March 9, 2015
It's hard to believe we are now 68 days into the year, and in just three weeks, my middle will be 5. My middle, the bright little spark of a kid who seemed so out of place during his last year of kindy, I doubted whether he would take to school the way I wished he would. But he proved me wrong. He's settled in just fine, he and his best friend from kindy, without whom I do wonder whether we would have had the start to school that we did. So lucky that he has good friends, or good judgement to choose good friends (I hope that continues forever, and the frightening thoughts I have about my sons making bad judgements, wrong decisions are just thoughts and never transpire). He reads now, just little words, but he reads to my parents on Skype and that's pretty cute.
And my oldest boy, he's someone to be proud of too, the way he picks up any book he wants, reads it, wants to read more, can barely drag himself away from Harry Potter, but that brings with it frustration when all you need him to do is just put the book down for a second, listen, engage, get his shoes on, pick up his school bag, get on his bike! He's 6 now, with an enviable imagination for building Lego, drawing trucks, and playing with his brothers, making up the most elaborate situations, stories, characters, dialogue. He's a tough nut to crack though too, impulsive, not always keen to listen, to respect other people's space or words but when your brain is whirring at a million miles per minute, it's easy to forget to stay quiet because someone's saying something you should be listening to. Right now though, he's home, with me, because he's not well. Secretly, I like it.
The little boy? He counts. Not the way you and I count, but you know, one, eight, seven, two, four, FIVE! And he sings and he finally got that first haircut. Do you know someone who more often than not and in fact nearly all the time is just happy to go with the flow? Then you know what it's like to live with the baby of this house ('no, big boy!'), sure there's a tantrum here or there, an unreasonable demand, a particular way he has to do... nearly everything, but once you have that figured out, it's really just a breeze being with him, and giving into his demands to 'get up now mummy.... COFFEE!' and 'look mummy, LOOK AT THIS!'. He has a best friend now too. They walk around the playground with their arms around each other.
The puppies are puppies no more. They are grey, old, slower. Lady Lola doesn't even look up when you suggest a walk these days. They plod around the house, letting the children torment them, but also letting themselves be used for the life lesson 'be gentle!' which seems to be ongoing, although it is sweet to see the boys giving their hounds gentle pats, the kind that make Deeks' back leg bang the floorboards like a jackhammer.
And that's it. There's not much beyond the children, the puppies. Beyond worrying about them being happy, making the right choices, enjoying school and being loved (and not picking up any of their mother's propensity for the f-word). The decisions about where we should live, the work we should do, they're nothing really. Sure I think about these things all the time, but more often than not, these days, it feels like it doesn't matter what the outcomes are and it's about the journey. I wish I could bottle some days they are so good, and it's telling that we've stopped summarising the days as good or bad, rather, the days are just days. There is a rhythm in this house now, one where we accept nothing will be perfect, and working as hard as we can at everything is all we want to do, as long as there is red wine between shifts. We don't get everything right and there are stresses and strains but they will always be. The weeks fly by and that can only mean they are full, in the way I always hoped my life would be full, with children and noise and jobs and music and parties and birthdays. And every so often, I pause long enough to realise the grannies and aunties are right. Time moves way too fast.