Miscellaneous Mum - Trying to find the objective correlative, everyday
Let’s start with jonquils.
I bought them on Saturday, after escaping from the house to do the grocery shopping – a chore I loathe, but hey I got to go alone. Forty-five minutes away from sickness (Adam is crook now), trying to ignore the sore, heavy feeling in my arms, that insatiable hunger that comes as your body begins fighting off an infection of its own. For a five dollar price, jonquils were a sound investment in a little cheer; and as their full-nosed pungency wafted throughout the house, stronger than any artificial room freshener I’ve ever encountered, I thought, “This smells like home”.
The spring of northern NSW home, with its fat rays of sunshine. I saw on Facebook it was going to be twenty-nine degrees there today; here, it’s half that number. Homesickness – or wistfulness – can either be sudden or insidious, coaxing out your inner younger-self, who remembers soft afternoons and kind light. Flashing forward to now, where Adam and I roll our eyes at the homework tasks the kids are set but feel the pressure of expectation to get them done. We let them accumulate, as if we’re testing the limits of our rebellion.
Then I read to Riley a sentence he needs to write: “What book did you read this week?”
And we look at each other.
“I haven’t read one, have I?” he said.
“You’ve read comics,” I said.
Then I felt the burn of embarrassment. Not for the comics, but for the question well, what other reading have we been doing? Only during the week I was talking to a woman who declared she read to all of her kids until they had reached the age of twelve. Nodding, smiling, my feelings sank. I can’t remember the last time I’ve read to the kids at bedtime. Oh, wait. Yes I can. It was The Adventures of the Wishing Chair and both kids got bored, so we gave it up. Shame on me, eh? Or shame on me nothing, they’re both independent readers. I oscillate between the two states of mind.
While I’m proud of a lot of what I’ve been able impart and teach the kids (so far) in their lives, there’s almost as much I feel like I’ve lacked accomplishing. And when we’re all sick, in such confinement, I get to wondering about this even more. Perhaps it’s a good time for this kind of emotional audit – and perhaps it’s the worst: when we’re tetchy, combative and want next to nothing to do with each other for periods. I need a little time and space. Both which I have, as I’m here at home. I’m going to try and sort out what it is that’s bothering me, this post being the start.
I could blame all this on the jonquils. But I won’t.
And ‘blaming’ never really solves anything.
Karen Andrews is the creator of Miscellaneous Mum. This is one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country and is a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Is an exercise junkie (when she finds the time).
Please, please take note:
1. Not reading to a child who is independently reading does not meet the criteria for maternal negligence. Child Protection are not interested.
2. Illness is the WORST time to do a emotional audit, or indeed any kind of family audit.
3. Cold weather, illness, all of it, will pass.
4. Jonquils are beautiful.
Dear Louise, Thank you for that xx
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