Monday, November 28, 2011

Look away, children....

In future years, if my children ever fancy a glance at their childhood, or want an insight into the sometimes mad woman who brought them up, they might read back over these blogs. That's partly why I started writing them - as a little outlet for my not-so-little frustrations, a global platfrom to celebrate their wonderfullness, but most of all, as a record of our journey together, mother and daughters. Over the last 6 years there have been too-many-to-count glorious gushings about how amazing, how thrilling, how funny, how utterly lovely my beautiful girls are (see how I'm front-loading the praise?)...... so please girls, excuse this little eeny weeny post that's all about me.... look away now.

Yes... in approximately 20 hours time, I will be boarding an Aer Lingus jet (SANS ENFANTS), for a 5 hour (CHILD-FREE) flight to New York, for a five day break (FROM ROUTINE, CHORES, COOKING, CLEANING, WIPING BUMS, MAKING FOOD, WIPING FOOD UP FROM THE FLOOR, YADA YADA YADA....) with a great friend (NOT A CHILD, BUT A REAL ADULT FRIEND).

Phew! It feels amazing just to be writing it. I know I shouldn't be feeling this desperate to get away, BUT I AM!!!!!!! I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!! (I told you to look away, but one day you'll understand!)

We've been saving for three years (yes count them..... three years). And it's not even the cocktails I'm looking forward to (although I'm sure going to be having one around the 4.30pm mark when my day is usually descending into mayhem and everyone's reaching levels of hysteria normally reserved for major natural disasters). That will be a sip of pure bliss. It's not the 5 nights of undisturbed sleep I'll be getting (although I'm sure going to love that first 6am roll over when I realise no-one needs me). It's the flight. Yes, a 5 hour flight where I can get to end of the page, drink something with bubbles that is not water, and even watch a film that doesn't involve a princess. I'm going to lounge about SoHo and drink cocktails during the day. I'm going to jog across Brooklyn Bridge in the early morning noise, I'm going to eat bagels and enjoy not bustling in a city of bustle.

We booked our flights in January so it's hard to believe it's here. I've just booked in on-line and printed off my tickets, I've stocked the freezer with food, cleaned the house and dusted off the clothes that don't get much of a viewing - the ones intended for the real world. I'll be in it. Sipping cocktails, and smiling. A lot.

Although I've no doubt at all girls, I'll be thinking about you every day...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Letters of Love

This weekend, when I went up to Belfast to look after my mum, my dad had left a big box in my room. I looked inside, and found my life story. The smell of age and nostalgia mingled with tissue thin paper and ink. Every single card, every single letter, every single postcard, every single note I have ever written to my mum was inside.... stories laid bare, love notes squeezed between exploits, happy holidays, dulls days...all bound together in memory. I have written to my mum all through my life - through all my adventures, through all my education, through all my relationships, through all my parenting. And she kept every word. I spent a few hours just putting them into piles - the piles I realise that represent the phases of my life - my childhood - sweet notes of innocence and a burgeoning imagination; my year out in Pakistan and India as a naive 18 year old - full of longing for home, and excitement at the world; University - an adult emerging amid learning and independence; working life in London - lots of money requests and false starts on the job front; my two year travels - the spendour, the adventure, the romance!; and finally, my life in Dublin - my first flat, planning our wedding, our first home, my beautiful girls.
Reading them I realise how honest I was, how at ease we were with each other, how accepting we were, how involved my parents have been in my life. Not only does that box give me a unique diary of my life - in my own words, it is like a gift to me in this time as I grieve for my mum, and learn to live my life without her involvement.
I still write to her every week - I take photos of my days with the girls, and I embed them in a letter with a commentary, and I email it to dad who prints it out and reads it to her. They are slowly filling a box beside her bed - and in time too they will be the diary of this phase, and a reminder that even though she cannot be the person she was, she is still, and always will be, involved in my life.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some days...

Some days it all comes together... and some days it all falls apart. Today was the latter. My recent attempts at reading Buddhism (whatever gets us through the day, I say) is being tested as my new found calm took a sabatical, and the screaming heeby-jeeby's took over. The more Ruby screamed outwardly, the more I screamed inwardly. The more Poppy cried at every little thing, the more I wanted to cry at every single thing. The more Daisy tortured me for her confiscated Leappad, the more I wanted to confiscate myself. This was me at 4.52pm....

And then my knight in shining armour came home and rescued me from the wicked witches. Thank you hubby...... coming home early was the best wedding anniversary present you could give me.... (well, the best one that doesn't sparkle!!).