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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!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

At time and a season.

I think, as far back as I can remember, my dream was to be a mother. I can't ever recall a time when I didn't love thinking about having babies. I thought about babies, how it would feel to have my own babies and what they would look like, what personalities they would have.
Do you see what I kept saying there? Babies. Love me some babies, little flippy floppy, sweet smelling, velvety skinned people who need me and who are so adorable and snuggly.
I loved the night feedings, I really did. Those were my most favourite time, nobody but me and a tiny person. I hold the memories of those times selfishly to my heart because those were the quiet times that I didn't share with anyone but my 6 babies.
In all the years of thinking about my babies I will say that honestly, I never thought about having children. I didn't. I never daydreamed about a 9 year old with an answer for everything or a 15 year old that not only had the answer but was hell bent on making sure I heard it too.
Here I am with 6 children, 5 offspring I should say because 3 of them aren't children anymore they are honest to goodness grown up people, adults that I gave birth to.
Hells teeth.
Can you believe it?
We have had the birthdays, mine, Elijah's, Jordan's, H's, Isaac's, Seth's and on wednesday will be Dan's 25th birthday TWENTY FIVE!
I have a 25 year old son.
We are, quite frankly,all caked and birthdayed out. I am relieved that Daniel doesn't care for birthdays, I'm not sure I can muster anymore YIPPEE HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Let's eat some CAKE! from anywhere at all.
Marvellous thing though, we have a neighbour, who also goes to church with us and every birthday morning we have been awoken by the doorbell and there he is, with a chocolate cake in his hand and a Happy Birthday for whoever is celebrating. How splendid is that? Love thy neighbour is easy when they bring cake.
I feel a bit giddy, almost the way you do when something happens all of a sudden and then it's over and you stand breathlessly trying to work out what on earth that was all about.
I have no babies, not even a toddler, not a pre schooler or a little receptioner. I have big kids and adults. Elijah is still a little boy, he is 7 but only in numbers. He still sucks his thumb, he still loves his raggy old blanket and he still seems blissfully unaware of the world around him.
I find I am a little uneasy about this state of affairs. I'm not sure what I am supposed to be anymore. I'm not saying I don't like the dawning feelings of being a little free to choose what to do with my time, it's quite lovely to be able to say " Night night, bed time, see you in the morning" and not have to physically take them to bed, it's also terribly sad and so I wait for a while and then I go and see them anyway and kiss them, look at them as they sleep. Seth loves to have his face stroked as he settles down to sleep and if, as often happens, he has fallen asleep waiting for me, he is like a little kitten when I stroke his face, he smiles in his sleep and he pushes his face into my hand and every time he does that, I wonder when that will end. When he will stop needing that gentle mother's touch.
I can remember Dan, when he was little loving it when I would tickle his back as he fell asleep and he'd smile and say " I love kinkely backs" I don't remember when I stopped doing that.
I remember Sophie with her line up of night time drinks and her delicious and naughty laugh, she was a hellion at night time, she would take hours and hours to fall asleep and eventually we came to an agreement that as long as she stayed in her room I wouldn't make a fuss if she was awake. I would creep in at 10 or 11 o'clock ready to tuck her in and kiss her sleepy face and there she would be, wide awake with her big blue eyes and a filthy laugh " Ha! I not even tired, I stay in my room though did I?"
I can't remember when I stopped going in to her, I suspect it was around the time I married H and she was such an angry, feisty, spitting ball of rage that when she went to bed I would breathe a sigh of relief that we had made it through another day without bloodshed. How sad that now we are so far away from those days, I can see that if I had gone in to see her and spent some time in there, she might have been less angry and ever ready to fight.
I spend a fair amount of time thinking about all those times that seemed so endless, so relentlessly hard and heartbreaking, those times I felt so alone and so sure that we would never get through them and now, here I am, those times are memories, most of them fuzzy and so distant that sometimes I wonder if they are real, or imagined.
I didn't ever imagine being the mother of big people, I don't think I ever gave being a grandmother a thought because who can imagine that? Heh, I'm sure no-one ever sits and dreams of the day they are a grandma. Do they? Not until the time comes when it is a possibility anyway. What a glorious surprise it is though, to be a Mam-mar. It's impossible to feel anything but complete and utter joy when the front door bursts open and the house is filled by his presence and shouting of "MAM-MAR!! ARE YOU?" when he sees me he says " Oh Mam-mar" as if he has been waiting months to see me again.
I don't feel as though I am old enough for this new life. I look as if I am old enough and am endlessly shocked when I catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window or mirror, I quickly settle myself by reminding me that really, what does it matter? I look at my mum and my sister and they are so fabulously perfect and so loved and then I know that this is how people view me. After a certain age and don't ask me what that magical age is, perhaps it is different with different people, being beautiful has a whole different meaning. It no longer means the putting together of hair and make up, has nothing to do with figure and fashion. It becomes all about who you are and how you make others feel. I am coming into my own. At last.
All my young adult years, all my 30's I just felt so hopelessly left behind in the beauty stakes, always felt so lacking and darn it all, fed up with my lot.
Slowly, I am caring less. I look at many women my age who haven't grasped that beauty is no longer about what size your jeans are and more about how cosy your lap is, I watch them look at themselves in the mirror and drag at jowls, lifting eyebrows and lined lips are pursed while they sigh and suddenly, I feel I am winning.
All the people that matter, see me so differently than I see myself. I am starting ( albeit slowly) to see myself the way they see me. I think I can feel my back straighten even as it aches, and my head is held a little higher.
I didn't ever imagine these times, I think I am glad about that because it's all such a lovely surprise.
I find I am a little sorry for those women who try to turn back the clock, those people who think botox, face lifts, skin peels and surgery are the answers to all their woes. There isn't any joy in staying the same. There is a time and a season for all things, how much we would miss if we fight against the life that is ahead of us and try frantically to stay where we are.
I think I will look forward and try to experience everything that is ahead because I am sure there is plenty to look forward to.



Blogger Julie Q said...

Very lovely thoughts Helen. :)

What a feeling that must be when you hear that little guy come through the door. :)

2:11 am  

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