Documenting 2020

What a strange place we find ourselves in - home. Every day.
We are not venturing far... walks down the street to the oval to run all our sillies out, then back home, up the hill to play and learn.
People of the World are retreating and bunkering down at home while Mother Nature flourishes all around us. There are hundreds of butterflies about, like I've never seen before and the air feels cleaner and clear. We rise each day without rush or scurry - nowhere to be, but here. We sip tea and eat toast with peanut butter and banana and we learn in our makeshift 'classroom' in the study. The kids sit on screens for longer than I would like, but in equal parts we are outdoors breathing in the fresh air and soaking up any spot of sunshine.
This is not how I thought this year would be. And helping my kids with school at home is definitely not how I thought it would be. But I find I am okay with not going places or seeing too many people - Strangely and unexpectedly I am making more connections with people than I think I ever have before. There is an odd comfort in knowing that the entire world, no person exempt, is facing the same enemy. We keep the TV turned off as news paints a grim picture I don't want my children to see (or hear). The children are curious and ask questions about what is going on and we have honest but simple discussions regarding the things that are happening in the world right now.
I am beginning to see the uniqueness of this situation, the impact and the history that this will one day become. Covid -19 will be one of those words or phrases we won't ever forget.
In the meantime I will try to cherish these (sometimes difficult) days at home and I'll keep reminding myself to go gently, stay connected, and to be kind to myself in light of all the changes we've made and all the unknowns we are yet to face.








Off she goes


So here we are, 2020 and it is the end of an era.
I feel such a mix of emotions as my youngest ventures off to big school. I am so thrilled for her as her excitement is palpable...yet the other night when I went in to check on her before I went to bed, I started sobbing at the thought of not having her home with me anymore.

It feels like I am stepping into a new phase of life and I am not sure I am ready for it. I mean, it's happening regardless of whether I'm ready or not, but strangely, I don't find comfort in this fact.
Bottom line is, I will miss her. I will miss her little hand in mine as we walk through the shopping centre. I will miss ordering a babycino with my morning coffee. I will miss negotiating food purchases in the supermarket (okay, maybe I won't miss this part) but I will definitely feel that space; that empty car seat, that deafening silence as I arrive home after school drop off, the stillness.

My baby marched into school this morning with her head held high, and whilst I am so proud of her confidence and relieved at her capabilities, my heart feels heavy with an indescribable sadness.
It is the end of a phase of life I have known for ten years. A new phase begins and whilst change is inevitable and can be exciting, I think it will take a little time for me to adjust.



Beautiful Mess


I'm learning as I get older to just love and appreciate all that life encompasses. The love, the pain, the plans and the mess. Life is all just a mixture of feelings, emotions, wants, needs, goals, disappointments, fear, choices and moments.

There is good and there is bad. There is easy and there is hard. There is joy and there is heart-break.

I'm learning that sometimes, there is a very fine line between right and wrong. We give, we take, we love and we rage. I may not always set the perfect example for my children, they see my outbursts of anger, they see me at my worst. And although I know I can do better, be better - calmer, gentler, more patient - I also remind my children that I am not perfect. No body is. I don't want my children to place me on some pedestal, I want them to see beauty in the mess of life. To find contentment despite the imperfections.


Sunday


I wake to the sound of Miss Four giving her daddy kisses on his cheek - ‘I’m just kissing daddy’ she whispers to her brothers before she scurries down the hallway to join them on the couch for morning TV.
School holidays have meant we’ve had a few days of laying in bed til 8am as the children rise at 7am and set themselves up in front of Netflix. It’s bliss.

We are right in the thick of Winter yet today there is a warm breeze, mimicking a Spring day. The sun is shining brilliantly and it’s 22 degrees outside. I get out of bed and put on my painting clothes, kissing the kids as I pass them on my way downstairs. We have been renovating and adding a downstairs rumpus and we are finally (after one year of hard work) almost finished.

I listen to James Bay and Vance Joy as I paint - The Husband is in the kitchen cooking pancakes for our breakfast and I smile to myself, impressed by his patience as our two youngest wish to help him.
Master Eight washes and cuts the large punnet of strawberries as Miss Four mixes the batter. Master Nine reluctantly sets the table then pulls out Harry Potter to read on the couch.

Eager to maintain some balance between family time and renovating, I suggest we all head to the local BMX track for an hour and then go to Bunnings to get more supplies. The kids love this idea and don’t seem to be tiring of the BMX track even though this will be their third visit in as many days.

At Bunnings we gather supplies and give the kids a play before grabbing sausage sandwiches on our way out.

It’s after 1pm before we are back at home so when the kids ask for some screen time we happily oblige. It allows us to get stuck into finishing off renos downstairs. My dad comes ‘round to help move some furniture and we have a coffee and chat with him as we watch the new room take shape.

By 5pm we are done for the day. The room is almost complete and is looking just how I imagined it would. My heart is bursting that it’s finally a usable space.

I look around at my home, at my family, at my kids who are now pyjama clad and playing nicely together and my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude.

This is us. This is Sunday.

Our Planet



I always remember my father telling me he wasn't sure he wanted to have children. It wasn't because he didn't want to be a parent. It was because he was so unsure about the stability of the world at the time that he didn't know whether it was fair to bring children into it.
That was over forty years, and three children ago.

I often wonder what my children's world will be like when they are adults - not in a cool Back to the Future kind of way - I can only hope we have done enough to keep this planet safe and healthy for them.

It feels to me like we are in a time of change. There is a shift in perspective as we move away from the thrill of convenience for the sake of our world. I think about how exciting it must have been for my parents when all the 'fantastic' plastics came into being. Straws and cling film and snap lock bags... things that made life easier and quicker. Use it once and throw it away...no washing required!

But now we pay the price and I know that we can all do better. People are aware and people are wanting to make changes. No more plastic bags in the supermarkets. No more straws being sold. We are searching for alternatives and in some cases, going back to basics. It not only feels good, but I have a feeling it is worth every second of extra time, every cent of extra money it might take.

I want my children to grow up in a world that is simple. Take care of things, respect your environment, gain knowledge to make positive changes. Delight in our magnificent planet.