Saturday, 31 May 2014

Little Birthday Lady

Gaia turned five!  With her long feral curls that start dreading up every day if I don't brush them - this in itself is like going to war.  And her sweet nature - always making bug houses, re-homing lady birds and woodlice, always picking me flowers and drawing me pictures, making me things and begging to bake.  She wanted to make pizza's on her birthday so we did, from scratch.  Such a joy to have spent all week cooking real food again although the birthday cake was an epic fail!  Fancy leaving the eggs out of the mix, I actually threw the tin out so welded to it was the mixture.
Her birthday always falls in the half term which is a blessing but I feel like I've failed them both this year and not been the all singing all dancing birthdaytastic mama bear I have been every year previously.  Our holiday rhythm I love so well never really got going - Cliff was off work ill and Zander wasn't 100% either, so mostly the TV or the playstation vied for their attention.  The weather sucked so we didn't get to the botanic gardens and I barely had enough money for gifts.  We couldn't have friends round on account of illness and my attention has been distracted intermittently by house hunting, viewings and applications, procrastination and pondering how the future is going to work.   I just feel like a proper lame ass mama. 
It is all too easy to feel like I'm being selfish with all this house hunting life changing focus.  Every decision I make still has to take the imps into account yet if I do not put my foot firmly down and put my own happiness first we ain't never gonna rock this show the way I know we can.  I concluded long ago there is no such thing as a good time for all this so we're just going to have to roll with it and breath free and easy once it is done.
So Rose, where's the positive spin on this then?  What are you going to do about this?  Well we still have one day of the holidays left!  One whole day, and the weather is looking good!  So we'll have a picnic somewhere, just the three of us, like the old days, the golden days, the glorious pre-school days.  We will have a fire in the garden, she's been asking for one of those for ages and we have stocked up on fire wood recently too.  And why not make a fuss of every day that follows, somehow in some sweet way ... minor ways but ways with great impact ... impromptu things, things they are not expecting ... that's more like it, think mama, think hard!
In the longer term I want them to have a summer party -  a belated birthday celebration if you like when we are moved and settled, to make up for my lameness.  I had this idea we could have a really cool blanket-fortress-sleep-over-house-warming party too, how much fun would that be?!
I wish they knew how much I loved them and how I'm trying so damn hard to do all this right by them - this separation, this moving homes - in spite of the resistance I'm coming up against in terms of letting agents and systems and shite like that.  I'm exploring every idea that crosses my mind and running with it in the mind set that I CAN make this work and work so damn well!  I'm putting as much positive thought and energy out there and behind this as I possibly can, so I may be distracted but only because I want the best for us, I want to do this properly. 
Something is bound to come up soon, real soon and then I can make it all up to them.
But little loves ... I love you always.
Mama Bear X X X

Monday, 12 May 2014

Birthday Bear

Well seven years ago I was in labour ... in my living room watching Cool Runnings with my sister , my birth partner, my friend wondering where the edge of my pain threshold would end.  She woke the next morning thinking she had flu from where I'd been squeezing her hands so tight in the chaos of the final push so to speak.
How time flies.  How he has grown.  It hardly seems possible.  The moment I met him was surreal, to feel his warm little body against mine I totally forgot that I had no idea weather he was a boy or a girl ... I had not wanted to find out but in that timeless moment it hadn't occurred to me to even ask, or look I just held him, not really sure what to do and that was all my soul needed.  I remember Fiona, there with me throughout repeating to me 'Rosemary you have a little boy, you have a son' a son ... a son! I tried rolling it off my tongue and I remember calling up to Cliff who had been pacing the landing away from the fray ... 'it's a boy it's a boy!'  The next hours were a blur but I remember Fiona cradling him in a towel and taking him upstairs so that she and Cliff could dress him and show him around his home.  Though over the years we'd grown closer as sisters anyhow that moment sealed the deal.  She saw me at my most primal, I was inexperienced and unknowing of what to expect, somewhat terrified, she was my light through it and I was able to completely ignore the militant midwife panicking me from the sidelines.  Fiona's was the only voice I heard, tunnel vision - hearing.  I had to go into hospital and Fiona stayed all night in my house setting things straight and cleaning up.  She woke at 5 am passed out on my sofa next to a cold cup of tea she hadn't the energy to drink.  I don't know how she did it, I couldn't ask for anything more in a sister.  Nor in a son.  Yes, he drives me bonkers on a daily basis but my heart melts every time I look into his forest green eye.
He has a lot to deal with right now, as do we all with the turn of events this year and I feel like I am a poor half assed excuse for a mama to him right now.  Working full time leaves no time for the days of elaborate birthday preparations I used to go in for but I am doing my best with what time and resources I have.  I've pulled the late chaos shift tonight - the 3 trays of cup cakes, balloons, bunting, wrapping shift and have given up before even attempting the big birthday breakfast cake I planned, instead resigning myself to the fact that this year I will have to buy something ready made and no doubt full of awful additives I'd normally kick to the curb.  No longer are clean floors and immaculate living spaces, home made candles and carefully composed poems my birthday priorities, instead just getting through the day having eaten and not passed out post midnight will do.
Motherhood teaches me so very much, sometimes the lessons are beautiful and sometimes they are not but each a chance to grow.  My thoughts are not as succinct as usual, but I feel, I feel with my heart and my soul a deep indescribable joy when I have Zander & Gaia tucked under each arm.  I must not loose sight of this, no matter what.

I have a son, a son, a SON! ... Zander River ... happy birthday special little one.

Always, Mama X X X

Saturday, 3 May 2014

When sleeping women wake

'When sleeping women wake, mountains move'  ancient chinease proverb
I had to come back to the mountain metaphor I recently mused.  The looming mountain in front of me, the one that if I spend too long thinking about slowly drains me of optimism for the task ahead - that one.  It just occurred to me that there is a more positive light to shine on said mountain, like a clear bright dawn.  There is this meditation I once heard someone describe and have used myself since where you consider the qualities, properties and characteristics of a mountain and hold them in mind to later embody and use to empower.  That turns the optimism back on somewhat.  What qualities then ... I suppose higher sight given the vantage point from a mountain top, a solid base - good grounding, dignity perhaps - a head held high, natural and at ease, even though winds may batter it, despite the clouds that may surround it at times.  The clouds pass, the storms roll on, the mountain endures, steady.
And then I remembered the old chinease proverb 'When sleeping women wake, mountains move' and I like that very much.  It sounds powerful doesn't it and I think it would be fair to say this woman is waking and you can be damn sure she has mountains to move.
I spent time pouring over my photographs of the Andes.  I remember how incredible it felt standing on top of both Putukusi and Machu Pichu and breathing, just breathing, breathing expansively on the top of the world.  The space and peace were palpable.  Pure air, pure being.  I can almost recall the precise feeling.

The energy I feel has changed since yesterday.  I am feeling a hell of a lot more positive.  I danced wildly last night with a friend, it turned out catharsis is what I had been stalking hungrily for a while.  
Last weekend the children insisted I go swimming with them and their father.  I didn't really want to.  It felt detached, it was weird to be doing things together when we never really did before the separation and it could end up being confusing for the imps too.  I need definition, I need to say no, things are different nowToday they wanted to go again, but having seen that Cliff could cope with both of them easily last week I declined and feel this is something that they three should do together, it can be their thing and I can have a few hours on a Saturday to get on with that mountain or do something for myself. 
Onwards and upwards.
Always X

Friday, 2 May 2014


Have you ever stood in the April wood and called the new year in?
While the phantoms of three thousand years fly as the dead leaves spin?
There's a snap in the grass behind your feet and a tap upon your shoulder.
And the thin wind crawls along your neck it's just the old gods getting older.
And the kestral drops like a fall of shot and the red cloud hanging high
come a Beltane.  Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull.
May 1st ... however did we get here?  Where did nigh-un half the year go?!  Beltane, age old festival of summer and life, how do we mark these days?  with fire of course and the kids know this.  Despite the English weather misbehaving the imps and I drove out to one of the villages nearby last night once I was home from work to join friends round a fire.  What better way to spend an evening than warm and mesmerised by licking flames in the countryside whilst the children dig in the dirt to their hearts content, make fire antlers and chase chickens?!  These, the little things are the stuff of life, the anchors that hold a ship fast. 
I could pretend that everything is rosy, a calm sea but that wouldn't be authentic.  Many times I have tried writing what I mean to say here and every time I hit delete.  So now I lay it bare as it would be daft to ignore this phase of the childrens lives.  Home dynamics are up the spout, since I and their father separated.  There are a great many challenges to get through before one discombobulated home becomes two happy ones and being understanding of the changes manifesting in irrational imp behaviour whilst not taking un-necessary shit from them is much easier said than done.  I seem to be compensating for what they must be going through by turning a blind eye to things I would not have previously.  Sometimes this works to my advantage I just let them get on with it, most of the time though I feel like a small creature standing in a very big storm with no shelter in sight!

Choosing to let them lead on the subject is the only way I know, I don't want to fill their heads with un-necessary shit they don't need to know but I think they need a little more from me now.  I won't even go into the way they found out originally as it broke my heart but more recently I chose to speak with them in the woods, familiar neutral space and at that point decided it wasn't worth pushing the issue because Zander seemed to get so cross.  He then said what every parent dreads hearing 'Mummy it's all our fault isn't it'.  Holy crap, I never imagined my imps would take it that way and through starting to talk shit out at Relate I am beginning to see I need not compensate in the boundaries I do or don't set, but by gushing with reassurance of our enduring love for them and relieving any pressure of torn loyalties by stoically taking the hit myself when they'd rather hang out in their dad's room playing play station and watching TV all day.  My moments with them come round fires, amongst trees, by streams and in those places they forget entirely the other things that vie for their attention in the house.  They shed their cares as I do in those places.  I suppose in that respect we'll carry on as we always have, they know I offer a different experience of life to their father and they openly acknowledge and appreciate the differences.
But it's hard, there is much to be done.  I had a vision out of the blue that I was standing in front of a looming mountain thinking 'ah fuck! that's the bastard I've got to climb' and as if by some cruel twist of fate my synchronicity and timing seems to be all out of whack with the universe and the good shit, the opportunities it seems to be sending.  So I thought about the last mountain I climbed, Putukusi in Peru.  I remembered not only was the view and feeling euphorically breath taking at the top, the climb though exhausting was exhilarating and life affirming.  So I hold this in mind, not always at the front of my mind but there none the less.  I'm counting on a feeling of freedom and satisfaction once I reach the top of this metaphorical mountain!

The next old anchor ahead is Midsummer and I've promised to take the kids to Stonehenge.  They packed their bags ready for this adventure at Imbolc - 2nd Feb and they have been calling the summer out ever since!

Soon come.

Always X