If you and I had caught up for a coffee*, or perhaps a wine in the backyard as the kids play around us (and Sam runs inside to make us a cheese platter), I may have told you that I’ve been feeling a bit crazy this week. I may have had a random cry, or perhaps I’d have held it all together, depending on the moment.
I probably would have mentioned that it’s been a busy week, that we had a spontaneous and fleeting trip to the Gold Coast, that Sam’s had chemo at the hospital, and our school fete was on this weekend, that there never feels like there are enough hours in the day and I always feel like I’m late for everything.
If we’d have sat and chatted, I might have shared that a school friend’s father recently passed away and we celebrated his life this week. I’ve no doubt he left this world so proud of his daughter and all she has achieved. It made me think about how difficult losing a parent would be, at any age, and how I can’t imagine life without my Mum and Dad.
If we had have made time for a coffee or wine this week, I might have told you that it can be incredibly difficult to parent a child on steroids, that it’s hard to know when to use discipline or just let things go, that it can take a whole lot of perspective to recognise what is the child and what is the drug, that it makes us sad when he’s sad, and that I’m thankful we only have to deal with steroids on five days of every 30.
I may have mentioned that I’m so happy to have my sister and her husband, and my brother and his family back in our neck of the woods again, safe and sound after their travels.
If we’d have caught up this week, I promise I would have let you get a word in edgewise too, although there are often a thousand unfinished conversations when we attempt to chat in the presence of our children.
Can I make you another coffee? What’s been going on in your world?
*Idea lovingly borrowed from Casey Wiegand.
charlie: Ninja Turtles are the toys of choice at the moment. Sometimes you ask me to play, but often you are happy in your own world with them. You assure me they are happy, despite the grimaces on their faces, and you lose their tiny little plastic weapons at least a thousand times a day. Knowing they live in a sewer and get into their home through an access hole in the street, you figured that under the table was a good spot to play – if only those turtles would fit through the umbrella hole in our outdoor table.
nicholas: Yesterday you decided it was a good day to get up on your feet and push that walker like you’ve been doing it forever. You’ve looked at it for months, tried it on occasion but always quickly sat back down and shoved it away in distaste. But, as usual, you reminded me that we can offer you all the support and opportunities and encouragement, but you will do things on your own timeline. This week, we’ve edged a little closer to a vertically mobile Nicholas, and it’s very exciting.
sam: All the Prep kids did a dance to the Jackson Five’s ABC at the fete this weekend, complete with coloured wigs, and you were all completely adorable. It was quite funny to see all the parents scrambling for a position to take photos and videos. We didn’t take any footage of the dance, but we were allowed to take one photo of you in your wig later in the day. You were very clear that I was being offered one shot only for this week’s portrait – your tolerance for photos is much lower when you’re on steroids. Thankfully, I did like this shot because there was a little glimmer of my cheeky Sam in those eyes, which often do look different in steroid weeks.
Joining in the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity ~ a portrait of each of my boys every week in 2014.
I would love to drink that coffee with you although would you mind if I had peppermint tea?
Five days out of thirty doesn’t sound like a lot but it must feel like an eternity. You are so graceful in managing Sam’s treatment, Annie. The day to day pressure of mothering three children even on a basic level is so hard. I can’t imagine coping with the added stress of nursing a child back to health, but I hope I could access even part of the extraordinary strength you have found throughout your journey.
If we had wine, you might definitely cry and I might, too, and I think that would be alright.
Peppermint tea would, of course, be fine – I’ll make sure I stock up before you visit. Three children in itself is hard, you’re right. I think all mothers have their added pressures, and for me, it happens to be a child with Leukaemia. But I will accept your acknowledgement graciously, even if I don’t always feel particularly graceful. Thank you cherub xx