Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Love Lost

Like the autumn leaves which fall into a spectacular deciduous tapestry as the seasons roll by, such is the circle of life. We are welcomed into the world; we live, we love – and inevitably we have to say goodbye. It’s a lesson I hope my Harrison is far, far away from ever having to learn, and long may he be blessed with having grandparents close by to treasure.

Having lost my beloved Nan this past week, Harrison will now only know her through my memories, as his little life experiences with her will no doubt not be strong enough to yield permanent memories. But that’s where I come in and how I will keep her spirit alive. Because a flame such as she should never be truly extinguished but kept alight through the recollections of times gone by. And I hope this is one way I can show him how wonderful his “Nan-Nan” was, and what she meant to his Mummy….

To my precious Nan,

31 years is a long time to love someone. You share your entire life with them and grow up secure in the knowledge of their unconditional love and support. Yet there is no escaping the fact you will one day have to somehow say goodbye. That is why this past week has seen me bear a heavy heart, although Nan, I know you are in a better place. Selfishly I wish never to say goodbye to that quiet spirit and determination that has seen you overcome so much in life, but I also wish you peace and freedom from your pain.

I only hope we did you proud on Friday –it was never going to be easy to say goodbye to someone as adored as you. Having each of your beloved grandchildren play a special role in this farewell was a fitting tribute to you, and highlighted how truly treasured you were. You cherished your family, and likewise we cherished you. My Reading is but a blur, and I hope you know if I had the chance over again I’d compose myself more and be stronger. The hymn beforehand brought me undone – it was one we sang many times together over the years in Church. Whatever the case, I was honoured to be a part of honouring you.

Your body may have failed you in the end, but your heart never stopped loving, and your words always caressed my ears. You never failed to ask “how you poppin’?” and always replied you were “real good thanks”, despite us knowing to the contrary. There was that melodious tinkle of laughter that made us smile, and your face, always adorned in a permanent and rosy smile. Sunshine shone from you, you made me feel happy, you made me feel safe, and you made me feel loved.

Thank you for the endless supply of “Nanny Bikkies” and “Little Fishies”; for the Saturday afternoon baking sessions and compulsory licking of the spoons and bowl (before the cake was even finished); the comforting cuddles as I curled up on your lap in Church every Sunday, so warm it could melt the icecaps in the Antarctic. I’ll never forget the simple things, like being mesmerised by the beads you wore around your neck, or the felt green crocodile fridge magnet that had me rather perplexed. And of course, “The Farm” – my second home, a place I knew as well as my own. Always waiting at the door, tea towel slung over your shoulder, with a warm embrace at the ready. You knew nothing of judgement, but everything of compassion and love.

There is a hole in my world without you, and a large chapter of my life, as familiar as one of your embraces, is now over. Yet I will ensure Harrison grows up to know how lucky he is to be part of your amazing legacy. 10 children, 26 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren who will eternally adore you Nan, and forever carry your spirit, determination and wisdom in our hearts, wherever we may go in life. You started a dynasty that bore 46 souls into this world, and built a family on strong faith and love. What a privilege it is to be part of the Cassidy legacy.

Til we meet again, rest in peace beautiful Nanny xxx

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Magic of Mum's

When I was a child I remember lamenting the fact there was no such thing as “Child’s day” – to which my mum promptly pointed out – “every day is children’s day”. And now that I am a Mummy, I see the reason behind this once befuddling logic.
Being a mum, as rewarding as it is, certainly is not for the faint hearted. Life as you knew it pre parenthood is swept away in a tidal wave of exhaustive emotion. Yet we Mums are, quite simply, magical. We weave spells every minute of the day in the hope our offspring are well nourished, healthy, happy and have the ambition to succeed at anything they choose. We also hope against all hope that they are safe and secure from any evils of the world and use up quite a bit of energy ensuring this is the case.

That’s why we need to celebrate them just one single day of year – so they know their efforts are not going unheard and unseen. Sure, there isn’t much hope of a 20 month old turning to you and saying “Thank you so very much my darling Mummy, for being there to guide me and protect me during this adventure we call life”. No, its the simple, and sometimes unspoken symbols of thanks that belie the most gut wrenching displays of gratitude, like the first of my “hand-made” trinkets from Harrison, which I shall treasure as if it were the Crown of the last Tsar of Russia. Then there are the soft kisses and snuggles of a sleepy babe in your arms, the utterance of “ love you” as your child sees you preparing to walk out the door, the way they launch themselves at you, sub missile style, as you return home…. Little ways of sub consciously saying thanks for being a super Mum and ensuring you know you are on the path to a job well done.

The Husband, although begrudgingly under some misguided notion that Mum’s the world over apparently unjustly demand “the day off” each Mothers Day, certainly gave me a day relatively reminiscent of peace.  After the 13hr plus solo parenting days each week, along with the 12hrs away from home when I head off to the paid working world, coupled with ensuring the household runs smoothly (and cleanly!), thank heavens for a single day where its not just my call to keep the family train running to schedule!

He laments that when Fathers Day rolls around that it is expected of them to participate (happily) in “family activities”. He’d prefer to head to the Pub. Well, I’m not sure what part of the day he missed but I vividly recall still being woken up at 6.30am, still doing chores, and still sharing the childcare load, and not once leaving the house sans child for some “me time”.

But to pay him his dues, I’ll vouch I was content to let him change more than his fair share of pooey nappies, and skipped off to laze in a bubble bath to avoid the all out fury that dinner time can be in our house some nights. But such thing as a “day off”- that is but a myth! Happy are those who are strong enough to ignore the dirty washing in the laundry or neglect a full dishwasher on such a day – unfortunately that is not me….
Hallmark Holiday or not, we did enjoy a lovely day (yes, one with “family activities” involved), and having my own Mummy, plus my big sis and her beautiful family on hand to celebrate, made it a truly special occasion. And truthfully, when it comes to The Husband, as much as we are a bit absent from each other’s worlds at present, he is still an absolute gem amongst mere pebbles. Thanks for helping lighten the load this Mummy’s Day and hopefully you and Harrison can enjoy the same come September – if you aren’t down at the Local avoiding us…!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mummy's 'lil Mate

I’ve got my little mate back. For the past 4 days I have had a new shadow, in the shape of my 20 month old son, who has wanted to be everywhere that I am, and present in all that I do (and I mean ALL, no toilet breaks allowed!). Ok, so it is very possibly due to there being no alternative to me around, but what a novelty it is to have regained superior status in my son’s eyes.

Harrison is the ultimate boy’s boy – happiest when he is in the presence of males. His father, to him, is the axis on which the sun, earth and moon orbit. I feel but a mere star amongst millions at times, just happy to get a look in when he throws me a line. So this is why the past 96 odd hrs have been unique. You see, (and I say this very quietly, so as to not jinx myself) I think he might actually be starting to like, nay, prefer me…???? Well this week anyway…! I wont presume to know what his preferences might have swung to by this time tomorrow when I have had to go to work!

Ok, so there was the fact The Husband was at golf most of Saturday, and at work for about 12 hours yesterday and 13 today, therefore present only for the brief interludes of fun. But I actually think my son has ENJOYED being around me. Just plain old boring (bossy) Mummy, who is normally considered the least favourite parent because she is the one here enforcing all the (mean) rules like eat, sleep, don’t bring those dirty shoes in my house, or kick that ball at the photo frames etcetera.

But even when the husband was present, I seemed to still get a good look in, in the popularity stakes. Sunday morning, after a blissful sleep in (which, in parent terms, means I didn’t wake until 7.15am), my heart melted when I was greeted with the most enthusiastic shouts of “Mummy!” emanating from the grinning creature seated in his high chair. Breakfast time was over and he immediately launched into “Mummy, come play? Come play?” with the most beseeching look that was akin to those big old eyes you see on Puss in Boots on Shrek. If I had been an ice cream on a hot summer’s day I’d have pooled on the ground in an instant!
God bless these effortless days of Harrison wanting to be in my company, for the simple joy we shared kicking the ball in the park (from one end of the soccer field to the other, and back again!), the laughter at swimming lessons, the cuddles at Playgroup when he was a little shy to participate, and the hysterical laughter that he would launch into at any given moment, rounding it off with a almost sly (and definitely cheeky) comment: “Funny”. I’ll hold tight to this reign of supremacy because I am assured that come the weekend, when Daddy, Nanny and cousins Logan and Mason are here on the scene, I’ll be once more relegated to the reserves bench.
Come Monday though, when its just team Harry & Mummy for the next 48hrs, I’ll no doubt get that call up to the A Team, so I’ll just have to wait patiently for then.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mummy Has Talent!

Yes, you read that headline right - Mummy has talent! Sounds like a rip off of a certain reality TV show (on a rival network, therefore not to be watched, I might add). Alas, no, I’m not scripting my own version of said show, one which is strictly for those who have given birth; rather, I am referring to the critiquing of my singing by my clever/tone-deaf (insert most appropriate) son.

So there we were last Thursday night, bath time had rolled around, and, as is usually the case these nights, a noisy protest demonstration was at hand at the thought of having to get sudsy. In a valiant last-ditch attempt to lighten the already murky mood, and in a vain hope to alleviate the tears which streamed incessantly down my son’s face, I launched into some random, silly, self taught song (known only to me, and probably unable to ever be correctly remembered) to lift the mood. Suddenly, in all serious, my son turns to me. The tears stop and he exclaims in pure excitement, “Lovely singing Mummy!”

Well if I didn’t just keel over with shock, love and a wee bit of self-effacing pride, you could have knocked me over with one of Harrison’s (hundreds) of stuffed toys. And then I laughed. I laughed and laughed until my boy too commenced to giggle and squawk alongside of me until we were both left sitting there (note my success – he was finally sitting happily in the tub!) until it was my turn to have tears running down my face!

Children can do that – they can instantly magic up a precious moment which twists an unpleasant situation right on its ear. All of a sudden you find yourself tenderly treasuring one of the most memorable moments you can imagine.

I’ve already etched that impromptu singsong response moment into my soul and have no doubt I’ll replay it over and over again in my minds eye each time I am dealing with a disobedient toddler or perhaps even a moody teenager, in many moons time.

Oh and in case you thought this was a one off moment (like I too had), just this morning my son dished out another entertainment derived compliment. Ollie was on Nick Jnr singing his “Great Big Song” when Harrison and I both decided to join in. Again, he turned to his Mummy and, flashing a cheeky 20-month-old toothy grin, cried “lovely singing!”. I’ll concede he did leave off the “mummy” tag to this comment, but choose to believe he was still referring to me – or at least “we”.

Fear not fellow readers, I assure you there will be no appearances of me warbling to any well known tunes on ANY reality TV show anytime soon. Simon Cowell, my son is not destined to be…!