21 June 2016

Mel

I am not going to lie.

This has been a hellish month.      And an incredible month.

That is my life. Parallel paths of heaven and hell.

The trials have been navigating all three of the kids birthdays as well as Fathers Day this month.
It has taken much of me to be okay and celebrate and hold space for my kids. But it is done.

Today I did two things just for me.

#  I signed up with a personal trainer. I need to get physically strong again. I hate looking in the mirror and seeing this gaunt, old person staring back at me. I want to be able to eat, pick up muscle and feel like my old self again. Boobs would be a bonus too.

# I have enrolled with Duke University to do a writing diploma through Coursera. This is purely for me. I have thought about going back to work and it may happen but for right now I just want to try and take care of myself in a way that brings me joy, gives me courage and delights my soul. I cannot contribute, in any capacity, until I find myself full again. Simple as that really.

I am also facing new and exciting challenges as Kev and I start the journey of blending our families. In 9 days time, we will be living under one roof. Starting a completely new chapter in our lives.


Partners and parents to six incredible little humans beings. Insane.

I will have to cook for 8 people.  This scares the shit out of me. Life has a wicked sense of humour.

I regularly sit back, in awe of my own story, how such horror and beauty have come upon me in the last 9 months. The simple act of reconciling so many paradoxical feelings is a continuous mind-fuck. The epic part of this relationship is that I have someone who can completely relate to every weird thought that rolls around my overactive brain!

This is our road. Kevin and I are committed to each other and this new life.
We face real challenges but I know me. And I know him.
We have a fire and passion for life. (and each other)
We will make this next chapter incredible.

Separately we are tough as nails but together we are even better.

Together we are unstoppable.





20 June 2016

Levi

Today was difficult. Really difficult. I struggled to make the day what it needed to be but he was gracious. He texted me now, at 9pm, to thank me for a wonderful birthday.

The boy is being kind. It sucked. But somehow the necessary boxes were ticked and he is okay.


Levi misses his dad like crazy. LIKE CRAZY.


I see it daily, I see it in little things that no-one else will notice.  I see it in his eyes every afternoon when he arrives home. I am not enough and it is revolting.

That being said, Levi is relentless in his pursuit of happiness and fulfilment. He knows that all Russ wanted for him was everything he could dream and imagine. He understands that pain and sorrow will find him regularly but that it is up to him to find healthy ways to purge and move forward.

He does this with music, sport and new friendships. He does this by taking a walk in the estate or finding a new song to learn or by practising tackle drills. Sometimes he quietly just sits in his room and cries. Brutal but necessary.

He has taken responsibility for his own counselling. He emailed the school counsellor  and asked to make an appointment. I only found out about this after the fact - I am incredibly proud of him - he navigates and sets up his own appointments,


 as and when he feels them necessary.

Though the waters are still rough I am completely at peace about his journey. He is remarkable.

I just wish it were for different reasons.

15 June 2016

Waiting For Summer


Pain of my past has harvested my heart
It has tilled the soil of my soul
Prepared me to love you
The depth of this new love, a gift;
Redemption I do not deserve

In my darkest moments, I shook my fist
Wrestled and rioted in anger

But in the end, it was not the end after all
Instead, a continued great story 
Of life, love, loss and redemption

For in the winter of change
the chill can freeze your bones
and the memory of summer
a fairytale with little meaning

but summer, she always comes
despite winters' harshest arrows

so sit by the fire
and feel the aching burn

wait for summer and when she arrives
let her melt your sorrow;
may it become one with your joy

a beautiful collage of a future uncertain
but perfectly predestined.

-SMB-

Rachel




Rachel has always been an exceptional character.  She has  wisdom and insight beyond her years despite being madly teenager-ish. She has remained steadfast and grounded throughout the last 9 months. Unwaiveringly sure that her dad is simply elsewhere right now, living large and waiting for us to join him. She is content and starry-eyed about her future.

I have seen her biggest adjustment and loss lies in the fact that our once very tightly-knit family is now very loosely bound. Not in the ways you may imagine but simply in that my capacity is far from stellar. I still need VAST quanitities of time alone. We may all be in the same house but I am almost always in my bedroom or study. If not, I am in the kitchen or helping with logisitics.

We don't have family game nights or movie nights. We seldom do things, just the four of us. And therein lies her pain. She is a huge tradition girl and family girl. She is also a 'mommy's girl' - few would know that but she has a very strong attachment to me and she needs me to see and listen to her.

I try. I really do. I try to tick as many of these boxes that I can but ultimately I am still pretty useless. I am getting better though.

She is doing exceptionally well academically. She has started her IGCSE's (2 months ago) and wrote some mock English exams and excelled. This has really lit a fire in her and she is ready to go at her studies hard and fast. Russell always wanted her to take AS levels to finish her schooling and I think we may still be able to achieve this.

She also completed her first piano exam. She has been playing adhoc since a little girl and is very talented but for some reason we never thought to put her through the grade exams. This year she decided she wants to do just that. We await her results but are optimistic of flying colours.

She has finally asked to sing again. She stopped almost immediately when Russ became ill. I havent heard her since then and this truly broke my heart. A few weeks back she came to ask me if I could please arrange vocal lessons again.

Our (my) biggest decision with Rach is whether to send her back to fulltime schooling next year - she has been accepted to a great local high school (which offers an IEB matric) or whether to let her continue part time where she is and complete her Cambridge AS levels there instead. We are both betwixt and between and each week sees us waivering back and forth.

Am trusting for clarity as the year progresses.

At this juncture I am happy that Rach is in a good, stable place but we are both aware that her control/anger issues can flare up at times. Normal. It is okay, however we have agreed that should it become worse as we face future changes she will seek help in managing these feelings.

14 June 2016

Faith

I have decided to feedback on each kid individually.

Helps me to focus my scattered brain and makes reading it less tedious.

Bullet points are going to be my best friend in the next few posts.


  1. Faith has persevered bravely with treatment for Osgood Schlatters that threatened to keep her from dancing for 3 years. In fact, she is back at tap and is hoping to start modern again next term. Pretty damn miraculous. I have to thank our incredible physio, who like me, refused to lie down and allow this to debilitate Faith for years to come. 
  2. Faith has almost completed her therapy and I will be meeting with her therapist soon for feedback. From my conversations with her I see real healing even though the pain persists but she is not afraid to feel and deal. 
  3. Faith is working with a tutor twice a week - more to free me up from the responsibility of marking and keeping track. She works independently on the other days of the week doing the work assigned by her tutor. She is feeling confident and challenged in her education.
  4. Faith has changed dramatically - mostly I see this as a good thing but at times my heart is broken. My naive, sensitive child has been brutally broken and in her restoration she has put up fierce walls, she has a cynism that is uncharacteristic and a profound sadness that shadows even her happiest days. I  know all of this will settle and change a hundred times in her lifetime but right now, as her mom, it hurts me deeply.

Conversation today:

Me : Instead of cards for Fathers Day we can each make a scrapbook page for dads' album okay?
 I will print out photos for each of you.

Faith: Why can't I choose the photo I want to use?

Me: I don't want you to have to go through hundreds of photos to find one - when I do that I kind of stuffs me up for days. The memories, you know?

Faith : Oh for goodness sake Mom, we aren't babies. 
We are all old enough and tough enough to deal with this now. 


Maybe I should be proud of her. 

But I am just sad.

Suffice to say, Faith is attempting to move on and find her stride.