Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Double Digits



Now that you're ten there's a whole new world that is yours and yours alone. For the first time, I think, there are moments when we don't know exactly where you are, and the freedom works wonders for us all. You ride your bike to school and come home by yourself, remembering to call me on the way sometimes, but mostly not. And we grow, both you and I.

Now that you're ten there are calls from teachers who think you talk too much and work too little, and we talk again and again about school and respect and attitude and hard work. And when you fall asleep and all the frustration and anger and disappointment that you've suffered in the day washes away, then we look at you and stroke the sweaty hair from your forehead and say to each other the understatement of a lifetime: Yeah, he's alright.

God, we're so proud of you.

Now that you're ten you still like us to read to you at night and sometimes we get frustrated and tell you to do it yourself, that we need to focus on the little ones, that you're big enough and go to bed already. And sometimes there are tears and we are all so tired, so tired.

Now that you're ten you're a big brother in a way that I thought was only for movies and Hallmark cards. And you know it too, how your love for this tiny new person in our life is more than you ever knew. How you held her for the first time and almost couldn't breathe, couldn't move, how you bowed your head over her tiny face, silent. After all my worries about rocking your boat forever.

God, I'm so proud of you.

Now that you're ten friends matter, but you still go your own way a lot, thinking your own thoughts. You still want to be a marine biologist when you grow up, though just someone who plays the computer all day would be great too. Mom, is that a job? Yes, my love, it is.

Now that you're ten you still don't like vegetables.

Now that you're ten you can read and write and have had your first cavity. You like to be hugged, as long as noone from school is looking, and if I'm really really good you'll rub my shoulders for five minutes. You like to be outdoors once you're there, you like to explore and pretend to be all kinds of things. You have a club with some girls in your class where you pretend to be wolves and write a magazine about how to best catch raindeer and other good hunting advice (for wolves). Your favourite book is Wolf Brothers by Michelle Paver. Your favourite gift this morning was a Wii (that was in fact your only gift), you have been begging for it for months (years?). You have asked for fried chicken and chocolate for dinner and your dad is preparing it right now. Now that you're ten you are even more you, even more... more.

Now that you're ten, I look at you and sometimes catch a glimpse of myself somewhere around the mouth or over your forehead, something, somewhere. And the person you are and the people you came from and the one you'll be one day are all there together, like a really lovely cocktail party going on and on and on. And I look at your dad and I look at myself and I think MAN, we did good.

God, we're so proud of you.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hello Friday



It's getting close over here. Days are no longer filled with to-do's and must-have's, but rather with a little bit of this and a little bit of that and of me sitting down, breathing heavily and not accomplishing much. It's as it should be, I think. I'm tired, but better than I have been. I'm huge, and getting bigger by the minute. And there's something wrong with my right hand, so I can't really type. But all is well. And that is something.

Today we're making gingerbread after school. And I've pulled out a few of our favourite Christmas books. There will be leftovers for dinner and a fire and some sitting together, and quite possibly some crying (B) and teasing (W) and losing one's temper (me) – since we are all handling this imminent change in our lifes a little differently at the moment – but we'll be here. And J will come home from work, and no matter the state he finds his loved ones in, the house will smell like Christmas. And that's good enough. So here's to gingerbread and Friday nights and being together. Yes, that is something.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

35 Weeks And Three Days Not That I'm Counting

The children have the week off. It's Fall Break (Autumn Leave?) and they've been spending a couple of days down in Midsomer with my parents. Feeding the sheep, building robots, making pizza, playing with axes, that sort of thing. I'm so grateful to have parents who are brilliant grandparents. Yay Mom! Yay Dad! You are welt klasse, top notch, la crème de la crème.

Up here things are moving slowly, but moving. We have a new car (new to us, that is, not New) and I'm trying my best learning how to park it without causing too much damage. W's birthday's coming up so there are two celebrations planned for this weekend. Saturday night his friends are coming over for burgers and ice cream (per request) and Sunday it's the family gathering. Looking forward to both and getting ready by staying in bed. I've learned my lesson from last week.

The baby is moving around like a crazy squirrel, but seem to have decided to stay on it's head from now on. I still find apple juice, ginger ale and oranges to be the Best Thing Ever, and have this positively medieval urge to bake things. Still haven't acted on this (very strong) impulse, but I find myself daydreaming about it. God, I'm such a cave woman at the moment. I've gained at least 20 kg, that's what, 40 lbs? No, 44 lbs. So yes, that is the reason I'm only giving you belly shots at the moment. My face, as my darling girl put it the other day, looks funny. Then she fondly stroke my bottom and with a happy smile exclaimed "Oh, this is also SO much bigger!"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Totally Unrelated Photo But At Least I'm Posting

Yesterday I met a dear friend for lunch. And coffee. And there might have been a pre-lunch coffee with another dear friend as well, since I was already in town, with lipstick, wearing clothes and all. These things are not supposed to happen. I'm not on sick leave to do pleasant things and enjoy myself, I know I know I know. And so I was punished thoroughly afterwards and through the night and all of today and probably will be tomorrow as well. So, yes, I got the message. Am not well, should not pretend to be. But oh, how sweet it was to not be in bed! To fake normalcy! If only for a couple of hours. And oh, how I've been paying the price for my audacity. But yes, lesson learned. Will not happen again. Bedridden it is. Bedridden with an extra sideorder of guilt and not a lipstick in sight. Oh joy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SE03E05

I've learned my lesson the hard way (yes, I did once give away that Omar of The Wire got shot, before it was public knowledge, and man were you angry with me), so will not share any clues this time in either words or photos. Can I just say that the episode above is killing me right now? You who have seen it will know why. You who haven't, download away.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Monday

I listened to a podcast the other day, where a man who had lost two of his three sons talked about the blessings of boring, ordinary days. How one of his friends had said "If I knew I only had twelve more months with my child, I'd stop working and spend every waking moment at her side." And this man in the podcast explained how he and his wife had felt differently, how the normal and the mundane helped them through the darkest hours, days and years. How going to work, making lunch, taking the bus, tucking the boys in at night, helped them and gave them a little rest in between the pain, the frustration and the paralyzing grief. The blessings of ordinary days.

And sometimes when we end up in the kitchen, all of us doing our different things but sitting there together, doing them side by side, sometimes when I look beyond the piles of laundry and the homework and the early mornings and the painful nights when there's no chocolate left, not even in the secret stash, then sometimes I catch a glimpse of it and it's the strongest and prettiest thing I've seen. The blessings of our ordinary days. You say boring? I say bring it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Extraordinary Ordinary






Thanks to a midwife and doctor who have seen me pregnant before, a supportive family and the Swedish healthcare system (I LOVE YOU ALL), I'm now on sick leave. I stopped working a couple of weeks ago and fill my days with a mix of pain, nesting, nausea and happiness. It never ceases to amaze me that I live in a place where I can do this without putting my family at risk. We're not going to end up on the street just because I can't work. I know our system isn't perfect, what system is, but the way Sweden takes care of its mothers-to-be gives me hope. We might be doing a whole lot of things wrong, but this, this we're doing just right.

So our days pass a little differently than usual, but then again, they have been for the last seven months or so. 2012 will be definitely be named The Year Of Pregnancy in our book. Just as 2003 was. And the bigger part of 2006. It's just how I work (or rather, my body). I still find it nothing short of amazing that there are women, most women actually, who go about being pregnant like it's no biggie. Happy, many of them, and bigger around the waist. But apart from that... business as usual. Amazing. No throwing up? At all? No hospital, no IV lines, no nothing? Yes, amazing. But I digress, I was going to tell you about our days. The extraordinary ordinariness of our days.

Oh, but I can't! Sorry. Turns out it's time to pick B up from pre-school. Yes, well, ok, sorry about that. Will be back.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sleep Update

Thanks for asking. I slept like a baby last night. (A tired baby, not the crying kind.) Your support was overwhelming. Many thanks for kind texts, e-mails and Instagram cheers. It's so very good to have company.

True Colours

I love this season. I love how undemanding it is. How I'm allowed to stay indoors and not be sociable unless I want to. How I can dress in clothes that are warm and actually comfortable. I know, I sound like an hermit dressed in blankets. But really, there's something so forgiving about fall. We lower our expectations and relax a little. No need for everything to be perfect, as in summer or at Christmas. No need for filling the days with big and important things. We're just muddling through. Lighting a fire at night, falling asleep too early, drinking our tea, doing what needs to be done, but not that much more. And it is oh, so good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Realize There Are People Out There Who Do This A Lot

I didn't sleep last night. It's like my body and brain are battling each other for existence and neither of them is very happy with the other. I lie there, wide awake, like a stranded whale, wheezing and huffing and puffing. I try to roll over to the other side and it's almost impossible. And then my brain wakes up and starts being annoying. Really annoying. Here are a couple of things I pondered between 2 and 3 a.m.

My son's homework
Head lice
Our plastic Christmas tree (did J threw it out?)
The fact that I'm not reading anything I like at the moment
Cereal
Child birth (all kinds)
Mushrooms
Head lice again

At 3.20 a.m. I went downstairs, had some cereal and Instagrammed a couple of hours away. I was bored to the point of tears. Insomnia. Such a totally useless state of mind. I realize I'm spoiled with sleep. It's usually one of my super powers. I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime, anyhow. So this is... weird. Weird and temporay. And my heart goes out to the many who battle this on a daily (nightly) basis. God, you must be so tired.