Love is not a virgin on the Guest Blogger scene anymore. I did the deed over at Merbear’s this week.
I am younger then by the same amount of time it takes a foetus to reach term, if that stands to reason. There is a gestation period of difference between my husband and I. His parents wouldn’t have even known that they were going to give birth to their first child, a son, the day I was born. So while I was taking my first breaths of air he was still sucking on amniotic fluid. He was growing downy hair all over his body when I moved onto solid foods. By the time he was born, I was on the move; wearing out the knees of my romper suits and collecting lint and hair off the floor.
When we’re young it’s all about the milestones and birthdays. Cheers ring out and hands are clapped in delight as a baby or toddler manages to learn a new concept, skill or ability.
As we get older those milestones are more about the number attached to us. We carry that sucker around like an extra appendage. Some lie while others are creative with subtraction. For many it’s a matter of remaining young at heart-it’s the inside that counts, after all.
At a visit to the doctor with Now 6 when he was a 3 year old, an elderly gentlemen sat down beside us. He must have been close to his octogenarian decade but seemed to have retained most of his faculties. He took an interest in the scribble drawing my son was doing and then said to me, ‘that’s a fine looking grandson you have there.’ I do remember mumbling a reply about him being my son as my heart only just managed to regain a regular rhythm. It was fortunate we were at the doctors as I was certain a heart attack was imminent. Perhaps he was there to see the doctor about finally getting a prescription for glasses.
Several weeks ago, I had an informal meeting with the principal at Now 6’s school. I was being scrutinised to see whether I would be an appropriate replacement for the German teacher when she takes leave in the Spring. My experience was asked about and when I answered the question I included the year that I first began teaching. I was met with raised eyebrows and an audible ‘wow’. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve hung around 5 year olds for nearly half my life that has kept me young. Hmmmm.
When I met with the teacher whose role I will be filling she kindly concurred about the difference between my chronological age and my perceived age. (Note to readers: I have known this teacher since 1999 when I taught her son who is now 26 and we have kept in contact since then). Apparently I am thinner now even though I’ve been the same weight since high school, except during pregnancies, and have given birth twice since then. I don’t have a forehead full of Botox and on a good day I feel every one of my near-40 years. This ‘holding my age well’ card might come in handy if I ever have the need to chat up some young gents at the R.S.L. I could fill the role of a 60 year old cougar to get a free shandy or two.
If I had to categorise myself, I am one of those people who find it to be a difficult and dicey situation when someone asks me how old I think they are. Think of a number and subtract 15? That should cover all bases. When I’m asked how old I am, particularly by cheeky students who haven’t learned the unwritten code of conduct for someone who wants an ‘A’ this semester, my generic responses include:
‘How old are you?’ -answering a question with a question sometimes deflects the inquirer.
‘How old do you think I am?’ -see above.
‘Old enough to be your mother.’ – which normally puts them back in their box.
The time will come soon enough where my final response will have to change to Grandmother.
So herein lies the question. Does it matter what’s written on your birth certificate or what others think? How do you tackle the age old questions, ‘how old are you’ or ‘how old do you think I am?’ Have you ever done creative number crunching, turned 21 for fifteen years in a row or had someone overestimate your age by a whole generation?
Image from: here.
There’s nothing like a confined space and two small people with loud voices both competing to be heard.
My favourite driving experiences are:
The School Run: Short and sweet. Hmm, short yes, sweet no. Those few short minutes can feel like sheer torture. Is the bickering and banter their way of saying, ‘I’ll miss you or I’ve missed you?’ Whatever the case may be it’s enough to drive anyone batty.
The Trip to the Grandparents: similar to the School Run just longer in length. There’s also the added anticipation of arriving. The excitement builds to a crescendo just as we pull in the driveway. My eardrums feel as if they might explode and the grandparents think that a tornado is about to hit the house. It is obvious to all concerned that I have little/no control over my terrors.
The Big Day Out Drive: setting out at shortly after the sparrow’s have sung their morning tune and arriving home close to dinner time denotes a Big Day Out. Wherever we may be headed we have a packed lunch, picnic rug, esky and bag (filled to the brim with spare clothes, hats, sunscreen, etc). The expected, ‘Are we there yet’s?’ start when we’re approximately half way there. It’s been smooth sailing the whole way if we don’t have to stop for petrol or the toilet en route.
The Great Escape: we’ve prepared for this for weeks but nothing can prepare us for the journey ahead. The car is crammed with half the contents of our house. The tailgate on the wagon will only just close. There’s pillows between the kids on the seat. It’s like we’ve tried to build the Great Wall between them so they can’t touch or see each other. The kids have got numerous things to keep them occupied. A game of ‘Eye Spy’ starts before we hit the freeway. If we’re lucky they’ll nod off (syncronised is heaven) for a while shortly after, ‘Are we there yet-i-tis?’ has commenced.
The Solo Cruise: doesn’t happen too often but when it does, Oh Boy! A chance to listen to adult tunes at any volume you please. Window up or down, whatever takes you fancy. And that annoying noise coming from the back of the car? It’s completely gone!
Mum’s taxi will be off again in the morning with the boys I love on board.
How do you cope with the calamity of children in cars for the quick trip or the long haul?
Footnote: After originally publishing this post in February, I decided to revisit it today as it was one of the first ‘pieces’ I wrote that exceeded several lines in length and had some substance. It is also the basis for the idea of my first picture book manuscript. My self-imposed deadline of June 30 is looming. I think my set of wheels needs a car detailer.
Image from: here.
A Rainbow of Love
Mother Nature produced a spectacular display in this neck of the woods recently.
Not being one who particularly likes rain, I shifted my focus towards the blue sky in the east.
Unfortunately we were headed west which looked grey, dark and miserable except for the majestic rainbow that had materialised in front of us.
As I drove Just 3 to our first stop, Now 6 and I talked of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
We neared our destination and I said, ‘Look! The rainbow ends right on top of the roof at childcare. Maybe the teachers know where the pot of gold is.’
Now 6 chimed in with a positive comment concurring with my suggestion.
The talk of rainbows and the illusive treasure ended as I hustled Just 3 through the drizzle, without the aid of an umbrella, in through the front door.
The formality of hugs and kisses over, I made the dash to the car and Now 6 and I continued to our second stop.
School drop off completed, I headed for my final destination-work.
Reverse the above scenario of stopping and starting until finally arriving home in the afternoon.
At the dinner table that night we all talked about our respective days as is customary when we all spend it in different places. After hearing recounts of everyone’s activities, highlights and plans for the following day, Just 3 had one more thing to add.
‘I asked the teacher today about the pot of gold.’ With eyebrows raised, palms up and a shake of the head, he said, ‘She didn’t even know where it was.’
Love those golden moments.
Image from: here.
Love found me today.
In the car you stroked my fingers.
I lost you for a moment when I arrived home. I sat by the window waiting for you to reappear. I closed my eyes and could soon feel your presence.
You were right behind me when I hung clothes outside; ever present, watching over my shoulder.
We played hide and seek in the yard. You hid behind trees but I never tired of finding you, time and time again. Every time I did, you embraced me. You would leave me with a smile and flushed cheeks.
These bones of mine kept moving trying to keep up with your constant motion.
Near the end of the day we stopped at the park to enjoy the last hour we would have together today. We both knew I’d see you again soon enough. Even still, I wished you could stay that little bit longer. I didn’t want you to go. Not right now. Not just yet. The last thing you did was kiss my forehead. I sat on the bench and watched you go until I could no longer see you.
My soul is thankful for the day we shared. You have left me with a warm and full heart.
If I concentrate enough I can still feel the warmth of your touch. Until you return I will suffer a sadness so profound.
I love you, son. I love you, sun.
Image from: here.
Love your passion
What’s your passion? What’s life without it?
Whether your passion is for your job, a hobby, helping others or personal growth, our passion for fulfilment should be the driving force behind what we do.
I recently found my passion. I don’t know why it took me so long to find it when it was right under my nose for some 20 years. I think I originally located it almost 10 years ago but for whatever reason it fell by the wayside. Now, apparently, I’m not the same person I was a decade ago. Every cell in my body has since been replaced but the embers of that same fire have been reignited.
Perhaps it wasn’t the ‘right time’ then. Every fibre of my being tells me it is the right time now and nothing nor no one will tell me it’s not. If there are naysayers in my path, I will listen to their words and move on without a backwards glance. My dreams will become possible with passion.
That passion in my heart will allow me to accomplish great things.
Image from: here.
It seems like washing day rolls around all too quickly but hanging out your clean clothes reminds me of how much I love you. They are also a reminder of how much you’ve grown and what you’ve been up to (and in to). Even though you’ll make them dirty again soon, I love you.
Footnote: This was my second post on my blog. I think the whole thing fitted in the reader without having to click on it. I created this photo when my intention was to have ‘I Love You’ in every post. These early posts were written as if I was speaking to my kids. Somewhere along the line my voice started speaking to my fellow bloggers about my boys instead. I think I also got a little bored of the ‘dear diary’ style of writing I was doing. The photo for this took longer than the post, from memory.