That sound…

The sound of my children giggling and playing with each other.

I hope they always work through their disagreements because I never want them to stop enjoying each other’s company. It’s one of those things that makes the relentless nature of parenting worthwhile. It makes spilt milk and nap refusal bearable.


And in the end…

“… And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” – Lennon & McCartney.

Around midnight last night I woke abruptly and couldn’t sleep until nearly 4am.

Today I learnt that my friend died about then. She had fought off that damned inoperable brain tumour for nearly 8 years. She laughed and smiled almost all the way through it too. I’m sure in the silence of deep dark nights she cried and bargained and denied the diagnosis. She was an excellent person; all the lovely things you say about those gone and even more- much more.

Here’s to you beautiful, wonderful lady. You were amazing. x

A wise old bird

There’s a nursery rhyme that goes like this:

A wise old owl lived in an oak;

The more he saw the less he spoke;

The less he spoke the more he heard,

Why can’t we all be like this wise old bird?

From memory, it is an old English rhyme meant to encourage children to be seen and not heard. While I think that particular ideal is rather antiquated, the wisdom in it is vital. Why rush to speak our piece (especially in ignorance or insensitivity) when we could become enlightened as we engage with others through considerate hearing?

We live in a gloriously opportune time for signficant improvement in poverty, personal liberty and democracy. We have access to the most colourful, heartbreaking, joyous and urgent stories through social media and we risk doing greater harm if we rush our want to speak. There are some marvelously gorgeous changes happening and there can be more to come.

I know I live in ardently idealistic hope, but isn’t it necessary more than ever, to listen and consider deeply before reacting or responding?

Nigh Nighs for the Night Owl

Much to my mother’s frustration, I have always been a night owl. From 6 months I refused to sleep during the day and then would only sleep soundly from late in the night. I have been nocturnal for as long as I can remember.

University was the best. I could churn out assignments last minute and hand them in first thing without breaking a sweat or failing. In fact, some of my best work has been done at the last minute and in the wee hours of the night and early morning.

Until August last year. Now, with 2 babies and being halfway through my thirties I find, even if I have a quiet day I tend to fall asleep by 8:30, usually straight after tucking my little bunnies into their beds. I wake up tired.

I’ve had all the blood tests. I’m fit, apart from carrying some extra weight from bearing 2 wee bairns and the usual spread that occurs after marriage. I make no excuses for the extra weight. I just couldn’t be arsed getting off my arse with the mental gymnastics and running around I do after the family. I’m just knackered after 13 years of multiple redundancies, financial ruin and family members demanding more than their good share of holistic energy.


The heartache of Soon…

Much has happened the last year or so.

The baby is hurtling towards her first birthday. She is the spit of her big sister in looks and the opposite in personality. Both my arms are full of such sweet and curious babies.

My Nan has deteriorated badly in the last year as well. She recently turned 90 and her limbs have lost 70% mobility. A week before her birthday took a bad fall, leaving her unable to return home. She is now in care. The only place my Dad and his brother could get her into straight away was a home 40 minutes away in the Dementia ward. It makes it harder to see her as much as I did and she with all her mental faculties leaves her lonely.

Last night was a hard night. Nan had pressed some random buttons on her TV remote by accident and couldn’t get her CD player working. She rang us in tears because the nurses didn’t know what to do and the maintenance officer wouldn’t be in until today. We tried to fix it over the phone but was too hard to work out as she was so distraught and not thinking straight. She cut the call abruptly; I think she was about the cry a little harder.

I feel quite helpless. If I could care for her at our place I would… but unfortunately it’s not in the realm of possibility financially or time wise. I’d care for her at her place but then my girls are too noisy for my Pa and they need their routine. I need to return to work in July and my two girls, ages 6 and almost 1, can still be quite demanding, thriving on routine.

We are quite close, Nan and I. I miss her not being down the road from us, and I know that her twilight days, months or years are a trial for a once vibrant, creative and active woman. Part of me wants to keep her forever, but more of me prays that she finds rest like the dignified lady she is- peacefully in her sleep as soon as possible. For now, I will enjoy her presence as deeply and often as possible because I know these days are so very precious.


Written Off

Officially written off. That’s our car. By the time the remaining of the loan is paid out, we’ll have little to have as deposit for another car. 

Fortunately, we’re still in possession of my Pa’s 24 year old Magna. It’s a tank, gas guzzling and clunky, but it’s well looked after and should do a few more years while we save for another car.

The job he’s got is pretty much written off also. It has been troublesome from the beginning within the organisation, which is poorly structured and stinky in culture. There is no guarantee that if we move up there with him that the job will last, and I’m hesitant to throw away my job security just so my husband can say he’s gainfully employed. I may only have a part time job, but it’s a sure bet, and a well-balanced position.

Being away from our daughter is taking its toll. He’s missed her 5th birthday, first day of school, first school award and so many play dates this year. 

He’s missed the first human looking scan of our baby and being present as my belly grows. He’s missed being that smudge more connected to the pregnancy by engaging with us in the day to day. Now baby is halfway through incubation the fun part for Dads begin- the midnight kick in the back when we’re snuggling in bed, and the last couple of scans that ignite anticipation.

Our daughter cries at least twice a week because she’s had to deal with a lot of change at a young age. She’s resilient but Daddy lives in a different town, she’s going to be a big sister after 5.5 years and a school girl now. Emotionally she’s had to grow quickly, but I see how it’s wearing her in places.

His absence has little impact on me emotionally,  apart from the domestic workload and being the exclusive parent day to day. I’ve always been rather self-sufficient. Sometimes though, it would be nice to not be the one to always hang out the washing or be the main source of comfort for our girl.

Life is drama. That’s a reality. It’s often out of control and grappling with the uncertainty is trying at the best of times. Now, it is necessary to decide on the non-negotiables. 

After nearly losing him last week, and not gaining anything tangible from his absence, it’s time to cease this experiment. He’s hopefully putting in his notice on Monday and coming home the following week.

This comes with a new set of challenges. There are always consequences to decisions. We take comfort in not being separated being the best decision for us.