Sunday, February 28, 2010
I had a big Moment of Clarity this week. One of those who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are-kidding, (certainly not yourself), get-a-grip-on-reality revelations.
PFFFFT! Just like that, I am breathing easier. Just like that, I am present in the conversation with the middle kid, over what it really means to be poikilothermic (look it up, I had to). I’ve also rescued overdue school permission forms from bottoms of bags, called siblings about Dad’s birthday, hung out with my Granny, washed the fairy costume. I even, almost, had a bright idea while in the think tank (shower), for the first time in forever, although that was interrupted by a potty training someone for reasons best not described.
There is no beating about the bush: I am a WIMP, I am a WUSS. I have backed out on a commitment. As I sidle away, the relief is palpable – and so is the word PANSY stamped across my forehead. I, mover of heaven and earth to achieve the deadline, have gone SOFT.
So there’s that, and there’s also the moment a few weeks ago, when the smallest kidlet had a first ‘practise’ at the childcare centre. As I walked away, I was hit with another revelation: Holy heck! I am ab.so.lute.ly accountable – to myself!
Even though the Mr and I juggle an irritatingly unpredictable work/parenting schedule, handing my youngest, my last baby, over to others for care, I finally, really and truly, ‘got’ my separateness from my kids. Does that come within spitting distance of any sort of sense? With space to see from the sidelines, momentarily unembroiled in the day to day juggle, I understood that as well as being everything for my family, I also have my own shoes to stand in. Really stand in. Not just token, lip-service, going through the motions standing in. I want to be walking into that room of mirrors, proud and as tall as 153cm allows, while I stand in my shoes: mum, wife, individual.
Slow on the uptake, I still view my professional capacities, the same as I did before kids. I still secretly think that I can pull it all out of the bag. I still privately reckon that determination and tenacity and making your luck and four in the morning brainwaves will push me over the line.
They probably will, but the price is a hell of a lot higher these days. All nighters in your mid twenties are a whole ’nother kettle of fish when you’re nearly in your forties. That’s the least of it. There are the other curve balls that pass by a distracted me. Clocking that a kid needs help with reading and another more sleep and a bigger hug at bedtime and if the fairy dress doesn’t get washed and ready for morning then a small world will fall apart, especially since it was promised for TODAY. That it’s much nicer to crawl into bed at the same time as the Mr, muse over the days events, rather than detect the faint whiff of too-late-to-bed-again disapproval in his turned away. That my Granny needs her family. That I need my pals. That I’m not the same as fifteen years ago and currently off on some kid-rearing sabbatical. That I’m a work in progress.
After all that previous exhilaration at the notion of a big challenge, I am no longer part of the Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show. Except for that part where I am there with bells on, cheering wildly for everyone else.
Meanwhile, this weekend, my eye drifts often to this screen. Secret swap stuff. Waiting for a Monday opportunity. I’m beside-myself-DESPERATE to get printing.