Girl of the Year – in our household, anyway

Almost twelve years ago our household was gifted with a beautiful, blue eyed fair princess.  Our guinea pig child, the first one to pave the way for two more.  Actually that’s a bit inaccurate; we practised on the hound for quite some years.  Almost twelve years ago we had no idea how that time would fly by.  We looked at parents of slightly older children (a whole 5 or 6 years old!!!) and thought how big those kids seemed (and how haggard much older those parents looked – eek), and couldn’t for a moment imagine that we’d be there sooner rather than later.  All of that stuff was forever away.  I blinked.  That little fair princess still has eyes which are a brilliant blue in some lights, fading to a lovely soft grey in others.  She still has milky white skin.  The baldy look has been (thankfully) replaced with the thickest mane of blonde hair.  She’d rather not be called a princess. Oops.

That blonde mane fresh out of its Bali braids earlier in the year.

That blonde mane fresh out of its Bali braids earlier in the year.

She is smart, funny, quirky and strong.  She is sensitive, empathetic and wise.  She has enviable ethics and a sense of social justice possibly beyond her years. She has overcome some big health obstacles and continues to triumph.  She is in her final few weeks of primary school.

Cue helpless inner wailing.  I now look at those parents of school leavers and know that it’s just another blink away.  That’s scary on so many different levels.  But you know what?  I’ve also decided that the kids are pretty perfect at any stage of their growth.  I’m just the privileged one to help them share their journey.  They’ll always be there, just continually morphing into someone bigger and better (I hope!!! No, I know.).  Still wailing on the inner though.

So in a few weeks’ time I’m going to clutch the hub’s arm and walk into that church with sunnies firmly planted and tissues in hand, to witness her graduate and to watch her dance that poignant dance that the Year 6 kids do each year.  God knows I’ve teared up each year for everyone else’s kids, heaven help me.

Wish me luck.  She won’t need it.  She’s just fine as she is.  A perfect specimen.  Our special girl.

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PS Writing now as won’t need another excuse for more soppiness when the time comes.  Send me good luck vibes, people! And virtual wine.

Growing up is hard to do…….specially if you’re me

IMG_4345Have you ever wondered if you should be more grown up? I do on an almost daily basis. That is, just long enough to then hide behind a doorway and pop out to scare the unsuspecting eleven year old, before snaffling her for a hug. Or to give an award winning rendition of “What Does the Fox Say?” over the breakfast table to my long suffering offspring. They pretend they don’t love it, but I’m oh, so sure they do. How could they not??

I still ring my parents most April Fool’s Days. It might be just to let them know as a courtesy that the road they’re to be travelling that day has experienced a natural phenomenon, whereby thousands of kangaroos have congregated and that the local council has had to divert the traffic…..

Turns out the hubs isn’t much better. He’ll glide past the house windows on his prized John Deere mower, making ridiculous faces for all onlookers to admire. He’ll even occasionally do this whilst standing up and facing backwards. Twas a shame he didn’t see the corner of the house jump out at him on one occasion. Naturally that incident became gold to us and it haunts him to this day.

When the eleven year old concussed herself and ended up in a Bali hospital earlier in the year, we were all momentarily petrified. Within a couple of days, by which time we had been much relieved to find out that her injuries were of a temporary nature, we had all coined a catchphrase which now plagues her. “I was in the pool?” chimes out at her whenever she is the slightest bit forgetful about any small thing.

I ponder what our family code would look like to an outsider, if they were ever a fly on our walls. They might well be…..we have so many of the bloody things where we live; it’s probably a downright invasion, come to think of it. Anyway, what I was grasping at was that my little tribe has such a language that even just a look or slight movement can convey peals of laughter (or an eye roll, depending on the recipient). Its always in the name of harmony and good fun, and most always at home. It’s a therapy and a balm to us all in stressful times. To the outside world, we’re a nice normal family. I think.

So should I grow up? Not today. Nor tomorrow. I don’t think I’m at all capable. For I adore that our family have the ability to laugh together. I adore that we all love being in each others’ company. There’s no one else in the world I’d rather hang out with than with them. And it’s a complete bonus if I can keep on being silly and absurd in the meantime. Heaven help the people who are landed with me in the retirement village, though.

Have you grown up yet?