My writing has been a little lost since we began our boarding adventure. Our current living situation plays a large part of that, most of my writing about boarding life is kept private to protect those under our care.
So that is one excuse. Another is illness - I seem to catch everything that goes around the school. Germs, germs, germs. Cannot totally escape them. The plus side? Peaches should have one hell of an immune system!
My third excuse is mourning.
My paternal Grandfather passed away. He knew it was coming and was more ready than we, his family. He would have good days and bad days battling from inside a hospital bed in Texas. For 56 Days I shifted between sporadic crying, optimism, and of just feeling numb. Days where my daughter grew up just a little. Kids are intuitive, knew she needed to put those pudgy arms around my neck, gently rub my shoulder and ask if I as “Okay mum? Okay?” I am not.
I am now Grandpa-less.
Peaches had yet to and now will never meet him. That bothers me.
What bothers me the most is that I spent so much time being angry with him. For what? I am not entirely sure. I can only guess that I thought he owed me something, because instead of sticking around our home state year-round, he decided to travel. How dare he, right? How dare he live his life to the fullest, instead of waiting around for his growing grandchildren to decide to visit every blue moon.
I can only think that this anger was due to my childhood ignorance, my selfishness but also because of the great memories of holidays spent at theirs. I felt they were denying me more memories.
Kids always want more.
The ones I have are full of love. He was a good dude. A genuinely GOOD DUDE. He was funny, kind, open minded, generous, silly, intelligent, creative and an artist. He was a lot of things to a lot of people. Including a brilliant partner of 67+ years to my Grandmother. My GPA loved and was loved fully in return.
I would like to share a quote from one of his favourite books, “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut.
“A flying saucer creature named Zog arrived on Earth to explain how wars could be prevented and how cancer could be cured. He brought the information from Margo, a planet where the natives conversed by means of farts and tap dancing. Zog landed at night in Connecticut. He had no sooner touched down than he saw a house on fire. He rushed into the house, farting and tap dancing, warning the people about the terrible danger they were in. The head of the house brained Zog with a golfclub.”
He would bring this part up frequently in our discussions on life, but he could never stop himself from giggling.
In a bittersweet realisation I have just had - it is about a failure of communication.
Peaches is entering nursery, or daycare if you will, very soon. Before officially starting nursery there are “settling in”, or taster, sessions. My partner took her to the first session - two hours long, he answered some developmental questions and watched her play (and almost completely ignored him). She took to it quickly and did not want to leave “school”.
I did not really know what all that or this meant. As everything is theoretical until put into practice first hand.
30 minutes ago I experienced it first hand. Woke her up from a nap telling her it was time for school, she squealed with delight and quickly got dressed. (What the what?! How is it suddenly not a fight to dress her?) We walked over, signed in, went into her designated classrooms and boom - off she went. I got an occasional glance, but not one with any kind of recognition. Suddenly I am Jo Nobody in her little world.
The nursery team let me know I could leave whenever I felt comfortable, and I could have left right then. But no. Instead I awkwardly stood around, looked at things on the wall, said hello to the children staring at me. If they could communicate better, I am pretty sure they would have said - “take a hint weirdo”.
No goodbye, I just slipped out of the room, signed out of the building and walked. Alone. Back into the school. (Stopping to give my husband a “WTF Time to Myself Boogie”.
Time to myself…. Especially unplanned time to myself.
What do I, how do I, should I….
I am lost.
And I guess that is what this, after two solid years of full time stay at home mum-dom, is going to be all about for me. She gets to socialise, grow, experience from outside my peripheal vision… and I get to.. relocate me. Check back in with that stranger who after a 32 year relationship took a backseat.
How do I even start? Sorry I ditched you, bae, you know I love you.
***Editor’s note : Children just love to prove you wrong, two days after I wrote this up Peaches broke out with impetigo.... so that was fun. Since she has recovered and returned to nursery she is having separation issues. Which is less fun than seeing her independently walk into the classroom of her peers.
It is difficult living in a school. No escape from work. None.
Even when trying to leave the grounds - - texts, conversations, thoughts all travel back to school. It is my second child -and third, fourth, fifth, sixth.
Those boys in our care.
Teenagers are a world in themselves, but I cannot help compare the simularities with our toddler. Both desperate for independence but need guiding. Both thrown fits when things do not go the way they think it should. Both demand and both eventually listen. Both need structure and a good example. Both have brains that are sponges and need a good night's rest to function at their best. Both are on the brink of a whole new stage in life.
One moving from baby to child, the other child to adult.
So this first half of term was absorbed by these children. Adjusting, learning, trying, aiding, teaching, listening, speaking, arranging and organising. Going above and beyond - it wiped us out.
The last week we were running on empty.
Cannot let that happen. So after a refreshing half term break - where we recharged the parenting batteries - we are back.
We are trying a new approach - one that still provides, offers, guides but mostly so that everyone knows we care about them. To do that - we need time to care for ourselves.
So here we are.
In the school.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.