Today marks the twelfth day. Twelve days of having a voice that can barely rise above a whisper. A dozen mornings of frantically signing at the kids to try and get them to eat faster, dress themselves and haul their belongings into the car.
In some ways it has been refreshing. The normal lectures I would have delivered without a second thought have been placed on hold. The unthinking explosions of fury when things careen out of control leave less damage when my tongue becomes disconnected from my thinking mind.
My expectations have been lowered to survival mode. Have the kids been fed today? Check. Have we made it in one piece to school and Kinder? Check. If only we could assess ourselves by this realistic standard more often, not allowing the ‘do it all’ mentality to obscure the foundation of what it really means to be a parent.
The midnight feeds have been like entering other worlds. Hazy eyelids barely propped open as I’ve travelled to Venice Beach, partied in the Mini Winnie, laughed endlessly at the uncanny pearls of wisdom and ridiculous hilarity uttered by Cooler. I’ve stared, unseeing, over the softly lit sheets as school parents duelled over bullying, infidelity and standardised testing at the Piriwee Public Trivia Night, gaze falling with grief as faces change behind closed doors – the perfect image of a husband and father shattered with twisted hatred and indifference.
I like this relaxed existence. These lowered heights for which to leap. Perhaps it takes losing something to find something infinitely more precious in its place…. the gift of presence.
This post is inspired by the Five Minute Friday writing challenge. Each week I join with this talented group of writers, free writing for five minutes (or more in this case) in accordance with a prompt. Today’s prompt is ‘expect’.