Not been blogging much for a variety of reasons. The most pertinent is that Max is on holiday this week and we were going to be going away, but for a variety of reasons that hasn’t happened and we are, for the first time in years, having a holiday at home. Which is lovely and i feel more relaxed than i have in a very long time. We’ve had a couple of days out, a lot of barbecues, pitched a tent in the garden and just chilled. I’ve even taken some photos and will blog our days out later in the week.
One reason i haven’t gone away is that i had got completely overwhelmed with jobs that have needed doing for weeks and months and were completely paralysing me, so having delayed going away to watch footbal 😆 we then delayed another day and i spent all Sunday working in my office; 11 straight hours of solid “stuff” that needed doing and in the event, all of last night doing more. The result is i feel like a cloud has lifted off my shoulders and i can think straight again. My list had 32 fairly major jobs on it and it is now down to 5. This is good.
Another reason i haven’t been blogging is that i’ve been observing a process that has started to unfold very rapidly among the children and it has had me fascinated; i wanted to sit back and look for a few days and watch without getting bogged down in the minutae of what exactly we’ve done.
Fran has started to write and draw and colour; she goes to bed at night and makes up sheets of writing on things, she sits in the garden and tries to draw flowers, she has started to talk about things she wants to learn, or concentrate on. The fractions thing seems to have given her wings and opened her mind to being stretched and trying to do things that are hard. Today she and i talked through percentages, just from looking accidentally at a clothes label and of course, it all made perfect sense to her and she got it straight away. That of course led on to us looking at several labels and inadvertently discussing natural versus manmade fibres, so history, maths and textiles all in one there.
This feels sort of familiar to me, a toppling over into something new, i’ve watched one other girl i can think of doing this, talked to her mum as she has done, and i recognise something quite substantial taking place, even though it seems to have happened in just a few days. I suppose it is no different to Josie suddenly putting words to everything, in Fran some new pathways have opened in her mind and suddenly her body and brain can encompass all this new stuff. The change in her has been awe-inspiring, i feel like i have an emerging young woman in the house. Last time she changed so dramatically was when she suddenly got into the Tudors at age 5, i think.
Maddy seems to be struggling to find her niche, half between a big and capable girl and an overgrown little one. She’ll get there. She’s been revisiting her artwork again, writing all the time, drinking in anything to do with numbers. She is so good at occupying herself normally, but having so many things as yet not unpacked and in different places has thrown her a bit. I must give her some quality time next, help her get comfortable. But i love seeing her coaching Amelie in letter and number writing, they’ve all been using Pictochat on the DS’s and working so hard at writing and drawing. Her pictures in the garden the other day, foxgloves drawn from the real thing, were fabulous.
Amelie is recognising letters and numbers everywhere and smart enough to know she can appeal to her sisters’ vanity to get help, so that is happening with hardly any help from me. She wants to know about everything, yesterday it was how muscles work but it can be anything, anywhere. Love that girl.
And Josie is talking loads; milk, hat, cat, tickle, Frannie – anything we say, she copies. It is great to watch her.
4th July is our wedding anniversary, 8 years today (well yesterday, i got distracted by celebrating it!) I know that marriage isn’t for everyone, but for me it has been perfect. I love the safety i feel being married, i love the commitment, i loved my wedding day. I love being someone who chose to do that thing and stand up and say those words, i love that the people special to me stood and watched us do that and knew we were serious.
For me, being a married woman has been about taking a step to independence, stepping out of the confines of the family i grew up in and standing separate and able to say “i make these choices because i am committed here” – it is of course a very personal thing and there are many people capable of doing those things without a wedding. But for me, a person who found it hard to stand up for myself, as myself, as a young adult it was exactly what i wanted and needed. It has given me a personality to grow into, someone able to say “I am a 32 year old married mother of 4 and you cannot treat me/ speak to me/ email me like that”; it has given me a name i have made my own as an adult, rather than trying to tweak the personality of a child who never seemed to live up to expectations; it has given me trust and ability to believe in commitment from someone i adore completely and utterly, and given me the right and environment to give that back. That was important for me, because for all the affection and warmth there was in our early life together, there were lots of complications. Marriage was a final step in 4 years worth of getting to know each other and accept one anothers pasts, and it stamped on us a mutual commitment that is precious to me.
So, wedding bands have resided on our fingers for 8 years, the love has been there for 12, more or less. Independence for me on Independence Day, a far cry from being tied to a wall in a neighbouring village until you gave in anyway; marriage is what you make it i guess, and for me and i hope for us, it has given me something i wanted and needed and absolutely love having. A self i am pleased with, a place to grow up in (we’ve been together for one third of my life now!) and something i trust to catch me no matter what.
Happy Anniversary to us.