Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wednesday Words (On a Thursday again)

Today's Wednesday Words come from my son.

No, I'm not one of those parents who think that he is the next best thing to Confucious, but what he said is working a change in my life.  It was two sentences.

"What do you want to do this half term?" I asked him.

"Nothing much, but I want to do it with you.  Please tell me you won't do any work until Thursday?" he answered.

That got me.  I know it isn't always fun for him being a teachers child, particularly because we go to the same school.  Only one child has ever said to him that he could get away with things because he's a teachers child, and he laughed, because if anything, it's the opposite.  He does a lot of waiting around whilst I'm in meetings, a lot of tidying up, a lot of sorting out, cutting out, helping.  He loses days in the holidays in school, the floor of our front room is often covered in books whilst I'm sorting out, and he can alphabetise like nobody's business!

However, the idea that he had to ask me "Please tell me you won't do any work until Thursday?" hit home.  I get up at about 4am, so that I can get work done and spend more of my evenings with J and AC.  I work hard to complete all the stupid tasks that have to be done for the paperwork side of teaching, and all the cool stuff that actually affects the kids.  I look for even cooler stuff in the holidays.  I make things and try them out and plan and find resources and so on.  It looks like I've been choosing my children, instead of my child.

But AC wants me to not to that until Thursday.  That's the thing.  If he'd have said "I don't want you to do any work this holidays." I'd have said that I had to, that the mortgage needs paying and the bills need paying and we can't do that unless I work.  To say "not until Thursday" tells me that he knows all that, that he knows I have to work, and yet he just wants whole days of my time.

I'd like to think that I've given him lots of time when he was younger, and as he's grown up, I've let him be more independent.  Maybe I've let him have too much time on his own, thinking that was what he wants.  Turns out, he's not as big as I thought he was.

So I chose him.  I didn't do any work until Thursday.  We snuggled on the sofa and watched tv.  We played games together.  We went to the Mart and I went on Superbob and the Waltzers and some other nausea inducing ride because I've never been to the Mart with him - his father always takes him.  We walked into town and went for coffee and chatted about nothing and everything.  He said that he had had the best holiday.

I'm trying to keep this up now we are back at school.  Today, for the first time ever, I'm going to his Story Cafe.  I've never been to a Story Cafe - I have 30 children who need me to be there instead.  Today, I've rearranged my PPA, (thanks to a lovely friend) and I am going.  Today I'm choosing him.

That's why the words of my son are the words I've chosen, and those two sentences are changing what I do.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

There's a first time for everything Wednesday Words

I remember
I remember your first cry, first meal, first sleep.
I remember your first steps, first word, first 'love oo'
I close my eyes and you are small,
Reaching to me,
Holding my hand
Needing me.

I open my eyes and you are ten,
Wheeling your bike out of the door
Knocking for your mates for the first time
A cheeky grin and a 'love you'
And you are off.

It's a world I don't know,
Your world.
A world of bikes, and in jokes, and stupid games,
And I have to trust you.
I have to trust my parenting.

But I'll always be here...
Just in case....


As you can probably tell, I wrote that.  And I wrote it because the Adorable Child has just biked up to his mates for the first time to knock for them to see who's about.  He's ten.  I've encouraged him.  It was an idea he wanted to suggest but he didn't want me to say no, so I read the entreaty in his eyes and I suggested it.  He's ten.  I got a "Yeah, could do." but the speed with which he flew out of the door belied his reticence.

My baby is all grown up.

Whilst I know that this is all good, and as it should be, and he's going to high school in September and will be walking on his own and all that jazz, we spend every day together.  We are at the same school.  We walk there and back together.  We need to do this, for both our sakes, because we have become far too dependent on each other, for very reasonable and logical reasons, but we both cannot allow it to continue to this level.

I don't want him afraid to leave home at 33.  I don't want to be washing his undies at 33!

But I will always be here, just in case.

Crazy With Twins

Oh, and somehow I'm a week behind on the old linky thing.  Weird.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday words - Tea.

As it is indeed Wednesday today, and I am actually doing Wednesday words on time, I have decided to focus on part of my ritual post from last week.


I love tea.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Since I have had a Kindle, and 7 different teas in the house, I have done the minimum of housework.  It shows.  But next week is half term, and I can do as much housework as I like then.  Or don't like but still have to do.

"Dad was at his desk when I opened the door, doing what all British people do when they're freaked out: drinking tea.” 
― Rachel HawkinsDemonglass

I have a memory, of being in the police car on the way back to the house, and the police man asking me if there was anything that I wanted.  I remember replying "I'd like a cup of tea please." and then adding "How very bloody English of me!" and wanting to laugh at myself, for taking refuge in a brew, as if that would make the previous conversation (the one where my fiancé was killed in a bike accident) all better.

“There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. There are those who do both, they drink tea.” 
― Gary Snyder

Lastly, there is this quote.  I love this quote.  It might even be my new favourite quote.  I am both.  I love to get dirty and fix things.  I love to appreciate the lovely things.

We should appreciate more lovely things, and drink more tea.

I have no idea if Crazy With Twins is drinking tea.  I shall go and look. 
Crazy With Twins

Monday, February 10, 2014

Safer Internet Day

Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day 2014.

The theme for this year is "Building a better internet together."  I'm leading a whole day of work on this tomorrow at school.  The whole school is doing it.  We are focusing on "Think before you Click"

It's had me thinking about the internet.  This blog is the most open I've been about anything, ever.  The events in this blog have led me to be the most open about anything, ever.

I met the AC's dad on the internet.

I used the internet to bumble through my pregnancy, my newborn days, to share pictures of my son with my family who were miles away.

I blogged through the divorce.  Through my new relationship. Through that second chance of happy.
We used the internet to keep in touch with his daughter, after she was taken away by her mother, thousands of miles away. We blogged to her every week, without fail.  We sent pictures, every week, without fail.  The internet transferred money, every month, without fail.  Her mother kept us in touch with what was going on.  Sometimes we argued, sometimes we didn't.  Life is like that.

And when he died, I blogged out my grief, my despair, my horror at this situation.  I desperately searched for hope, for support, and shared my progress with my family via the internet so that they didn't worry so much.  It was easier than a thousand phonecalls, and meant I could lie better.

When even his ashes were taken away from me, in a final act which betrayed my trust and led me to feeling like I had let down my son, I didn't even tell the internet.  I hoped, in vain, that there would be a change of heart, that there would be some compassion, some consideration for the needs of such a small child.  But no.  That promise was broken, and not by me.  People grieve in different ways.  I know that, and mostly I can accept it, but to deliberately lie to a just-6 yr old, who had lost the man he respected, loved and valued above all, was low, and some days I still struggle.  All will be will soon though.

Real life brought me  a new man, another chance of happy.  The internet let me blog out my feelings, my hopes, and dreams.  Some won't come true (I'm 39, and my chances of being a stay-at-home-mother to five+ gorgeous children are pretty much over lol!) and some more than came true.

The internet has put risks into my sons life (who will ever forget the infamous stripper incident) and allowed me the means to put the protection into the lives of others.  Would I unshare what I have shared?  Not really.  I look back on the blogging from the Dark Days and it helps to remember what I have forgotten - because I forgot so much from that time.

Safer Internet Day is tomorrow.

Be safe people.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Habits - Wednesday Words. (On a Thursday)

I am a creature of habit.

I get up.  I put the kettle on.  I feed the cats.  I nip to the facilities. I make tea. I check mail.  I drink tea and think about the day. I get dressed. I get the Adorable Child out of bed.  We ignore each other, aside from cuddles, whilst he wakes up properly.  I make tea in the Wonderbag or just get it out to defrost, depending on what it is.  I feed the child. I put the computer on.  I go through the day, thinking it out ahead of me.  We get shoes on.  We got to school.

And thus it continues.

For today's Wednesday Words, (although I am fairly sure that it is Thursday, but as yet that is unconfirmed)  I was thinking about habits.

The habits I have are the automatic ones that kept the child and I going after Rich died.  They are the essentials.  I am slowing trying to change them, to add in the things I need or want to do, like blog, like exercise, like clean the bathroom before it gets to the paw print covered midden that it is now.  I am struggling.  This leads me to my first quote.

“The only way we could remember would be by constant re-reading, for knowledge unused tends to drop out of mind. Knowledge used does not need to be remembered; practice forms habits and habits make memory unnecessary. The rule is nothing; the application is everything.” 
― Henry HazlittThinking as a Science

It is only habit that reminded me to feed the child, clean his shoes, make sure he was read with, wash his clothes, all that kind of thing, in the Dark Days.  I ran on autopilot.  There are days I still do, when I am ill, when I am tired, when I am hurting from the post that still comes for him because the promises were not kept, although I still keep mine.

School however, is a place where I am breaking habits.  It's not going down well.  I am an affable kind of person.  I live and let live.  There are two people in the world that I would love a serious 'chat' with, and I wouldn't want to hurt them, just to get to the bottom of stuff.  As the ICT Co-ordinator, I have let things slide sometimes.  I have said, "Hey, get the results to me when you can."  I've said "It's ok, don't worry, I'll do it for you." This leads me to my second quote.

“The soul grows into lovely habits as easily as into ugly ones, and the moment a life begins to blossom into beautiful words and deeds, that moment a new standard of conduct is established, and your eager neighbors look to you for a continuous manifestation of the good cheer, the sympathy, the ready wit, the comradeship, or the inspiration, you once showed yourself capable of. Bear figs for a season or two, and the world outside the orchard is very unwilling you should bear thistles.”

― Kate Douglas WigginRebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

I am asserting the new needs of the new curriculum, and I am dragging some of the staff, kicking and screaming, into the modern era.  Some of it is because they don't like it that *I* am saying what should be done.  *I* am nice.  I don't insist.  I don't nag.  I understand that we are all stressed and not everyone loves ICT.  Well, I do, but we've had two years to get to this point, and if you've chosen not to make the effort and leave it all for the last week, then that's your problem and they have noticed that I am no longer understanding, I am insisting, and I am reminding, again and again and again.

It's not going down well.  Some people are not liking the thistles.

The last quote is my favourite.

“She liked the life she had. She loved habits. She craved a day with nothing in it, a long, quiet stretch of hours in the studio.” 
― Ann BrasharesSisterhood Everlasting

I've never heard of this person.  I know that the time will come when I will have days with nothing in them.  I don't want them to come too soon - I don't *crave* them that badly that I want the AC to leave home early, but a day of just sewing, knitting and reading?  Who wouldn't want that?  A day to make tea and think and rebuild myself some more?  Yes.  I want that.

More and more I feel myself coming back to me, the me that there was before the accident.  More and more I can't believe some of the things I have let happen since the accident, things that my not-in-shock me would have railed against.

My choice is to let them go though.  I don't want to get in to the habit of hating.  I've seen people do it, and it consumes their whole lives.  I do not want to think automatically "I don't like that person because......" and there is a remembered slight that I have warmed over until it is rotten and grown to twice its size with mould.

Life is too short.  Itwillallbefine.

(Oh, and I checked.  It's Thursday.)

Crazy With Twins