I’m so far behind on the day to day life around here that I don’t think I can remember.
Maddy went on her PGL holiday and loved it. I wasn’t really worried about her going, though it didn’t feel very long after all our traumas. She was very pleased to be going and came home full of pride in herself and SB for managing. She had fun, did some new stuff, coped well with a bout of homesickness and came home with a reward for being well behaved and helpful. I was only really worried that she wouldn’t enjoy it, not that she wouldn’t cope. I so wanted her to have fun – and she did 🙂 Perhaps the biggest surprise of the week was how much Fran missed her; she was really at a loss.
Amelie got the opportunity to trial in the A Squad at gym for 4 weeks. She’s completed that now and is on trial for another 6 months. She’s extremely pleased and working her socks off to prove herself. I can see a huge difference already. She’s got a fairly big hill to climb to be ready for County Grades in October though, so will have to keep focused on that. Fran will do the same competition – so no stress there 🙄
All of them are involved in show work for a dancing school performance in 2 weeks time. Fran is in endless bits of it and the other 3 are in various parts so most Sundays are taken up with rehearsals for that, while Saturdays are taken up with gym. No rest for the wicked when it comes to taxi driving. The 3 who didn’t go to PGL did a day there for a fund-raising event. It was the first time Josie had done something like that – was lovely to see her confident enough to go off without me for the day. She’s been working hard on being a bit chirpier; she got rather a shock a few weeks ago when she saw our holiday photos and realised she was sulking on them all. Since then, she has been quite different.
Maddy got invited to a short course in TKD sparring for kids who had shown good progress in classes. I think she was a bit surprised to find this involved actually being kicked but she seemed to like it!
Fran, Maddy and Max have been playing touch rugby in a mixed team one evening a week. Lots of clubs playing fun games, kids and adults together. Really good atmosphere and obviously a lot of fun to be involved in.
Fran has been working very hard on various gym moves – a mount on to the beam which involves just jumping on to the end of it, two footed, from a springboard among other (terrifying looking) things. She’s got a music exam coming up, so is working hard at that too, so with dancing and a new level of effort at academic work, she’s a busy girl. I think life feels hard for her right now, but she’s doing the best she can.
I think, in the face of sadness, you have to try and find a balance between keeping busy and finding a time for reflection. They’ve had a tough time; Freddie’s death followed almost immediately by my parents separating and it has taken its toll. They hardly ever compete or bicker or bitch, but the last few weeks it has been difficult to hear them taking their frustrations and sadnesses out on each other. I don’t like it – and I like even less that I feel very responsible for being the person in both cases who seems to have inflicted the sources of pain on them. And, even knowing that small things seem huge to all kids unless they know worse, it was hard seeing Amelie relatively unmoved by the departure of a loved adult in her life today. I guess once you know that baby brothers sometimes die, nothing else feels quite the same.
So we have kept busy. We’ve done lots of writing and all the girls are starting to have stuff to put on to their blogs. They’ve worked very hard at various bits of writing and all of them have written about their day out with Max and LeCielRouge at the East of England Show on Friday. This is Fran’s (I got to go to work!) They’ve made quite big strides already in just putting some words together. I’d say, various issues of their own aside (mostly personality driven!) that starting late is no great barrier. Fran has already moved from “I hate English” to “I want to be a writer when I grow up!” which seems an achievement. I’m not sure I’m going to convince her to be an artist though!
So writing and art. We are just a bit too lucky to own an art supplies shop, despite artistic ineptitude, so today we helped ourselves to pastels and went off to the local park with Le Ciel Rouge (we do have other friends, honest!) and tried some drawing. It was more (or less) successful but Maddy at least was thrilled with her boat.
The Freddie Fund is standing at an amazing £770 (EDIT: wow, £830!) – I’m indebted and in awe of all of that, grateful beyond measure. To each and all because each one counts and swells my heart to get me through another few hours without tears. To those who have done so having read about us here (and to one in particular to whom I know our story has probably brought back painful memories) – thank you.