To shoe or not to shoe – Captain’s log – Day 2

When I was about Daniel’s age I forgot my PT clothes at home early in the first term and felt completely freaked out when I was the only one that didn’t change into my PT clothes at break time. The following day I dutifully took my PT clothes to school and changed at break time, only to realise after break we didn’t have PT that day. The shame, the shame. So I have, to this day, a thing about being appropriately dressed for all occasions. It’s funny how a little thing like that could be so traumatic for little me.

This morning my own personal worst fear came true: Daniel’s school shoes were missing. I screamed a little on the inside, but also knew that this is potentially a valuable lesson for him to learn about taking care of his stuff.

There were tears and a rinse and repeat of yesterday’s drama to get him into the car wearing his takkies, but we finally got to to Aftercare to see whether they had found the shoes, but no such luck, all the while with the Sussies in tow.

I was cross. And sad for him. And then I was cross some more.

So, we all walked to his class, him clasping my hand for dear life as he did the walk of shame past hundreds of school children in school shoes.

When we arrived at class we explained to his teacher what happened, but that this was an important lesson in taking care of your things and she nodded sagely.

The shoes are gone. Gonner than gone. I try not to dwell on what might have happened to them.

I went to buy some new shoes, but he’ll be paying for them out of his pocket money for a very, very long time. And I’ll only tell him in the morning, when we have our next argument about the takkies. Mean, I know, but maybe he’ll sweat a little.

My folks came for supper tonight and I hugged them extra hard as a very dear friend of mine has just lost* her Mom. It’s been a melancholy day, made marginally better by having my family and my children close, those last hugs and sniffly kisses when they’re soft with falling asleep. It really is the best time of day. You want them to go to sleep because you have so much to do, but you desperately want to hold them for just a few more minutes, just for in case they forgot to tell you that one last thing about their day or they need to hear you say ‘Mommy loves you’ one last time.

Tomorrow will be better.

* I never understand the word ‘lost’ when someone passes away. You didn’t lose them, but they are irrevocably gone, your heart ripped out.

On Friendship

friendshipI’ve been thinking about friendship for a while now and thought it apt to publish a post today, on International Friendship Day.   I haven’t been thinking about friendship in the I-want-to-stab-my-friends kind of way, more in a how-lucky-am-I kind of way.

Friendship is a little like dating, you know how it goes:

You meet someone.

You hit it off.

You spend a ridiculous amount of time together in the initial throes of this AWESOME relationship.  You want to know every minute detail of their life which, at the age of 40, is A LOT of catching up to do.

You may or may not gossip about people, but you might forget odds are that, if this new friend gossips about her longstanding friends to you in a slightly malicious way she’s guaranteed to eventually do the same to you.

You introduce this new-found love to your family, just as you would a new bo. If you’re lucky everyone might hit it off.  If not, well, it’s a little awkward.

Once you pass the “honeymoon” phase of a friendship it gets a little tougher. You may have a difference of opinion about how to raise children, your friend’s husband (or yours) might be a douche or her (or your) children might be insufferable brats.  Almost like fighting over which way the loo-paper goes or squeezing the toothpaste tube differently. You grind your teeth and keep quiet.

At this point in time you may back off a little and re-evaluate.  Maybe you even say how busy you are (yes, we are ALL very busy ALL the time, myself included) and cool things down a little.  Or lose your phone, depending how badly you want that toilet-roll to roll over the top and not from the bottom.

When you go through the break-up of a friendship it can also be considerably harder than that of a relationship because you often don’t have an official “break-up”, there’s maybe the quiet FB unfriend, a little bitchiness on twitter and the hurt and confusion that goes along with it. That hurt lingers a long time, it’s often a lot more personal, because we all have the Bitchy Gene. Yes, ALL of us.

You may also decide that you are in this relationship for the long haul, so you suck up the things that leave you a little uneasy, nobody is perfect after all.

Either way, us women generally gain different things from different friendships.  I say “us women” because, lets face it, our friendships are much more complex than those of guys.  Guys are more about beer/sport and women are more about other women/food/wine/politics (between women)/lengthy discussions on sex, parenting and marriage.

It’s hard work!

Guys (and by “guys” I mean my long-suffering husband) also don’t understand the intense feelings that go with feeling hurt or snubbed or lied to, especially by a friend you thought held you dear. Which is why you need other friends so you can analyse ad nauseam, preferably over some wine.

But every once in a while you fall completely in love with a friend and end up in a committed relationship. You may not get to see them as often as you would want to, but it doesn’t matter, because you feel safe and treasured in that friendship.

These are the friends you want to keep.  When the shit hits the fan they will always be there for you and they will whack you on the head when you’re being an idiot or give you the number of their therapist when no amount of w(h)ine helps. And they will bug you until you call. They will come over with soup when you’re sick in bed and send you a message to tell you that they are thinking about you when they know you are having a tough day. They will take your child off your hands when you need some time with your husband.

That is the kind of friend I strive to be, not because I need to have those acts of love reciprocated, but because they are simply that: Acts of love. I often get it wrong, I’m terrible with remembering birthdays and buying gifts, I’m too blunt (but am luckily blessed with equally blunt friends). I often don’t answer messages and I often don’t listen because of all the other noise in my head.

But I love my friends.  I am so blessed, you know who you are and I love you all stukkend.

Thank you for being in my life, just in case I forgot to tell you recently.

And I’ll try to remember to not fuck up the toothpaste.



Hugs for Moms

I know, I need to post about Daniel’s operation this past Monday, all in good time, promise.

I had a small epiphany tonight and its too important (and too complicated) to put on Facebook, I need to put it here so my kids can see it one day when they are teenagers and hate me. Or when they are parents themselves.

I may be a little soppy at the moment, I have been thinking about clearing the air with someone that I need to find a way to co-exist with that used to be a friend mostly because I can’t bear ignoring that person anymore. It’s too hard. But it will be a big thing.

I’m worried about another friend that seems distant, I hope she’s ok. I wish she would tell me what’s wrong, but I’m afraid she’ll brush it off.

But what I really wanted to tell you about is how Isabel has been out of sorts lately. Not eating well in the evenings, battling to go to sleep. She is such a tough little cookie normally, nothing ever seems to phase her, she takes everything in her stride. She’s not huge on kisses and hugs like Mignon and Daniel are, she just wants to get on with the really important stuff in life like painting.

But tonight, tonight she said ‘Mamma, ek wil jou hê’ (Mom, I want you). This is huge, so I promptly got into our bed with her and we had ourselves a long chat and a cuddle. She just needed to be held and touched and hugged and loved.

And I realised, I needed it too. I needed her to need me. I needed those hugs and cuddles and love too. My own child comforted me tonight. Comfort that I didn’t realise I needed.

I’m spending the day with Daniel tomorrow as he can only go back to school on Monday and Etienne will only be home late tomorrow evening and I am really looking forward to having them all to myself for a change. (I might come here and whine about them tomorrow evening, but just tell me to shut up, ok?)

This has turned out to be quite a random blog post, but I’m going to leave it just like this. It’s how I feel right now.

Ps. Even more randomly, Etienne found a song tonight that we have been looking for for 11 years. The Goo Goo Dolls and Limp Bizkit performed Pink Floyd’s Wish you were here at the Heroes concert just after 9/11 and we could never remember who sang it. Anyway, so Etienne found it tonight. I’m really bad at embedding videos, so here is the link to the YouTube video. Do yourself a favour and keep in mind when it was performed. It is achingly beautiful.