Trading Places

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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’. 

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Grappling with Gratitude

It hasn’t been an ideal month in which to practice gratitude. Or, perhaps I should say, it has been the most ideal. We’ve struggled with parenting battles – rages that unhappily coincide with bedtime and can last for hours – moments of being all consumed with how to respond with […]

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Editing

Gastro. Its insidious presence has infiltrated our house and if there were ever I time I wished I could yell ‘cut’ and go to the next scene, today would be it. Boatloads of washing, frantic spraying of disinfectant over ever possible surface, springing to life at every moan and holding […]

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The Best Laid Plans…

I knew as soon as I struggled to lift my head from the pillows this morning. Something was off. All the grand plans I had for making the weekend special (after my moping about it not being worth looking forward to) fell in a heap – the warm pumpkin pancakes […]

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Uncharted Territory

Love comes in the form of hearty soups, home-made risotto, chocolate muffins, carrot cake and hand-picked groceries. In shopping bags filled with chocolates, wine, sticker books and hand drawn cards. It is found in the caring texts, the offers of babysitting and treatments, wordless hugs and showing up at bedtime […]

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Learning the Hard Way

It started with a restless sleep and a vivid dream about a gigantic boa constrictor.  The hail began to clatter just as we were about to head out, but I managed to fumble my way through the usual difficulties of herding small children into the vehicle.  I arrived at the […]

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Being Schooled

If there’s one thing I don’t deal well with, it’s sick kids. The escalated mood swings, the snot ribbons, the midnight sheet changes, the spike of fear at a cry at 3am knowing it probably won’t be a quick resettle, the unmistakable acid stench assaulting your nostrils as you gingerly […]

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