Hindsight is a wonderful thing. As we grow older, the memories of our youth jade ever so slightly, giving us that rosy vision of what has been.
As my eldest sprog prepares to fly the nest to University, I get the feeling I’m reliving my youth through him. Of course, one cannot avoid the pangs of heartache at the thought of said sprog leaving. He’s my eldest, the one I devoted unlimited time to and energy to; the one that resembles me the most personality-wise – so yes, we get on like fire and ice most days.
This doesn’t stop me from pulling out the memories of me at his age and how I felt about leaving home. I couldn’t wait! Home equalled a prison with burglar bars and ridiculous rules set to break even the sweetest and most obedient child in creation (that I was not). My parents’ loved us like anacondas love their food: suffocated and crushed.
My years spent mothering my sprogs should have given me a better perspective on my own parents and hindsight of my behaviour as a youth should soften my jaded perspective of their parenting skills. Instead, all I seem to do is fluctuate between mourning the loss of presence of my eldest before he goes and celebrating his freedom from our parenting shackles. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and I am far from out of the woods because my next sprog will be journeying forth at the same time next year on her own adventure too.
My rosy reminiscence of my past definitely affects my present and I feel the need to go all out to make sure my sprog has a soft landing in the big ugly world – unlike my first experience. Deep down I know that no matter what I do, he will have his own vision of life and what it should offer and when he grows to into a ripe old prune like me, his rose-tinted perspective will shape how he waves good-bye to his offspring. And so the loop continues.
Therefore, no matter what we go through, our pasts will always affect our reactions to the present. I just hope I do enough today to ensure my sprogs’ opinions of me tomorrow leads to happier memories.
Three weeks into the holidays and I feel only slightly relaxed and rejuvenated. Why? Well, have you ever been stuck in a house with four children of varying ages and degrees of personality, just waiting to challenge you on whatever strays from your tight lips? Add a broken (hearted) car and torrential rain into the mix and it becomes the tasty cocktail known as school summer holidays.
The forest has lost its appeal and my photography is as mundane as the same old trees barking for a picture. Change is required before the apes (my sprogs in union) decide to conquer civilisation and tear down the fragile structures of society we have left on our lonesome postage stamp known as home. With no escape in sight, my only option is to call on the soothsayer, the one who holds the golden key to my children’s hearts: their father!
He has the ability to tame the natives into submission and coerce them to follow basic rules like make your bed, yes you do have to wear clean underwear everyday or do the wash up without killing each other.
As a side bar, it always amazes me how children are so enthusiastic about washing up till it becomes a chore. Suddenly the plates are too heavy, the pots will be stained forever and utensils are weapons in soapy water hunting their unwary fingers. My last Sprog fought for his right to do the wash up like the others at the beginning of the summer holidays. Now, when I see his face grimace at the mere thought of it, I cry a little inside knowing he has taken that step to becoming a big boy and feeling the pain of responsibility.
So, with a ticking time bomb of mutinous imnates walking around my prison, I am counting down the days to their father’s vacation time. With him as the main focus, I might just get away with planning mini escapes from this paradoxical paradise.
If you don’t hear from me, know that I love you all and the natives have probably disposed of me!
The cat is scratching at the door, hoping for someone to stand there and watch as he takes a moment to decide whether or not to venture out into the wilderness. While he sits there contemplating life, come on into the mess and join me for a cup of coffee and some packing.
As you sidestep the boxes lining the passageway to the kitchen and take in the ambiance of plastic containers blocking the dishwasher, tell me about your weekend. Did you manage to get all the writing done that you needed to or finish off the project that has been waiting to be tackled? I spent the weekend celebrating my littlest sprog’s birthday and cleaning out the shed. Both seemed satisfied with the results asI have a happy sprog and empty shed.
Here’s your mug. Be careful, it’s hot!
As the shed spewed out its contents into the garden, my happy little workers (aka my sprogs and hubble) became rather distracted by the interesting boxes littering the area. Toys and photographs that had survived a year in the dark recesses of their forced solitary confinement in said shed dazzled them with their memories and soon all work came to a halt. Exclamations of joy could be heard by my lovely neighbours when a cuddly bear received long lost kisses and a few tears were spilt over the discovery of a journal dedicated to the first born. The unlucky sprog that found the journal was so unimpressed with the effort made, she burst into tears and had to be consoled. You see, I started writing this special journal back when the sparkle still glinted in my eye and I thought the world revolved around my only child.
Of course, when the other sprogs descended on my rosy, ecstatic world, time became a rare commodity and technology had moved on from paper journals.
Trying to reassure her that she has her own special journal saved on a disk somewhere seemed to stop the waterworks and the extra mummy hugs and kisses hopefully sealed away the pain of thinking she was less loved. Being a mum is tough and convincing each child that they are unique and special is really exhausting.
After settling them all back into their chores, we managed to clear the garden, pack everything back into plastic boxes and start on the garage. What an incredible amount of junk we keep in our storage areas! Moving has its own good purpose – cleansing the soul and the clutter!
Now that most of the troublesome areas have been sorted, we can breathe a sigh of relief and let the removals people do the rest. From next week, I will be reporting to you from a different town/village. I can’t wait.
Until then, thanks for joining me for our last coffee together in this house.
The view from my desk.
Posted in If We Were Having Coffee, Weekly Trail
Tagged #mondayblogs, #MondayCoffee, #mondaycoffeeshare, blogging, blogs, children, coffee, family, friends, humour, mothers, moving home, parenting, travel
Good-bye my pretty Bird,
Fly away free
Never mind the tears
They’re not for you, but for me.
Good-bye my golden friend
The one who drives me mad
Even now I smile at memories
That share my life with you, making me glad.
Good-bye our precious grandmother
The children loved you a tonne
I told them when I came home
You gave me the last touch
So the game continues on!
Good-bye my pretty little bird
Death has collected you at a young age
How peacefully you left us
To say farewell to your empty cage.
RIP Mum 11/12/1944 – 25/04/2015
Copyright Eloise De Sousa (2015).
Posted in Poetry, Weekly Trail, Wensfriesday
Tagged bird, cremation, death, funeral, in memory of, mothers, mourning, parents, wensfriesday
Playlist for My Little Bird
Today is the second week anniversary of the flight of my little bird. I am caught in an emotional trap. I am nervous as I set about putting together the playlist for her wake. In my hand I nurse a brandy and coke, my father’s drink. In my head I spin the songs that I will play for my little bird.
My Saturday night confession: I hate crying. I don’t do crying unless someone opens that ridiculous door and allows the little crybaby inside me to escape. In the deepest, darkest catacombs of my mind there are very few opportunities to escape, but once in a blue moon a little bugger of a crybaby escapes.
Tonight my mind is on high alert. One of those little crybabies has escaped. So, to distract the escapee those little people who live in my head have decided to make a playlist. It isn’t possible to be sad when you’re listening to a good playlist. I’d like to share the torment with the little people who live inside in your head.
Who said I wasn’t a caring, sharing, giving person?!
So here goes. Get ready to sing along, and to dance when the moment takes you.
Tonight, I present to you, for your pleasure and mine, my playlist for my mum, my little bird, who escaped her cage and flew away. She is happy now, I know, but please share my songs and my tears.
- Leo Sayer – When I need love
- Bread – Make it with you
- The Eagles – Take it to the limit
- The Platters – Only you
- Eva Cassidy – Songbird
- Leo Sayer – One man band
- Andrew Gold – Never let her slip away
- Chicago – You’re the inspiration
- Air Supply – Without you
- Tina Charles – Dance little lady dance
- Bread – Everything I own
- Brotherhood of Man – Save your kisses for me
- Eagles – Hotel California
- Randy van Warmer – Just when I needed you most
- Deep Purple – Child in time
I will close this playlist with yet another Deep Purple song, which just seems right for the moment,
Deep Purple – Bird has flown
I could go on adding more superb songs right through the night, but I am going to leave it there for now. What one song would you add to my playlist for my little bird?
Why the tear?
Bird is still here
No point in weeping yet
With nothing to fear.
Why the cry?
Birdseed in your eye?
Save it for when she really
Starts to die!
Copyright held by Eloise De Sousa(2015)
Pic courtesy of weheartit.com
I usually have my coffee date with you on a Monday, but I missed you so much I thought it would be okay to meet a day earlier. My hot chocolate is pretty weak today and something stronger is required. It’s Easter and I haven’t even wished you yet,so Happy Easter!! How was your weekend so far? Did you get a break? Continue reading
Posted in If We Were Having Coffee, Weekly Trail
Tagged #WeekendCoffeeShare, blogging, blogs, coffee, death, depression, easter, family, friendship, mothers, news, parents, sickness, sorrow, updates, work
Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. For many, it will be the start of fasting and giving up something enjoyable for the next forty days. I stopped doing that a long time ago.
Instead, I prefer to try taking up something that will help others, be it volunteering, praying more (for others!), giving away necessary things for others in need or trying to say more positive things to others and avoid gossip. Sacrificing my favourite sweet or meat (namely Biltong!) leaves me craving and unhappy and I tend to forget the whole reason behind the sacrifice. I don’t like that feeling and would rather embrace something that brings me closer to my faith.
Unfortunately this week will not see me eating sweets as it is Ash Wednesday and I will probably be at the hospital with my mum where I refrain from eating or drinking anything (Germs! Germs! Germs!). My little miracle mother is getting better, contrary to the constant message of her impending death from her consultant. Strangely enough I haven’t seen him since her improvement, though I’m sure he will come tell me that he is happy with her recovery and as he told me, it could happen! Won’t be the first time this has happened. If she regresses again, well I will shake his hand and tell him he called it. Can’t do much more than that.
Wishing you all a positive Lent and enough stamina to stay the course if you do decide to give something up.
Love and blessings to you all.
Pic of my daughter’s Valentine’s Day biscuits