Slow Motion

Getting my two youngest out of the house in the morning is an exercise in patience and wonder. There’s a dreamlike quality to their pace. It’s as if everything is in slow motion. Spoons dip into cereal soooo slowly, lift mesmerised to mouths aaaaannnd…in. One mouthful.

They’ve already been up for an hour but it’s taken them forty minutes to appear downstairs. All they have to do is dress, for goodness sake. One school uniform each. How difficult is that. Apparently, really difficult.

Socks that ‘hurt my toes’. How? Why? I’ve checked these things out in the past and I just don’t see how anyone’s toes can be so sensitive that the seam across the toe of the sock ‘feels really jaggy/hard/rough/uneven/just sore.’ These are socks washed and final rinsed with fabric softener. The seam is just there. Socks have them.

‘I can’t find my shoes.’ They wore the blasted shoes last, they took them off in their room or were told to take them to their room. Is there a black hole somewhere in their room that swallows everything they need in the morning to be organised?

‘Where’s your schoolbag?’ ‘Umm.’

I’ve done this enough times to know that everything has to be organised the night before. But, despite my best efforts, they still end up rushing out of the door at five minutes to nine.

Thankfully, school is less than a five minute walk. But still. By the time they have left, I am shattered. I’m annoyed at my own impatience with them but more frustrated that every morning seems to follow the same slow progress.

I’m not here every morning to put them out to school. Sometimes their dad has the dubious pleasure. The same slowed-down movie occurs with him. So it’s not just me.

However, if I were to say, for example, ‘We’re going swimming/to McDonald’s/to the park’, you should see them move. Roadrunner isn’t in it.

So, maybe it’s only with school that they’re like this. And they enjoy school. God knows what they would be like if they hated it.

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Sharing

I’ve had a great two days doing nothing much. Sat on my bum for most of them and browsed this site. Checked out loads of blogs and I am in awe at the variety and heartfelt shares. I feel as if I have met people I would never otherwise have met just by being here.

Sometimes, my life is so busy with family and work I don’t take the time to ‘stop and stare’. The nothing much, as it turns out, has been pretty something. Thanks.x

Blog Challenge

  1. Write a love poem and stop in the middle. Change the mood of the poem and see how it ends.

Fingers splayed lovingly

Across a swelling belly

Hands gently patting

The child

That was never born.

 2. If you could remove one thing, person, or place from this world what would it be? Would the intent be beneficial for everyone or just you?

Rats. They scare the bejaysus out of me. I’ve never felt right about the mere thought of them since reading James Herbert’s ‘Rats’ in my teens. Room 101 in ‘1984’ finished me off. I don’t suppose getting rid of them would help medical research much but it would pacify my phobia a lot.

 3. What is the saddest moment of your life? Describe your feelings when thinking on it. Not necessarily relating whatever is that makes you sad, but instead show us what sadness means to you.

No More            

Three months after the fact, realising all the no mores.

No more seeing her.

No more talking life over.

No more listening to her life stories for the millionth time

And always learning something new.

No more hearing her laugh uproariously at something so rude.

No more hearing her sing.

No more hugging her.

No more nana for my children.

 No more Mum.

 Feeling the void around me at the knowledge

 And knowing she was the one

  I always turned to.

  No more.

 4. Describe a happy memory of yours and try to recall something lost from it, or perhaps missed until now. Like when you rewatch a movie and see something for the first time.

Seeing the pride in my dad’s face and hearing it in his voice as he gave the father’s speech at my wedding. He wasn’t big on compliments as a rule and it was lovely to hear him speak so positively about his family. Making jokes about auctioning off my sisters for ‘two camels and a collie dog’ added to his lightheartedness at the time. He made a point of dancing with all his girls and my mum that night. He had more energy than we had all seen in a long time.

Six months later, he was dead.

I think he knew. I wish we had.

 5. What is more important reading the knowledge left by others or leaving our own opinions behind?

I don’t think I can separate the two. Reading and life experience have helped form my opinions and who I am and I hope that some of those have helped form my own children and those I teach. If I thought that nothing I did made any difference I would give up the ghost. Part of my job is to try to inspire a love of the written word. Some children genuinely don’t like reading and may never garner the knowledge found there. If I can pass it on, I hope it will help children learn to form their own opinions. I don’t think my opinions are more valid than anyone else’s but they’re usually informed and they matter to me. So, nope, I can’t separate the two.

 6. What motivates you? What truly inspires you to physically push forward and work harder? Is it a movie, book, person, or quote?

Any and all of the above. This morning you, OM, pushed me. I like a challenge. Or maybe I just like homework!

 7. When was the last time you said “that is just my opinion? ” Was it necessary to label a thought as simply your own? Do you still feel that way now?

 

See above. I don’t say ‘just my opinion’. It is mine so it matters to me. There’s no ‘just’ about it. I   may say, after heated disagreements, ‘Well, that’s what I think. We’ll just have to agree to differ.’ Then you can get on with life.

 

8. What is the most exciting place you have visited? Do you have a photo?

I remember excitement. That was before I married and had seven children and couldn’t afford to go anywhere exciting. Fun, I do. Sometimes. But excitement? Isn’t that what books are for?

 

 9. If you had the choice between the last names Butts and Pecker what would you take?

How about double-barrelled for twice the fun? Pecker-Butts. Butts-Pecker. And, if I had to choose one, what would my choice say about me?!

 

10. If you wrote my blog what types are articles are missing or would you still like to see?

You mean there’s something you don’t write about or have an opinion on? I’m still enjoying reading through all your posts. I think you must operate on rocket fuel. As fast as I read, you publish. If I exhaust all your posts and I notice anything missing I’ll be sure to drop you a line.

And thanks for the homework. I might have ended up doing washing or cleaning this morning. Instead of which I’ve sat on my proverbial and typed merrily. Cheers. 

 

http://aopinionatedman.com/2013/06/19/blogging-challenge/

Teenage Demands

(18-9-04)

Money on your phone every month – a camera phone.

Membership to a gym.

Dropped off and picked up at every turn.

Friends to stay.

The traffic flows

It’s all one way

You want we give

You don’t pay

With words or thoughts

Or kindly deeds

You take the lot

We’re on our knees

To try to provide

As best we can.

Our efforts stink

You seem to say

With each ungrateful

Gesture or word

Or messy room.

The dishes pile up in the sink.

The clothes lie dropped where you will

Then you cry like a baby for your wants and needs.

Where are my clean clothes?

There’s nothing to eat in here.

You’re miserable

You’re mean

You’re a nag.

You, on the other hand, are a pleasure

To live with.

Like Harry’s Kevin

You are loathsome when your teenage tantrums

Display the most selfish aspects of your character.

The teenage displays of me, me, me

Are a disappointment and a rebuke

To everything we try to do.

Go work and visit the real world.

In the real world no one does everything for you

Or gives you things for nothing just because you exist

We’ve gone beyond providing for need

Now you’re expecting us to provide for greed.

Fairy Tales and Dreams

(6/7/-1-02)

That was then and this is now

Fairy tales and dreams do come true

Even with only tentative belief.

Visions and feelings vivid in childhood

And held as the realest of real

Become dulled with age and experience,

Until eventually something held dear

Becomes a nonsense because life tells you it is so.

Standing at the top of a flight of stairs –

Knowing, believing absolutely,

That jumping

Held no danger because I was lighter than air.

Confident in my conviction

And yet still I held back from that leap.

A leap of faith.

Faith that must not have been as absolute as I thought

For I never made the jump.

To this day I still cannot understand

Why I did not

Because I recollect vividly the

Supreme certainty I had in my

Power to ‘sail’ from the top to the bottom

Without injury.

Some intellectual awareness must have

Held me back,

Because I was positive

It could be done by me

Not everyone

But surely me.

Fairies in my pocket

Standing poised,

Ready,

Edging myself

To the point of action

And hesitating in the act.

Wondering if I might not just be wrong

In my belief.

Incomplete.

As it is now.

Wanting to believe that so many things

Are possible.

Holding on to the imagined

But unable to suspend reality just enough to make that leap.

Was that a lesson in how my life

Would be lived?

Enough faith to believe but not

Enough to let go and try.

When does belief become real enough to be

Reality?

In the thought of it or in the

Act of doing it?

Rise

A few good people rise to the occasion.

Embracing the challenge,

One foot in front of the other.

One idea ahead of the others.

Growing,

Taking shape and form.

Seeds of ideas nurtured and developed.

The effort and the will

Tie the idea to the kite

That lets it fly.

Soar with it……..

Tethered to the ground –

Mundanity

Minimal reward.

Be not afraid.

Dreaming of Gran

It was like a number of dreams I had known before. I was soaring through the ether and my heart felt light. Cares fell away like a coat too long worn. No glancing back to see where my parts fell.

Only forward. And on. And upwards. Head back, arms drifting slightly from my sides and the expectation within rising.

At last, here was freedom from life and worries. No more menus to plan, no more washing to do, no more teenage tantrums to quell. Yet none of this occurred. Just lightness and bubbling expectancy.  Nothing troubled me. Not then.

Air without temperature rushed past. I was in a hurry to be somewhere. Mountains and rivers and clouds lay below but out of view from eyes raised heavenwards.

Too suddenly, I arrived at my destination, with a somersault of heart and a quickening of breath. My grandmother stood before me, shimmering in whiteness. Her deep-set eyes blazed with life renewed. Her presence spoke youth even while I recognised her as the elderly woman I had loved so well.

Grandmother and Godmother. I had been twice blessed by this woman my own mother had called mother.

She smiled as if to a long lost daughter and I cried for joy at the reunion with a woman whose passing had not reduced me to tears at age 12 but whose presence had been sorely missed and fondly remembered.

Slight in build and stature but huge in warmth and kindness.

Quick to speak her mind.

Loving in her rebukes.

Her smiles and kindness warmed my heart as a child.

Now, her joy and fulfillment shone in that smile and I felt thankful.

Her difficult life had been rewarded.

Stealing Time

A new day arrives quietly in the small hours. No sunrise to herald its arrival; no light to show the way for those who await its coming. The seconds tick by slowly and sounds of a settling house interfere with the silence.

For those asleep the night is upon them. For one who watches, the morning hours are at hand; the hours when a body should rest and rejuvenate itself in sleep.

Only in sleep can the mind and spirit settle the cares of the day just gone – making sense of the madness that is life. In sleep the answers come unbidden.

To the one who will not or cannot sleep the answers are elusive; the questions foreboding. How will the new day work? What will it hold?

Without the rest to take upon the new day’s cares the minutes tick by endlessly and, although morning is come in the early hours, yet it feels like the longest night.

To begin afresh one must awaken.

And to awaken one must succumb to slumber.

How to close the eyes and mind to all that is gone and is yet to come? The mind will not rest, the eyes will not close until physical exhaustion dictates that it must be so.

Awareness of duty in the day that lies ahead pushes the feet in the direction of the place where heads must lay to rest.

And so, although the morning is here, the night begins.

Too short a night for true rest and rejuvenation, but time enough to replenish physical well-being for the activity that lies ahead.

To lie asleep the next day until body dictates wakefulness will be the dream, but only that, for when duty calls in the voices of those who cry for attention the body will answer despite its desperate need for sleep. And then the real day begins.

The wakefulness of the bright morning is harsh; the one which should herald hope in a new day.

Hope will find a way to penetrate the activities otherwise the body could not go on.

The pen can write no longer for to do so would deny the needs of those whose cares are priority. When the children call they must be answered. It is written so. The needs of the children must come before those of the parent.

Only sometimes, when all duty is done and love has played its part, can the parent relax and steal some time in the small hours of the morning when real morning has not yet come; when night still lies ahead and when, eventually, the dream of sleep becomes greater than the need for quiet time to oneself.

The Business of Dying

As I explore the fabulous blogs that are out there, in this site, I am amazed at the wide variation of themes. I also note recurring themes and it seems that the human experience is meant to be shared. In doing so, laughter, enlightenment, education, wit, beauty and so much more are made available to all readers. I would like to think that we all have something to share. And so far, my experience of this site, reassures me that this is the case. I have found myself laughing fit to burst (Harsh Reality, Opinionated Man), moved (Geo Sans), entranced (PICZLoad), enlightened and amused (Marian The Seminarian) and well, pretty much every range of emotion as I gaily follow so many impressive people. I’ve only been on here a few days and I’ve hardly been off it. I can’t stop reading. (Not doing much for the writing).

I said in my Blog that I would date any entries that are ‘old’ writing. This is one of them. It’s still close to my heart. And I know, from speaking to others since my Mum’s death, that the experience is universal and also unique.

(21/10/09)

The business of dying is more difficult than the business of living. No matter how busy or arduous your life nothing surely can compare to how hard it is to go through the process of diminishing unto death. Getting up early, organising family, food, chores et al can all be done with some effort. Being unable, gradually or suddenly, to do anything for oneself is frustrating, humiliating, overwhelming.

How can one cope with the loss of all independence? How does one resign oneself to decreasing ability, mobility, choice?

My mum is dying and it’s not easy for anyone. We watch and tend and listen, trying to comfort, minister, alleviate.

Mum, though, does not understand why. Why does she have leukaemia? Why does she feel so tired? Why does she have to go for transfusions? Why does she have a catheter? Why do these nurses and carers have to be coming in? Rationally and in conversation she understands. These things can be explained – she is not without her mental faculties. But inside her heart she does not understand why. It’s as if death should come and take her by surprise. Instead, it is creeping through her body, insinuating itself slowly and mercilessly. She cannot let go to life – she is, after all, still alive. The desire to remain so is strong and inbuilt. But she is tired. Tired to the bone and tired of feeling the way she does. If death has to come she wants to go to sleep and be taken by it. Staying awake and being aware of its insidious progress is tortuous for her. She knows it is happening deep down – deep down in the marrow of her bones and deep down within herself.

Acknowledging the onset of death – the end of life – the departure from loved ones – I don’t know how anyone deals with this. Nothing in real experience has taught me how it would be. It is all foreign ground – to me and to my family.

The movie experience of dying is written from someone else’s experience or imagination and it is no help to the individuals involved in our own drama.

Mum is suffering, surely. But it is not physical pain for which there is pain relief. Her torment is an earth – bound purgatory, neither living nor dead.

Half the World

You say you’re weak

Well that’s okay

Half the world is made that way.

You say you’re hurt

I know that’s true

Half the world is hurting too.

You say you cry

Your tears they flow

Half the world weeps, just so you know

You say you’re dead

That you feel sad

Half the world feels just as bad.

You say you wait

For better days

Half the world is in that daze

All your worries

We have too

Half the world feels just like you.

You feel trapped

So do we

Half the world wants to be free.

Shake yourself

Live your life

Half the world lives in such strife.