Wednesday, 25 November 2015

FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE.

Dear friend, I'm back.

Life kidnapped me for a while there and I have only just escaped its clutches. I've been sucked up and spat out but not in any way that offended me particularly.

I'm wondering how you are? We've been out of touch and I'm looking forward to reconnecting. Have you managed to get some of the time you needed for yourself? A bit more sleep? Knowing that the time left before you see your boys is getting shorter and shorter must help a lot. It's really not long before you're here.

We have had a big happening in our family. Our 'baby' has finished kindergarten and turned five and started school. We have had a week of all eyes on him and celebrations and a few tears shed quietly one morning in the shower by me. Watching my sons grow up brings me the greatest pleasure, but it's also bitter sweet. The feel of a small hand in my hand; the soft sweet smelling skin; the cuddles and crawling into laps and connectedness with a young child slowly disappear. It's hard knowing that I'm observing these milestones for the third and final time. Previously we've always known we'll get another turn at seeing one of our children arrive at this new stage.

That said, I am delighting in seeing him enjoy school. He told me there are some good bits and some not so good bits (that's a fair synopsis of school I'd say) but he's going happily and coming back happy and that seems like a good sign to me.

I made a train cake for Arlo for his birthday. That was what he had requested months ago, and his decision didn't change. Do you remember the old Women's Weekly cake book? The train cake is in there. My mother in law tells me that Ben had one when he was a boy too and she wondered if he had mentioned that. Ben doesn't tend to remember that sort of stuff. In fact lots of things he doesn't remember. In that way he's a good person to tell a secret to.

Today I took a trip to the rocky shore with the junior school that I hadn't been intending to take. But a parent helper pulled out and I subbed in and it was a lovely treat to get to go along with Arlo on his first school outing. We sat together and ate our lunch and talked about how nice it is to share a good sandwich. I found out that I'm not too scared to pick up a starfish or a sea anemone. I was pleased with that discovery.

but then this evening while we were reading Charlie and Lola I terrified Arlo by telling him that there was no end number. It wasn't entirely my fault as he's the one that brought it up, but he said that there must be an end number otherwise you'd just be counting all day and I said you could count all day every day for the rest of your life and never reach the end number and he shouted "NO! No Mummy! There is an end number!" and I said "Actually there probably is. Sorry about that". I've been stoned, lying on the grass looking up at the stars, and I've seen the whole universe stretching out further and further, deeper and deeper. It's a lot to take in, so I kind of know how he felt.

Tomorrow I will be 41 years old. That's good. That's quite old. I want to tell you what I've learnt in the last year and I can't think of anything except that I've acknowledged how much I hate to be cold and so I now encourage myself to wear a coat places where it might be windy. Why did it take me 40yrs to figure out just how much temperature affects me? Was I not paying attention?

Anyway, if I was having a birthday party tomorrow I would play this song and drag everyone up to dance with me to it. There is no hiding from the fact that I would be dancing like someone's Mum. There's no shame in that.

I'm going to go and read a book in bed now. That's what nearly 41 year olds do (this nearly 41 year old anyway!)
I'm wishing you happiness and peace of mind dear friend. And I'm hoping for a post from you soon.
With much love,
xxR



Tuesday, 10 November 2015

UNEXPECTED

Dear Rachel,

I've sat many times this past week to write and reply to you but the words didn't flow. The were choked. So I'm back to scratch and have unfortunately had to ditch some great jokes in order to clean off the screen and prepare this new message.

The irony inside that fact that I was going to discuss momentum with you has not escaped me. I tried and and tried to write and was clogged.

The truth is I am tired. I choose to sleep less hours than is required, for different reasons. I am tired of being talked about. I am tired of missing Jonah and Ben. I am tired of not running very well anymore due to a buggered knee. I am tired of coffee and beer and beds and cashews and grapes and being misunderstood and chicken and ironing. Everyday I force myself to be busy when really all I want is to sit on a sofa on top of a hill and watch the sun rise with a friend. I prefer sunrises to sets. They take more effort to get to and lack the melancholy of dusk.

I recently went abroad for work. We laboured long days through terrible lunches and non-complimentary beers. These trips are most rewarding and provide a lift yet I was very happy to get back here and catch up with a few good people. I need to go to Oman again and kayak until I hurt, then climb, then swim. This weekend is open and it's quite possible I go overnight. There I can hopefully bring some of the ends together again. Maybe even sleep. The trouble is I will go with my thoughts. For hours and more. 

There is often music I can play which rubs my knots but I can't find a single track or tune these days which nullifies how worn out I feel sometimes. 

I get asked occasionally (and reasonably) how I am doing without the boys. My reply is, more often than not, "imagine".

This is brief and all I have at the moment. My friendships mean more and more to me each month. They are still being whittled down which is also exhausting yet invigourating.  

I appreciate your words and having them on my screen whenever I need to read them and smile and take pleasure in them. 

Enjoy your week. Let's talk soon.


Michael