"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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Falling in love all over again

posted by Susan Dominikovich on , , , ,

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We arrived back from Canada and Disneyland 2 ½ weeks ago and began a holiday from our holiday.  Don’t get me wrong…we had a wonderful time overseas with friends and family and Mickey.  But anyone who has spent five weeks away from home in the constant company of others and never able to find time to stop and process things, let alone just to stop, will understand why I arrived home and started investigating flights to Fiji.  Think sun, pool, beach, snorkeling, books and sleep.  The fact that I didn’t plan that into our trip showed a distinct lack of foresight on my part.  As we flew over the islands I considered asking the pilot (very politely) to land and let me off but decided that was not a good idea considering we had already been told off for packing plastic toy guns in Madeline’s carry-on bag.

So we arrived home and everything in me screamed for sun and sleep.  Friends in New Zealand, I love you, but I don’t want to see you.  In fact, I didn’t want to do any of the things I normally do, like writing and reading.  I just wanted sun and sleep. 

But the sun didn’t play along.  For a week, I wanted to light the fire.  In the middle of a New Zealand summer.  That is not unusual and most times we take it as a bit of respite from the heat, but since I’d been in a North American winter for nearly five weeks, I thought it extremely unfair of the sun to hide for such a long time.  It did however, spur me on to other weird and wonderful things.

When we arrived back home and walked through the door (actually, we stumbled and made our way through the obstacles in the garage) our house smelled of clutter and dust.  You may not have thought that clutter could smell of anything, but believe me it does. It’s an ugly smell. Nothing at all to do with the fact our house was shut up for five weeks.  Everything to do with the piles and the mounds and the general lack of organisation and accumulation of so much stuff.  Inspired by friends in Canada and needing to keep busy to keep warm, our family began a campaign to clear the clutter and get rid of the smell.  And to organise our house and our lives.  New curtains, new furniture, boxes and cubbies, shelves and cupboards.  And rubbish bags.  Lots and lots of rubbish bags.  Because we became ruthless in throwing out the rubbish that has accumulated in our lives.  Gone.  Well, close to gone…in piles in the garage waiting for room in the wheelie bin because my husband won’t get a trailer and pay for a trip to the dump when he can get so much satisfaction out of filling our wheelie bin every week.  It’s full.  Gets picked up on Thursday.  Today is Tuesday.  Kitchen rubbish will have to wait then.  You see how it is.

The funny thing about this campaign of cleanliness while waiting for the sun, is that it brought us all closer together and has been exactly what we needed after five full-on weeks overseas of socialising and conquering and playing but achieving nothing.  While we would not change a thing about our time away and loved every minute we spent with so many special people and every minute we spent playing in Disneyland, we came home exhausted.  Emotionally, physically and socially exhausted.  We needed time to focus on ourselves.

Thus began the de-cluttering/throwing out junk/cleaning/organising and bettering our lives campaign.  All together.  And we did it so well, the girls began to look upon their newly organised rooms with pride.  They are determined to keep them looking this way.  And so am I.

Then came the sun, the beach, the bbq, the pool and the tee-ball and the arts and the crafts and a trip to Hamilton for a wedding and a summer’s worth of family memories packed into a week and a half.  It came to Sunday night, the night before school began and I was terribly sad.  I just wished I could hold on to these endless summer family days.  But this is the last year of Sam’s primary schooling and other things are changing too.  Next year, he is at high school.  And his sisters are blossoming.  Every day I look at them and find myself asking out loud, “when did that happen?!?”

Because while I was a stay-at-home mum, those years with preschoolers including a set of twins and a toddler and a newbie at school were so intense I nearly broke.  Of course I didn’t break.  I thrived and so did my family and we loved each other and it was great (actually I don’t remember any of it but I will say that anyway because it sounds good).  But as soon as my twinnie twin twins started school two years ago, I kinda hung up my mum hat for awhile.  I didn’t dispose of it altogether, but I did breathe a huge sigh of relief, shouted “freedom!” from the rooftops and then began to reclaim myself.  I was done. For two years, I admit, I only gave them half my attention, half my ear, half my heart.

So I’ve missed a bit.

And everyone I tell that to excuses me and reassures me that it was natural and haven’t I done well?  As I would tell anyone else in the same situation without any judgement.

But I won’t be missing any more bits.  I won’t miss one bit of the spark or intensity or humour or sadness or determination that makes my kidlets the incredible little people that they are. Beautiful little people.

This summer, I have fallen in love with those little people all over again.  They are fantastic! Did you know that?  I knew it, but didn’t always feel it.  So fantastic in fact, that I can’t wait until they get home from school so we can jump in the paddling pool together.  I can show them the plants I put in the garden today while they half-listen, half-play and they can tell me about school and their new classes and new friends. 

And I will listen.  With my whole heart.

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