Little Things XCII

Life is very slow here.

The day is punctuated by little bursts of song from my grandpa, and exclamations of “life is simply wonderful!” and “I can’t get over how fortunate I am!”.

He’s a lovely person to be around.

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Little Things XCI

I’m at my Grandpa’s, and he is more cheerful than he was when I was here last, half a year ago.

He has more care now, after a dramatic fall and subsequent long stay at hospital, and I think it’s doing him good. This way, he sees people at least twice a day, has a chat, and has his structure. He got quite excited about the evening carer’s visit.

He’s working at a new art project, a collage. Apparently, he can only work on it on Sundays, because that’s “the only day nobody calls, and he can work in peace”.

I’m happy to be here.

Little Things XC

So many people, and I have to find a quiet space to warm my voice up.

Someone taps me on the shoulder. “My mum just told me that you were singing, so I had to come along! You look great!”

I wouldn’t have recognised the face. I see a tall bearded man standing in front of me, eyes that seem familiar, but I couldn’t have placed them.

But the voice tells me immediately who this is.

It’s my friend from primary school! We used to sit together, and being the tallest in the class, we used to get to sit at the back. He used to chew my pencils, and I remember wild foot wars under the desk, and being told off by the teacher for the commotion we were causing. We were both good at school, both bilingual in English and German, we both didn’t quite fit in with the other girls/boys, and we were both liked a lot by our teachers.

We hadn’t seen each other for more than 20 years. The last time was when we ran into eachother at a public school protest.

And although I only know his child voice, I recognised his voice today.

I was so happy to see him. I jumped at him the moment I recognised him. That may have startled his daughter a little… and him, maybe.

I find it fascinating that in our lives there are people we connect with, and apparently, this connection is built to last. It doesn’t matter in which context we know a person – it seems that our souls learn certain other souls – just a select few – and those learnt souls stay in memory, and stay special, no matter how much time goes by.

Little Things LXXXIX

Today started at 4:30 am, in order to be in time for a dress rehearsal.

The dress rehearsal went well, although I had to sing it without warming up.

My daughter is also playing, and I got to watch her winging it – sight reading mostly. She is a very talented young human.

Afterwards we visited M. We haven’t seen each other for ages, and it was time to meet his son. My daughter now has a new best friend – little toddler mini M. Life is strange sometimes… There we were, making dinner together, while our kids were playing together, cuddling, chasing each other around the flat, and our charged history together just sitting there as a presence with us.

I’m proud of us for being so open and close with each other, taking every moment in its own time.

Little Things LXXXVIII

“Penguin cuddles!” I mumble, as I shuffle towards my youngest, arms fixed at my sides like penguin wings.

Off he runs, with me going after him, slowly shuffling of course, calling “penguin cuddles!” as I go along. After half a minute, he is also a penguin, shuffling away from the dreaded penguin cuddles, and giggling penguin giggles.

The eldest pokes his head out of the door to see what all the laughter is about.

All of a sudden, there are two penguins shuffling towards him, calling “penguin cuddles!”, one of which is his mum. In a flash, he’s running away, giggling. He doesn’t think twice, and joins this crazy game that came out of nowhere.

The game goes just as fast as it came.

I love being silly. I love that my teenagers just go with it. I love that they love being silly, and share that with me. I love these tiny family moments that give life it’s colour and juice.

Little Things LXXXVII

Things are getting better, slowly. I should be able to sing my concert on Sunday without pain relief.

But I think the thing I’m most grateful for today is a new development with my daughter (and there is a new negative one to accompany it, too…).

She is finally allowing herself to tell me about her difficulties at school. She used to try to keep her test results quiet, until I asked, or found the marked test, and even then, she would be reluctant.

Now, she takes a deep breath, and tells me right away. Then, she’s happy to work through the test with me to see what went wrong.

It takes a lot of courage to face your problems, and she has been putting a lot of pressure and expectations on herself regarding school. She’ll be able to conquer them now that she is ready to face them.

To balance all this positive development, she has started getting annoyed at me the moment I ask a question she doesn’t want to hear, or mention something she doesn’t want to know about. She then gets annoyed again because I don’t accept her tone… It’s a classic teen conversation. It won’t stay like that. With my eldest, the 12yo eye rolling muhum! phase lasted a couple of months, and since then he’s been as sweet as anything. She will also lash out for a bit, learn that I’m not going to put up with it, and calm down again. Until then – wish me luck.

Sometimes, being a parent is just a matter of being a brick wall they can bash their heads against, but at the same time being very clear (without getting angry) about pointing out that certain behaviour is unacceptable in the family, and sticking to it.

Little Things LXXXV

Today I suppose I am grateful for painkillers 😦 I am actually overdosing slightly, to prevent myself from just lying on the floor, wimpering incoherently when I reach the daily maximum dose in the early evening. Well, whatever. This too shall pass, in the next few days presumably.

I’m also grateful for the session with t at the psychologist. It was a very successful session. He was prone to rambling again, but the psychologist and I both fenced him in a bit.

There were some significant decisions, that are positive for the kids – and me. There was one very good suggestion from the psychologist, which will pave the road for less need of discussion and more facts. There is acceptance of the youngest deciding that he would prefer to go to school, and in a new development, the oldest is now quite keen too.

We still have a long list, and many really big problems to work through, and I’m sure there will be more than enough relapses, but little by little progress will be made.

Little Things LXXXIV

I have such a lovely doctor.

Many people agree, which is why it took me until 2pm to actually see her today.

She’s such a lovely, gentle person. Whatever the circumstances, she is sympathetic and caring. She’s a tiny woman with a huge soul, and she always makes me feel better and cared for.

Little Things LXXXIII

I spent nearly the whole day in bed, and only got up when I had to fetch the kids.

I didn’t do this for fun, in fact I don’t actually enjoy staying in bed for a whole day.

But I’m not well, so staying under the warm sheets felt like a better idea than pushing myself into any activity.

I’m grateful for the option to be lazy when I need to be.