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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Glory days.

I kind of hate to post after yesterdays because I loved that one! These boys, although if I am honest drive me to distraction more often that I care to admit, just give me such reason for being.
I simply cannot imagine where my life would be if I hadn't met H and had these little gits.
I know I would be feeling very old by now, having the boys stops me having time to feel my age. I know I would not be ready for ...what? What would I be doing or have without these little boys? I have friends my age who don't have little people and most of them work, they have careers that they worked at whilst raising the children they have that are the same age as my older kids. They still work and they have time and money to build, to 'do', they enjoy peaceful times, plan for retirement. They wait for grandchildren and love visits from their children who flew the nest a while ago. Some have children who still live at home but are independent enough to need little care.
I am in the minority in having little children, still needing school runs, tooth fairies, Santa.
I am one of the lucky ones. Not a day passes by without my realising that these children are like bonus blessings, unexpected yet so longed for.
I do get comments on the fact that Seth and Isaac are 11 months apart, Elijah was a shock to all but H and I, we endured such harsh judgement for having him.
My answer to all and any criticism is this.
I always knew that I would have lots of children, I really did, for as long as I can remember I thought I would have 5 children. When the first one left I was heartbroken because his leaving changed everything. Funnily enough though, we had decided that we would have no more children, he had a vasectomy booked....still I felt that I would have more children so why his leaving left me so bereft is a mystery.
I was a single mother for 10 years and throughout that time, I prayed with such sincerity that somehow I would marry again and have the children I felt were waiting to be with me, that were mine.
So H~ and I met after those 10 years, I was 38, he was 40....time was short, I knew that I was going to have more children, I had prayed so hard for that, how then, did I have the right to now say "Oh thankyou Lord, here is the husband I prayed for and oh look, I am pregnant right away.....very good, now I will tell YOU when I want the others" In my mind it didn't work that way, this was no longer up to me, I asked, He gave. Enough.
When I conceived Isaac, 8 weeks after Seth was born, I was terrified, of course. But I wasn't for a moment regretful. When I lost the baby after Isaac and then conceived Eli immediately after that loss, I was so sure that this was right and I also felt, without any doubt, that this baby was the last one for me. Completely sure. When he was born that feeling was confirmed, he was my last baby.
The past 8 years, H and I have felt that we have had our heads down and shoulders to the wheel just getting by. It has been a tough, tough time. Babies and teenagers in the same house are akin to oil and water in the same bottle. You can shake it all you like but you are never going to make it mix! Oh my goodness, you have babies stripping your every ounce of physical strength and big kids sapping every single emotion you never even knew you had.
Babies getting you up 5am, big kids keeping you awake til 3am.
Babies needing you to 'do' big kids needing you to 'be' and 'hear' and 'know'
Now ( shhhhhh whisper this bit) the big kids are almost independent, pretty much alright and if not, well they are hardly here, what the eyes don't see etc etc.
The babies? Not babies, they are little people with personalities and the ability to reason, most days we can get them to understand what is expected and what do you know? They pretty much do what is expected.
We don't have the bags to pack every time we want to leave the house, if they are hungry or thirsty, they understand waiting. No nappies, oh JOY no nappies, or pull ups or bottles or potties.
They can get up on their own ( HUGE!!) in the past 2 months, if we are asleep when they wake, they come down and snuggle on the sofa, watch TV, get themselves cereal and they wait...they actually leave us sleeping CAN YOU IMAGINE THE JOY?!?
This means that right now, for me, these are the glory days, Too young to be out and making me pace the floor with fear and all those 'what if's' Old enough to be able to trust them for short periods of time.
I love these days. OK..the mess is never fun, I am resigned to it, unbelievably for someone previously so obsessed with perfection, I give in, it's a mess, nothing matches, yes this is our home, step over it, kick it out of the way, sit down if you can find a spot and whoops, sorry it's sticky.
It is for a short time, I look at Isaac in particular lately and can see a young man right there, so close by.
Just this week I have heard Elijah mutter these words " Ewwww, that's for GIRLS!" and turn away from it. " Acherlly, I like Ben Ten now, not High school musical" "Green" when asked his favourite colour and whilst a little secret part of me is breathing a massive sigh of relief, it all screams of him growing up. My last baby, growing up and I wonder if, even when I am near to 60, when these boys are ready to grunt as they pass us in the hallway, as they go out while we get ready for cocoa and bed, I wonder if I will be ready even then.
I doubt it. What I want to know is, that when I blink and we are there, when these boys are taller than me, stronger than H, when they look at us with that somewhat 'humouring' glance that teenagers give their slightly dim parents, I want to know that I grasped every moment of the glory days. So if that means dancing and singing to the carpenters while the laundry sits to the left...I'm up for it.
If it means running on the moors when the carpet is crunchy, too bad, not sad.
If it means buying go go crazy bones when we need fabric softener...oh well, crunchy towels are fine.
I also love those videos because, well, I used to sing, all the time, anywhere and everywhere. I did weddings and shows, recorded a song I wrote with a friend. I did pantomimes and choirs. I sang while I worked, drive, to my babies, always.
Then, I couldn't sing anymore. 2 years ago I woke up and I couldn't sing, overnight, I couldn't hear the notes and I couldn't get the sound out of my soul.
I was told that it was psychological, for so long I held so much inside me, stopped myself from crying and talking and screaming, that somehow singing got trapped inside too.
Right now, I am able so sing when I drive, as loudly as I want, I can sing what I like and how I like. I can sing in the kitchen and while I cook and clean.
I cannot sing at church, no matter how hard I try the sound will not come out, I can sometimes, quietly sing the alto to very familiar hymns, the rest, I have to mouth the words because the song is still trapped inside.
When I heard that video yesterday and I was actually singing, in tune and loudly enough to be heard, my heart sang and I have lost count of the times I have watched that since H downloaded it. I can still sing, albeit only in my kitchen and my car but it's still in there and it still sounds alright. A year ago I couldn't sing at all, not a note.
That tiny clip is like treasure to me and the comments about it are like extra treasure.
Singing has always been so important to me, when I was unable to pray I could sing and know the Lord knew what I was saying. Losing the ability to sing has been more painful than I can say and I have barely mentioned it because I haven't wanted to bring attention to it in case it made it real.
I have hope that some day I will be able to sing at church too, for now I suspect it is just still too emotional and I can't do emotions very well and still function. It's a long business this getting better lark.
I thrill at every small step toward 'normality' though. These boys are a huge part of being well, how can I be anything but OK when I see thigh slapping jigs from a little boy who used to stand and stare at the wall?
How can I do anything but laugh at that camp littlest one as he wiggles his hips and clicks his fingers in time to a tune?
How can life be anything but grand when that skinny little curly topped 7 year old cracks such jokes with such impeccable timing?
Yes, these are the glory days alright, I just hope I can keep stepping over the mess and grasping every glorious moment.



Blogger sarah said...

so happy for you helen. sounds like you are in a happy place :)

12:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are blessed to have you and you them. And I am so blessed that you share it with us!!

1:46 am  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

I too find myself blessing the girls being able to take care of their own breakfasts and giving me some time to sleep in.

I confess I often look at the plastic plates and cups and cutlery and think "soon.. soon it'll be no more!" and that thought brings joy to my heart!

You have such a wonderful voice. I'm so glad you found it again!

2:18 am  
Blogger Julie Q said...


You sound very happy Helen! In your words and in your voice.

2:46 am  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thankyou for the gentle reminder that these days are short enough. I need to be more patient with my crew and worry more about building happy memories of their childhood rather than memories of a clean kitchen floor.
These are the days I know I'm going to look back on and want to relive - so Lord help me I want to make them wonderful the first time around!

2:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how much we think alike sometimes. I often wonder what I would be doing with my life without Nick and Lyric. I just enjoy them so much, and they do let me forget how really old I am until I look in the mirror and see my mother. Also, I sing all the time as well. In the car, in the house. I even wake them up singing.

9:45 am  
Blogger MamaTink said...

Thank you Helen, I think I really needed this nudge.
Today I will sing, and dance and enjoy what is mine.

I so happy for you, being in such a happy place right now :)


10:44 am  
Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

Thank you so much, Helen. It's about all I can get to through my tears. I love you and wish with all my heart that I could jump through this screen and give you a bear hug.

I'm also glad you found your song again - even if it is only in your kitchen or car.

2:48 pm  
Blogger Mac and Cheese's Mommy, ok, Mac and Chase's Mommy said...

Oh Helen, thank you so much for sharing that story. I try to remind myself to cherish all these days, its hard to imagine that one day I will look back fondly on how we scrimpt and did without for our kids.

I look at my son, who just turned 11 and it freaks me out...he is growing up so fast...I cannot imagine him leaving the nest...makes me sick on my tummy.

Love you Helen.

3:38 am  
Anonymous diana said...

Hi! I left a comment on the post before this one and stupid computer completed my last name on it. Could you remove that? If not remove the comment altogether, just dont want it showing up on Google searchs and stuff. thanks and sorry!

12:15 am  
Blogger Swistle said...

I love the sound of your life! Five is nice! Total chaos, but nice!

12:34 pm  
Blogger Stetch said...

I don't remember your mentioning the singing problem before. Wow that's really freaky! I'm so glad you are able to sing sometimes now. :) You have such a pretty voice.

4:37 pm  
Blogger jane dough said...

You sounded nice singing Mr. Postman! I hope you get the rest of your song back soon. I ran into your blog a little while ago and really enjoy it. Thanks for such a real view of real life. It is good to know I am not the only one with ups and downs and nutty/wonderful family.

6:10 pm  

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