On Sunday I celebrated having gone on a walk every day last week with a second glass of wine at dinner time. There’s still plenty of autumn colour around our parts, despite its being the depths of winter. And it can be quite warm if you can find the right spot, which is one reason we lingered longer than usual outside the church after Mass talking with our friends. It was beautiful there.
By the time we got home it wasn’t long before my husband was making egg and bacon rolls for lunch. I did some cleaning, changed the water in our fish tank, and checked on my little pot garden. I never stopped doing stuff and somehow the day ended without my having done a few important things, like call my mum or finalise play dates for my kids. Before bed, it being Sunday I wanted to read something holy. I chose the Precautions of St John of the Cross, which is sort of a very short summary for beginner religious in the spiritual life. I’m not a nun, but I can tailor his advice to my own circumstances, no worries. Following it properly is another matter. I don’t know if my edifying choice of evening’s entertainment is the reason I went on to have a really nice dream about it snowing, or if the quilt had come off me and I was cold while I slept.
Anyway, while out walking in the afternoon I remembered that I’d begun a list of things I’d learnt due to having children. I think it could be a very long list, but here are the first 14 things off the top of my head:
- How to repair balloon animals that have got themselves untwisted out of shape.
- The fun of finding notes that the children have written to each other, or overhearing their conversations.
- The multi-sensory experience of cleaning out scraps of a rice and chicken meal from a thermos that was left in a school bag for the first week of the summer holidays.
- The different, but also highly sensory experience of meconium – a baby’s first voiding of his or her bowel in those first days after birth.
- The pleasure of introducing one’s childhood favourite books, movie characters etc. to one’s kids, when the kids love them too.
- How to remove ticks that have embedded themselves into someone’s flesh.
- What great grandparents my parents would be.
- What intense sleep deprivation is like.
- How to do everything, except for a couple of things such as driving, with one hand while holding a baby in the other.
- How to deal with head lice.
- Charlie and Lola, Dora the Explorer and her cousin Diego, Pikachau etc. etc.
- The joy of mastering and playing the cup song*, especially with other people who can play it too.
- The fact that foot and mouth disease is different to hand, foot, and mouth disease.
- How satisfying it is to complete a cycle (or more) of laundry in one day ie. sorted, washed, dried, folded, AND put away.
* Here’s a tutorial from the net of one version of the cup song, not exactly done the same way as my daughter taught me, but close enough. It’s really fun!