The women we are

I caught up with some of my dearest friends last night. As we chatted away over dinner, I found myself thinking about how each of us are in quite different places in our lives at the moment. We are all mothers, but one of us is embarking on a brand new business venture; another is finally starting the postgraduate degree she has planned for years to do. Another is just starting part-time work after many years as a stay-at-home mum to four children, and then there’s me – and well, you know all about me 🙂

Thinking about this made me think about women in general, and all the women I’ve been over the years. I thought about this a lot on International Women’s Day – I wanted to post last week when it was on, but was too frantic juggling preparations for Little Miss’s Princess Party and a busy week at work to find the time (the irony was not lost on me!)

Over the International Women’s Days I’ve celebrated, I’ve been: a university student who manned a stall raising money for women in developing countries, and a woman still in the throes of joy after discovering she was pregnant for the first time. I’ve been a mum with a days-old baby, at once insanely sleep-deprived, but also reveling in that intense love you can only feel for a brand new baby. I’ve been a stay-at-home mum juggling playgroup and playdough, and also a mum juggling full-time work and the school run. I’ve been a postgraduate student, and a woman who was running her own business. I’ve been out late with friends, and up late with sick children. And, of course, a mother who was too busy researching how to facepaint butterflies for sixteen five-year-old girls to spare five minutes blogging on her computer 🙂

I love all these women I have been, even if I didn’t love every single thing about being them at the time.

I think women are great. And I think no matter who we are or what we do, we all deserve a pat on the back. Take a moment to enjoy who you are right now, because you may never be this particular woman again.

Here’s to all the wonderful women I know – and in the world everywhere.

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Sole pursuits

I love having kids. I really do. I like doing things with them too – generally.

But today I really found myself longing for the things I used to do on my own, like:

Sleeping in

As Little Miss (the youngest) is now nearly 5, I shouldn’t complain. They all – usually – sleep through the night and they don’t get up at 4am. But WHY does she get up at 6am on a Saturday? And especially a day like today – when it was all dark and rainy and absolutely perfect weather for snoozing until well into the day???? Needless to say she was cranky as anything by 11am and had to have a nap. It could all have been avoided with a sleep in!

Shopping

It was a rainy day, and we needed to get my Mum a present. So I thought it sounded like a lovely idea to go out for breakfast and wander around the shops. Why don’t I ever remember that shops with kids is not fun??? I just end up getting cross at everyone.

Cooking

I love cooking. I was really looking forward to cooking dessert for my Mum’s birthday dinner. Then I had three helpers and it all went downhill. It seems EVERYONE needs to do EXACTLY the same amount of “helping” tasks or all hell breaks loose.

Doing puzzles

We did all enjoy this for a little while, then everyone gets bored and then you have puzzle pieces all over the table and no one else can do anything on it.

Don’t get my wrong – it’s nice to spend a rainy day with the fam. But it really feels like hard work sometimes!!!!!

Excerpts from school scribblings…

This week Bookworm and Picasso brought home their school books for the year. As I flipped through the pages I was at times highly amused – and at others rather alarmed – by what they’d written. At times like these I can only imagine what the teachers must think! So for the enjoyment of all, I will share.

“Last night I ate nuggets on bread. They were yummy. I wish we could have them again. They were as good as McDonals nuggets” – Picasso. High praise indeed.

“On Sunday me and my family went to my grandmar’s house with our couzzens and had ice cream and donuts and chocolate cake and chips!!! But our grandmar had an olser in her eye” – Picasso. Felt like explaining to the teacher that on occasion we do eat vegetables, and poor Grandma did not have an eye ulcer because she suffers from some kind of vitamin deficiency.

“My school holidays. I got up so early and played ipad. I went to a random house and played there. One night burglar Bill went to rob a house” – Picasso. Hmmm.

“On the weekend I and my family put up the Christmas tree and the decorations. We got an early Christmas prezzent because a person on my house and it was a Christmas decoration!!! An angel decoration!!! And I put all my Christmas decorations in one spot on the bottom of the Christmas tree” – Picasso.  (He did, too – couldn’t convince him to spread them out).

The following is taken from Bookworm’s spelling books where he had to create sentences with the words considered, essential, calm.

“I considered to commit suiside.

“Life was very calm in heaven. Life was calm till it was essential to go to hell.”

I had to agree with the teachers’ note which read, “?? Theme??

Then we moved onto plurals, where he had written,

“There were heaps of ladies on the toilets.” Wonderful.

Then I saw,

“It is safe to jump off a cliff because there will probably be an acid pool below.

“It is safe to go up to strangers and have chats too.” Argh! No wonder the teacher had written ,”Is it opposite day today?” underneath.

Hopefully we won’t end up in the school counselor’s office 🙂

 

The kindness of strangers

I was reminded today that the world can be a lovely place.

We had set off for a family walk down to the shops to return a DVD and get ice creams, when poor Picasso tripped over an uneven patch of the cement footpath and came crashing wildly to the ground. Souljourneyboy and I were walking ahead when we hard three loud thuds – knee, knee, head – followed by hysterical screaming.

Poor kid – his knees were all gravelly and grazed and bleeding, and his head was sore – and we were still only halfway to the shops.

We were looking around for a tap, and wondering whether we should abandon the walk altogether and go back for the car, when a lovely older couple appeared from a nearby front yard to offer assistance. We went into their home and sat on their lounge while they fetched antiseptic cream, bandaids and a washer, as well as tiny teddy packets for all three kids. They kept Picasso amused with funny stories while I wiped down his knees and applied the cream and bandaids. Then – once we’d left and made it almost to the shops before realising I had accidentally left the DVD on their table – they pulled up in their car. They’d driven down the street to return it to us.

Souljourneyboy and I were blown away by their kindness. (I was also blown away by my own ability to leave things lying around, apparently even in the houses of other people I’ve never met before).

I love how life gives you gifts like that. I am certainly happy to pay that kindness forward one day!
🙂

 

Bonfire!

Along with trampoline injuries, Enid Blyton books and slip-and-slides, there’s another experience every kid really should have – a bonfire!

I’m sure I am not alone in looking back longingly at Firecracker night. You remember – where kids were terrorised by those firecrackers that ran along the ground (was I the only child who hid in the laundry when they were lit?), when grown-ups who were over the limit waved lit matches around, and injuries were sustained by the following exchanges: “Did you light it?” “Yes, I lit it.” “It’s not working, you musn’t have lit it.” “I lit it!” “Well I can’t see the spark, you better go check.” “It’s just taking a minute.” “It’s not working, we’ll have to get another one.” “All right, I’ll check.” Ka-boom. Souljourneyboy is one such firecracker survivor.

Despite the danger – or perhaps because of it – we all loved Firecracker Night, and collectively rolled our eyes when the government put a stop to it and officially declared the end of all fun.

So we’re not allowed firecrackers anymore, but fortunately we are still allowed bonfires. Souljourneyboy’s parents live on acreage, and each year we pile up all the branches and trees for the annual burn-off. Its become quite a tradition with family and friends; there’s a sausage sizzle and roasted marshmallows, pyromaniac kids doing frightening things with lit branches (egged on by Uncle E), ice cream and lots of fun.

Take a look:

It’s becoming a tradition that I really love.

My grandmother’s funeral is on Friday – she lived in a tiny country town called Bombala, which is where her funeral is being held. I have so many memories of holidays at Grandma’s place – often with Soul Sister along for the ride – and it was such a wonderful part of my childhood. We’d visit the second-hand bookstore, spend a couple of dollars on cheap romance novels, and read for days at a time. We’d go for walks along the river and spend hours sitting at the kitchen table eating my grandmother’s cooking and playing board games.

I’m taking the kids to Bombala for her funeral on Friday, and I honestly don’t know when I will ever visit the sleepy little town again. Now Grandma is gone, I don’t have any family there and considering it’s a 7-hour drive, it’s not somewhere you just drop by for a quick visit. So I kind of feel as though I’m saying goodbye not only to my Grandmother, but a part of my childhood too.

So while I feel a little sad…it also makes me determined to build wonderful traditions for my family, and make sure my kids have great memories to look back on and treasure when they’re older.

So cheers for Bonfire Night!