Sunday, May 04, 2008

Taking a breath before plunging back in...

It's been a very busy fortnight.

My Mum's 60th birthday last weekend - the wee man and I went up with my grandparents and brothers for a couple of days. We enjoyed some time together, helped Mum prepare for her party at home on the Saturday night, and generously had an absolute ball on the! Talking, laughing, singing and poetry and dance; Mum had a dream of an old-fashioned soiree, with the entertainments provided by the guests, and many of us obliged. (The wee man and I performed that preschool classic "Hello, Neighbour", with the aid of his first amour *cheeky grin*) Mum prepared a photo slideshow of her life and loves (her own "This Is MY Life"), which brought much laughter and some tears (mine, when my father appeared on the screen - unexpected and brief, but surprisingly raw). The wee man refused to go to bed until his little friend was gone, by which time we were all heading for bed, and he went to sleep with her name the last word on his lips.

Last Wednesday, Playgroups around the country celebrated World's Biggest Playgroup Day, the centrepiece of National Playgroup Week. Our local committee had decided in a moment of insanity to hold a public Family Fun Day, bringing together families with children under 5 and the local services and community groups who support them, and the last 6 months has been spent pulling these ideas and plans into reality. What a wonderful day it was, too! I ran around the park like a blue-arsed fly (to use a colourful Aussie colloquialism!), helping to co-ordinate the set-up and then MC'ing the day with the help of a wireless microphone. The weather was magnificent, and perhaps 500 people came (yet we hadn't done half the advertising we had planned to) and gave us excellent feedback, so we've deemed the day a great success. Probably the only child who didn't have a ball was the wee man, who was upset that I couldn't stay with him when he came with his preschool class, and spent most of the time crying and saying "It's not a Fun Day - I'm not having fun!". Oh! the Motherguilt! *wry grin*

Now, I have a moment of respite before I must throw myself into the fray again. Apart from the mountains of red tape we have to wade through to have the community preschool re-licensed (has to be done every 3 years), I am about to gear up for the election for Council. Later this month, there are a couple of seminars I must attend which will enlighten my ignorance about the legalities and processes of running for council, and I have begun attending Council meetings to gain an understanding of the processes, politics and people involved.

I am excited, somewhat exhilarated, slightly terrified, and cautiously optimistic. I am also worried about the little man in all this process, and I will carry his needs very high in my consciousness. He is showing some signs of insecurity and neediness (see above!) - not unusual in a 4 year old, but I sense there is a level of fearfulness related to the changes in our family life this year, and fallout from the hurt we all sustained and are still sifting through.

I had a call from his father first thing this morning (I'm talking 6.30am...very first thing!), exasperated that the wee man had awoken crying to come home to me and was still weepy and sullen and single-minded about it. I know that kids do tend to play off their parents to get their way (and this is not isolated to children from broken marriages), and I also know that the wee man's dad is under a great deal of emotional strain this weekend (his father, loved and loathed in equal measure, hangs onto life by a thin thread in a Wagga hospital, and I think he has decided not to go see him) which is no doubt seeping out to colour his mood and demeanour. I KNOW how uncomfortable he is to be with when like that, so can't say I blame the wee man, nor wish to force him to stay there, though I encouraged them both to try and see what the morning will bring and to be kind to each other.

The original plan of the shared care, that the wee man be with his father 3 nights and 2 days over the weekend, has never really happened, and the visits have dwindled to about 24 hours Saturday to Sunday. This saddens and frustrates me, both for selfish reasons (planning my own time and needs) and for the subtext (not necessarily true) I can see the wee man reading into it in capital letters: " father doesn't want to spend time with me."

With all the demands I will have on my time, and the increasing need to put myself "out there", I have a delicate dance to perform here. I'm giving serious thought to taking the wee man to see a counsellor, too, to give us both some strategies for coping.

I've found myself beginning again to read an excellent book I bought last year and never finished: Sarah Napthali's "Buddhism for Mothers". I'm not Buddhist, though many of my personal philosophies are Buddhist in nature, but I highly recommend this book to mothers everywhere, of any belief or faith - it provides real understanding, supportive strategies and calming insights, and I find myself immediately implementing some of its wisdom and feeling better for it, and seeing the little man respond well to those shifts, too.

Well, probably only a little time before the wee man returns (no doubt!). Time to pour myself a cup of green tea, and sit on the patio and gaze at the distant blue mountains...

1 comment:

baby~amore' said...

I can't offer much but you sound like you are thinking things through carefully and considering the Wee man at every turn. I wish you the evry best in your quest.

Every council needs honest and more community minded people like you on board.

I missed the Playgroup day - our playgroup runs on Tuesday and I forgot to check out otherlocal activities.Congratulations on a great day.

Thinking of you for your FIL's serious condition... does the Wee man know him well ?

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