Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Pom-Pom Theory

Does anyone remember that day that I had the pom-pom epiphany? 

It's funny you know, I think about it a lot.  That idea that I was ever silly enough to think that I could be these wonderful together loops of wool, when I am, in my natural state obviously a random, colourful, slightly unconventional all the while still being wonderful pom-pom.  That day 5 years ago was  something that was quietly life changing.  Not long afterwards I spoke to my shrink about it and after a few more sessions we both realised that the pom-pom didn't need her anymore.

Well today I had another epiphany.  I am still trying to be those loops of wool…..

See owning being a pom-pom was easy for me when times were smooth, but if life is tough I long, I fight, I turn myself inside out trying to be those glorious loops of wool.

FYI if you are lost and have no idea what the hell I'm talking about you might want to read the above link :)

It's been a challenging time for the last while. My relationship of 15 years broke down, suddenly I had to stand on my own two feet by myself for the first time in my life.  I made a new relationship and had to explore that, not just by myself but with my children.  I started working so much that I had to learn to find balance between work and parenting, needing the children more than the wage, but needing the wage so that I could parent in a place of safety.  I sold a house, and as we all know for me that was more than just selling a house.

Challenging …. on almost every important life level.

And so my natural reaction was to put my head down, my bum up, ride the wave, breathe, walk forward even when I wasn't sure where the road would lead, and pretty much any other analogy you can imagine.  Keep it together, be safe, be calm.

And as I did that, I forgot to be a pom-pom.  Because who want's the fluffy randomness of being a pom-pom when life feels fluffy and random.  Fuck it, I didn't just want I NEEDED to be those damn loops of wool.

And then …. I needed my shrink again.

The expectations and bars I had set for myself were to high, to unachievable, to limiting, to stringent, to measurable.  I forgot to forgive myself the things that I love about the pom-pom … about myself.

I can be messy, impractical, forgetful, stressed, sad, joyous, inappropriate, disorganised.  I can laugh too loud and long, I can cry from the depths of my soul for no reason at all.  I trip, bump, stub, and smack.  I dance and sing whenever wherever I feel it.  I yell and swear and overreact.  I parent from a place of joyous abandon and crazy make it up as I go, never asking if anyone else thought it was ok and if I make mistakes I apologise to them and myself and move on.

Forgetting that has meant more than just forgetting to be myself.  I have put the 'small things' to one side.  I have been terrible in keeping up old friendships, I have actively given myself barriers against any new friendships.  I stopped derby because that kind of dedication was beyond me.  I stopped writing, singing, drawing, reading.  Communication that required a thought out response took me days. Plucking my eyebrows became a luxury.  And if I'm really honest, sometimes I was too busy keeping it all together to remember to laugh with the boys.

Those who love me understood but also became further away.  Not because they wanted to but because sometimes you just can't keep being the only one trying to stay together.

I hope todays epiphany helps me rebalance.
I hope I remember just exactly what kind of mum I want to be.
I hope my friends are still open to me.
I hope that talking with my shrink takes out the 'I hope' and turns it into the 'I will'.
I hope I find my pom-pom again.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Big Brother Being

It's hot. For the some of us who revolt at the winter months, this weekend has been a god send.

Sure it's come with extra bugs in the house and needing to remember where the sunscreen is, searching for the clothes you wore last summer and thinking, what the hell was I thinking. But it's awesome. And for relief it also comes with trips to the pool.

This afternoon after school we packed the kids and a friend up and headed down to our favourite pool for our first early evening cool off for the year.

After a lovely dip I jumped out and lay down in the shade watching them play and jump and splash. I grabbed my book and started reading. As a side note oh my how lovely it is now that everyone can swim comfortably and I only need to look up every 5 minutes not every 5 seconds.

After I'd read a whole 5 pages I lifted my head to put my eyes on the boys. And straight away I saw Jack. He was bouncing around at the top end of the pool but seemed perplexed. Then I saw Hamish and the friend at the other end. 1..2..3 all accounted for.

But I didn't put my nose straight back into my book, I looked back at Jack wondering what he was doing.

And then I realized, he couldn't see his brother. He was bouncing to get a better look at the heads in the pool trying to see where he was. Finally he caught him in his sights, relaxed, and slowly paddled around by himself again. He didn't rush up to play with him. He just needed to know he was ok so he could go back to what he was doing.

It's another one of those 'raising siblings' things that as an only child my brain can't process. I felt in equal amounts, pride and concern.

Proud that he is the kind of brother that wants to care for his little brother. The kind of person that at 10 and being in the middle of something he is enjoying still thinks of others. And concern that that want to care is stopping him being able to be carefree.

It's normal, I know that, but understanding that sense of responsibility at such a young age is foreign to me and leaves me with so many questions.

Will this tendency help him in life, yeah probably, but I find myself wondering, will it also hold him back? Will he learn the balance between giving, but not so much he gives more than he should? Will he resent that he feels this way? Will he retaliate at some point as he breaks free from a pressure he may feel? Will he notice that his little brother doesn't have the same need to make sure he is ok? If he does will he resent that? Or is it just maybe a totally natural normal healthy and lovely part of being the older brother?

It takes a village they say, to raise a child. I didn't ever think that maybe part of my village would be him.
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