The Curly Ones

Dearest Joan,

F*#k being a mum is hard. Nothing ground breaking or earth shattering about that statement. Nothing that millions of mothers feel on a daily basis, probably dads too. The thing is Joan, it’s the small things that floor me. The emotional rollercoaster of growing, the friendship issues, the homework fights, the “you will brush your teeth” argument on a daily basis – I’m ok with or at least have accepted as part of being mum.

BUT

what I was not prepared for, was crying over deodorant. I was giving the big kid a cuddle before bed. Normally the kids have their wash before bed but that night, we had got home late and they just needed to get into bed. Anyway, back to cuddles and the smell of a stinky pit. Alright, alright the next sentence that came out of my mouth may not have been the most sensitive line but it did. “You have stinky pits.” Laden with tact? Nope. Not one bit.

Queue crying.

Shit me. Didn’t see it coming. “I’m only 8!” she laments. I tried back tracking, being gentle. Too late Eve. Too late. The damage of stinky pits is done.

I have already caused other longterm damage that will eventually be a funny anecdote when she is an adult. Imagine if you will standing in the middle of a quaint little village in England, waiting for our friends to arrive when BAM! “How are babies made?” I was scrambling for anything. I said sperm, egg, baby, grow – oh look there are our friends. What is with me? I’m a teacher. I should be a pro at this.

Oh Joan. I always thought Valentine’s Day was a safe one. What could a kid possibly say then? Well, the family was driving home after school having a discussion on how dad hasn’t bought mum anything. That sounds way worse then intended. Let me explain. The girls were asking if dad had bought me anything, I said no – we have no time and that it is ok because I know dad loves me – when the big kid let this one go ….”Mums and Dads have naked cuddles and kisses on Valentine’s Day.” Oh. My. Gosh.

Insert uncontrollable shoulder shuddering, while I look out the window and ignore what has just been said. Yep. Ignore. Not acknowledge. The husband didn’t even here. Two mins later, it was repeated. My eyes went big. The husband shot it down with a remark of how he doesn’t want to hear it again. End of. Yep. All class. Dealing with the big ones here with a whole lot of maturity.

Oh Joan. It makes me understand my mum that bit better. Any stuff ups she made were done out of pure panic. hahahahahaha and out of love.

Hopefully the kids will get that one day.

Anyway Joan,

Hope you are well.

Eve

Post Script

Today my kids were in a poetry recital. The big one was also one of the hosts. Though they throw curly ones, I could not have been a prouder mum.

40 days? What’s that?

Dearest Joan,

In my most terrible Adele singing voice, “Hello from the other side.” Buggered if I know if they are the lyrics but I have never been one to follow true to them anyway.

Reading your email made me cry. Thanks for the kind words, though please do not think that is what I am fishing for. I don’t think you would but i just need to make sure you know that.

My most favourite correspondence with you of late was your text about going to your old shopping centre and hoping that no one saw you. Geez did I laugh. It so made me wish I was there with you, so we could hope together that we wouldn’t be seen there. Mind you, if you stayed in DP or moved back to DP that would be ok, as long as it was because it made you happy.

Reading your recount of your latest adventure sounded quite sublime. Perhaps I may have even turned a little green – there I go breaking a commandment. I was jealous of your disconnectedness to people, yet the relationship you built with strangers. And yet, here we are in KL for that very same reason (well one of) – so that the expectation from others lessoned – so that we could beat to our own drum.

Insert music here that signifies a realisation of how dumb the protagonist actually is.

None of us really beat to our own drum. The beauty of humans is that we are all interconnected. My drum cannot beat without considering those around me, my family, friends, people i work with. All i can do is alter my drum beat to match the one i hear.

My beat doesn’t have to work too hard around you Joan. I think that is the blessing our time apart offered us. Acceptance. Complete and utterly. It just beats. With my family it is a little on the off beat, but dare I say, most Maltese women who break with tradition would say that. With my little family – my beat is whatever it needs to be. I can accept all of those, all within reason of course.

Work. The beat. My moral code guides this one. It is important. So knowing that my drum beat is so adversely different to others is making life a little tough right now. I can’t turn work off, put it in a box, leave it to office hours. Teaching is not that. That is why I need a reset every ten weeks. Trusting people, is for me, what makes me me. Why wouldn’t I trust someone? I place my trust in people first and foremost. This does lead to some emotional problems for me, for I take it so personally, when someone makes such terrible decisions and choices. Today I thought this, to err is to be human, to forgive divine. Oh Joan, I have to dig deep to be divine.

And cut to a new topic – that matches the previous one in a real round a bout kind of way. Persist. But if it was a film you would be irritated at the edit.

So, it turns out I am shit at keeping Lenten promises.

Firstly, I did the typical shallow – no choc. 2 days in a row I broke this. Not even consciously. What is with that? Hey JC, thanks for giving your life to open the pearly gates of heaven but 40 days of no choc is not possible. The funny thing is, this morning for brekkie we had pancakes. Kids smeared choc spread everywhere and I wouldn’t even lick my fingers.

Secondly, I remember someone saying to me that a Lenten promise should be about making a better version of you. I have always loved that. So, another promise I totally suck at is not saying horrible things about people. Yes, yes you read correctly. In saying that, it is linked to school and my struggles there. BUT, I have been surprised at how horrible I am. Glass houses and all. I would have a very airy glass house at the moment. Stepping back from it all though, I look at it as I realisation and a 40 day discussion with God about me and how to try and turn it all around. God, JC, Mary, the odd saint – we talk often. I pray every night. Makes me feel like I understand mum a little more too these days.

Next shitty edit.

Well I feel like a summary should occur for things that have happened but I won’t really be talking about:

  • Kris and I paid a fortune to attend the symphony but we didn’t get in.
  • We went to see a great version of Romeo and Juliet this week.
  • The youngest discovered that boys don’t have a the same body parts as a girl.
  • The oldest is asking me awkward questions about the birds and the bees.
  • Bring on Japan!
  • We finally bought plants.
  • Borsz is writing little things that are just lovely.

Anyway, Joan, I too cherish our time in the company of each other, albeit infrequent and short.

 

(me, rocking a monocle and a hat!)

 

Eve

 

The Prodigal Friend Returns – No Roast Pig Though.

Dearest Joan,

I was talking with friends yesterday, whilst watching the highly anticipated but certainly disappointing, Gilmore Girls about how I wish I had time to write. I know the limitations of my writing. My lack of exact use of grammar – my missing oxford commas would attest to that, the rambling nature – refer to previous blogs and perhaps just the self indulgence of it all – BUT i do miss it. I often want to write book reviews, movie reviews, people reviews, life reviews – instead of writing any review, writing nothing reviews seems to be my choice. Apathy? No. Just a reluctance to share this myriad of thoughts that has consumed me this year. God’s ear has certainly been bent this last 11 months.

Knowing where to begin is impossible, so I shall just trust in these fingers and where this ramble may take me.

So here I am, still in KL. I knew I would be. I always knew it would be two, probably three years. The family relocated 8 hours by plane so that we could work in a somewhat dysfunctional workplace. That isn’t really what I want to talk about – not yet.

We make decisions all the time, don’t we Joan. And every decision has consequence, good or bad but it has one. Sometimes we don’t know the outcome till many years later. This year I have wondered why am I here. Answering that for the Borsz and husband is so simple – he needed new, a fresh take. The Borsz was never settled at her last school. It wasn’t the right place. She thrives on all the activities she does here. The Babu and I on the other hand, were loved and settled – we didn’t need the change. I think our paths were set and they were good.

Here my path is rocky, treacherous, not traveled. I have to be brave in decisions I make – in whatever capacity it is. I was naive and not prepared for this eventuality. Well why would I, when life was just peachy back in Oz? This September I was in a dirty funk. Not the first of the year. Somehow the universe sensed my struggle and it sent me this:

Mrs. R!! I believe you taught me in grade 6 I would just like to say thank you 😂 I remember you being a really good teacher and making the last year of primary school one of the best ever, I am now 17 almost a official adult in 2013. I left the MP and me and my family moved to Hampton Park. It’s a suburb near Dandenong and it’s as ruff as you think hahah but I liked it. Last year my parents decided that they didn’t like it there and we moved again but this time to another place. I went to WI high school for 6 months until I realised school wasn’t for me. I finished year 10 and didn’t start another year. I am now doing a carpenter apprenticeship and I’m loving it. I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m 8 months in now and I love it so much. Through the years I’ve been doing boxing then I started training probably at a gym and I am now a ametuer boxer!! I love it aswell i just wanted to contact you to let you know you did a great job teaching us back in EB. We all loved you and was one of the best years 😂 thank you!

Where is the link? I just have to trust Joan, that I am here maybe not for me but for my family and for a kid just like the above one. Maybe there is a student like the one above, that just needed me this year.

Selfishly though, I wonder when I get to make choices just for me. When do I get to put me first? I imagine it is the eternal question that all parents ask. And maybe the answer is never. Maybe I relinquished that upon deciding to breed or when I decided to be responsible for children (even in a teaching capacity). Maybe that is ok. For when I wonder: What the fuck am I doing in KL? I think of this song:

Editors – Weight of the World

and these particular lyrics:

Every little piece in your life will add up to one
Every little piece in your life will mean something to someone
Every little piece in your life will add up to one
Every little piece of your life will mean something to someone

I trust in free will. I trust in fate. I trust in purpose.

Thanks Joan. Thanks for being patient.

Love Eve

Post Script

I have another friend that will read this, Ella. She is a good egg. You would like her. I just wanted her to know that I know she would read it too.

 

 

Life and faces

Wednesday 4th November 2015

Dear Joan,

Never mind starting with the formal salutations, lets just get straight into it. You gave me this idea to blog about the impending adventure to Malaysia but I figured it has started now. Preparing the girls, the house, my work, the husband, myself, is all a part of it. All the bits pertaining to my life here, right now, also a part of it.

You have written me endless letters and now, I am hoping to return it albeit in a potentially very public forum.

Actually, I have been blogging in my head to you for a few days now. I want to write about a movie I saw, how I am feeling about the move BUT today’s events just seem more pressing.

Today I went to the funeral of my neighbour. It has left me with so many feelings. Firstly though is the funeral face. Yep, the funeral face. That look people give each other that almost seems condescending. The face that people use that just seems so insincere. A funeral is the one place, along with that of births that we should just be allowed to embrace every damn feeling we want. No stoic behaviour, just plain raw emotion. Be angry, be sad, be devastated, be nothing BUT whatever you do, whatever you feel just embrace it. Be sincere.

Equally, I just want honesty at a funeral. Say it as it is and if you can’t then don’t do the eulogy.

From all of this, the husband and I have been talking about what we would want at ours. Cremated. Ashes spread in New York, London, Paris and The Alps in Switzerland. If the bloke doesn’t or can’t do the eulogy, you and another friend has been picked. Just thought I better give you the heads up.

My neighbour’s death has just made me angry. As a society we don’t take enough care of our elders. I feel not enough care was taken of him. What does this say about me though? I am leaving my aging parents. Am I just trusting in one of siblings or aunt and uncle to come to their rescue if needed? What decision would I make if something happened? I don’t know the answers Joan.

I just needed to ‘talk’ about this today. I think next time might be a little more light-hearted.

Love Eve