Saturday, October 20, 2012

little steps, big changes

Two years ago, I was horrified and harrowed by the awfulness of tending to the same needs from two people at the opposite ends of life - my mum and my newborn baby.  In the months after my mum's stroke just days after Ruby was born, one of the hardest things was the tasks I now had to perform for her, in complete unison with my daugher. Changing her nappy, feeding her pureed food with a spoon, figuring out what she was trying to say.

Two years later, and so much has changed, despite so much being the same. My mum can now talk and feed herself, albeit limited.  My daughter can now talk and feed herself, albeit limited. They are developing at the same stage.  And today, a momentous thing happened for them both.  My daughter completed her first jigsaw. And so did my mum. Ths first time either have had the concentration span, the cognitive intelligence and skills to complete a puzzle. The last few months have been like an awakening for them both. Ruby is working things out, recognizing more and more, communicating more effectively, being funny and engaged. My mum is making more sense, recognised a picture of her mother and last week said my name for the first time in two years.  We can laugh again together. Today we baked. I made the dough and rolled it out and with one hand she pressed the cutter. My mum taught me to bake, as I teach now my children. It is something we did together and today I got to do it again.   We walked the dog in the autumn sunshine as Ruby sat on mum's knee in her wheel chair and later we had a pretend tea party. Mum and Ruby laughed and connected - something I never dreamed could have happened in those awful awful months after her stroke.  Everything with Ruby is getting easier, and things with my mum are getting better.  It's the little things that make the biggest difference.

Monday, October 15, 2012

and then reality bites...

I love it when I write a post like my last one, as if suddenly the world has shifted on an axis and there are no troubles to be found.  Because I should know by now, when you have three kids, a job, a parent to care for, a marriage you'd quite like to keep, and a dog, troubles are never far away. Although I have to admit that after the Troubles of the last few years, it's nice to have troubles with a little t for a while.

Working from home had it's challenges - the constant pull of needs leaving me feeling I was making nobody happy any of the time. Every minute was allocated to at least three different functions and craziness ensued.  Now the pull is of a different kind - the constant guilt of leaving my girls, the logistics of organising meals, school pick ups and general family needs around the demanding 5 days of work in a three-day a week job.   Every minute is allocated - from 6 am when I have to get up to walk the dog before hubby goes to work, to the moment I lay my heavy head on the pillow, assuming at last this is my moment - only to have Ruby cry out. No. That moment isn't mine either.  All my  moments are theirs.  I realise that now. And that's ok. I've spent the last 7 years waiting for things to calm down. Just around the corner will be some peace. Just get through this week, and I'll be able to do all those things like tidy the baking cupboard. Maybe next year will be easier.

Daisy turned 7 today. I think I've finally realised it isn't an itch that needs scratching. It's life.
I have kids, ergo life is hectic and full, and challenging and chaotic, glorious and gruesome, exhuasting and exhilerating. Every moment is allocated, because every moment is full.

 My beautiful, wonderful, funny, exhuberant, smart, fiesty, thorny, caring, loving, curious, creative gorgeous baby is seven. And like the day I became a mother by becoming her mother, I still feel new to this parenting process.  But I now kinow this;  I'm going to stop waiting for the ride to stop so I can step off for a moment and catch my breath. She is seven and only a few moments ago she was a baby. So I'm buckling myself in and holding on tight. I'm on this ride, and I'm not getting off.   Bring it on!