get to see or speak to but are constantly with me, through their blessings and love.
Thank you to friends I don’t talk to as often as I would like, but still make me laugh out loud when I do. You remind me that I am still the same person I was before the responsibilities of adulthood.
Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.