“‘Writing and technology have gone through many revolutions or changes in the 6,000 years since humans have been writing.” Are we worrying too much about the future of handwriting?
It’s so important to embrace gratitude and give ourselves time to acknowledge it, to really feel it. Today’s impromtu post is a list of little things I’m grateful for today.
I woke up feeling happy and well-rested. Miss 10 Months held on to wakefulness until 2am the previous night. Last night she was down by 9pm and slept ALL NIGHT. I slept all night. I’ll say that again for added emphasis, I SLEPT ALL NIGHT. Sometimes when your baby’s been restless it’s hard to switch off when they do seem to be in deep sleep. I listen for them, I half expect them to wake up. I’m grateful because I did not do this. I shut down my laptop at a sensible time and finished the night reading a chapter of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens. I slept soundly, woke up responding to my body’s own natural rhythms and lay in bed a while appreciating how darn happy I was feeling. I heard the kids collecting millipedes outside, enjoying the new rain. The baby was still fast asleep. I got up because I wanted to, not because I had to. Ah, bliss.
It’s raining. It’s always a big deal when wet stuff falls from the sky in South Australia. At work we used to stop and watch it fall against the windows and down onto the city streets. This morning it’s raining softly and steadily. The rainfall varies between heavy mist, or soft, light sleet, to the always loved steady rain. I’m going to have to take wet washing off the line and spin it out again, then hang it around the house to try to dry it, but I don’t care. I grew up in the country and the rain and its various ways of falling, not to mention the frequency of the falls, were topics of much conversation. Rain is good for the soul as well as the land. I feel contented and connected to the earth when it rains. I feel more at peace with myself in the rain. More of my creative thoughts push themselves to the front of my mind when its raining. I’m grateful for the rain, and hope it’s also falling where it’s needed for our farmers.
It’s school holidays. Yes, you read right, I said ‘it’s school holidays’. I love the break in routine the holidays bring. I love having my kids play happily around the house (MOST of the time it’s happy play, ha-ha). Mr. 7 is tired by the end of term, he needs the break and values his time to do the things he wants to do around the house; writing his little books, playing with Lego, paper planes. Miss 5 started school this year, and although she has coped tremendously, she was tired and looking forward to holidays too. They deserve their break. As I type this the elder two are playing doctors to a bunch of the millipedes they’ve found which have been injured in the rain. Don’t ask me how. I’m grateful to smile as Mr. 7 says things like, “I don’t think surgery will be necessary on this one”, or sadly, “There’s nothing we can do for this one.” Miss 5 is dutifully checking for arthropods who are victims of drowning. Oh dear, now Mr. 7 wants to do an autopsy so they can “…learn more about the body.” Um, ok….
4. Red Grapes
Finally, Miss 10 Months loves eating grapes. Sure, it’s a little thing to be grateful for. The Flame grapes lately have been firm and sweet, and after giving them a wash and slicing them in half for her, she’s happy to sit in her high chair eating grape after grape after grape. Sometimes I wonder how many grapes she will take before she turns into one! Her grape-loving ways have enabled me to sit down and write this little gratitude list now while it’s fresh in my mind, and the feelings of gratitude and happiness is still wrapped around me like a warm, fluffy cardigan.
What are you grateful for? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear it 😉. #blurbology #goodcontentgoodwriting #gratitude
How My Miscarriage Helped Me Love the Little Things Even More
“[T]iddlers in a jamjar…Buttermilk and whippets…Rock-a-bye-baby…Washing on the line…When she smiles, is there dimples?…What’s the smell of parsley?”
— Dylan Thomas, 1953, Under Milk Wood
I read Under Milk Wood when I was in high school, and it’s been on my bookshelf ever since. One of the many, many things I loved about Thomas’ quirky radio play was the celebration of the minutiae, the mundane and day-to-day. When Captain Cat dreams of his “dead dears”, it’s the little things the dead ask the living of.
This is true of my own life so far, my memories. The smell of sweet peas. The sound of the rain on the roof. My children’s eyes on Christmas morning. The way my mother’s face can change in the blink of an eye, from happy and light to careworn, sad, and lonely. The hot, firm, slippery feel of your newborn child. As I get older I collect more little things that make me smile, or that twist my heart – or both. Little things like knowing when your child hurts you can always kiss it better; until one day you can’t. The touch of a partner’s hand as you walk along together, before that hand is wrestled away by one of the children – that little gesture a moment in time in itself. Just feeling the sunshine on your face in the morning. But big things have happened in my life too.
Having a baby is a big thing
I’ve been lucky to have three beautiful children. They make me smile every day; they’ve taught me what unconditional love really means. Motherhood can strip you down, lift you up and empower you, only to bring you to your knees pleading desperately to a non-verbal (and non-compliant) infant ‘Please, please sleep’ – all on the same day. Being a mother has taken me apart and put me back together stronger, wiser, and better than I was. Having babies is a big thing.
Losing a wanted baby is a big thing
A wanted baby takes on life as an idea before it becomes ‘viable’, before it becomes real. There is an instant love connection, a sense of excitement as you see your future. The physicality of losing a baby is hard enough, but the idea of the baby you wanted is what you grieve for. Explaining to my loving , observant four-year old who knew I was pregnant that the new baby wasn’t coming – that was one of the biggest little things I’ve done.
I’ll never forget his question: But where has the baby gone, mummy? My stilted and inadequate answer: She’s just gone.
I felt so many things in the weeks that followed. I felt that god hated me (I don’t believe in god, but there it was). I was angry that this had happened to me. I felt I was owed a baby, I deserved that baby – hadn’t I proved myself to be a good mum with the first two?? I felt a great wrong had been done to me by god, the universe, whatever. I wanted to get pregnant again as soon as possible to ‘make it right’, using those exact words to my husband. At the same time, when well-meaning friends and family told me that I would feel better when we started ‘trying’ again, I felt enraged. I haven’t finished losing this one yet, I thought but didn’t say. I felt grateful; for select friends and family, for my living children – how lucky I knew I was to have them with me, happy, healthy, and in my arms. I felt alone.
I felt distant from my husband. He was grieving too, while being ‘the strong one’ for me. I remember saying to him, This is happening to me. I didn’t have a D & C and the bleeding lasted for nearly 2 months. There will always be a tiny break in my heart for her. Just a little one: for she was just a little thing. An early miscarriage at 9 weeks. Of course I’m guessing at the sex, it hadn’t got that far. A tube-like, foetal pole. Aren’t medical terms great?
In medical terms, she wasn’t much at all. But I was a mother grieving for someone I was dying to hold, and never would.
Heaven knows what it’s like to lose a child you’re nursed and nurtured – this was enough for me. I exorcised my grief by journaling. I put a yoke around my anger by lifting heavy weights to help me heal. We decided not to have another baby. That was 2014.
On June 16 2017, our third baby came to us. She was big and beautiful, and has brought us all so much joy. Now it’s 2018, and she’s close to walking. Soon she’ll be like her brother and sister, walking ahead of me on the way to school and towards her own future. My heart fills and twists at this little thought.
Birth is common, miscarriage is common. In the larger scheme of things, they are little things, not big things unless they affect us. Wars rage on, regimes and superpowers rise and fall. Big things happen, and as I hear about the plight of people in Syria and similar places, I’m thankful big things aren’t happening to me. Through it all, the things that unite us all as humans are little the little things. “Tiddlers in a jam jar…washing on the line…rock-a-bye-baby…”; the things that make us vulnerable, the things that make us stop and draw breath; the things that make us smile. These things make us human.
And in case you’re wondering “When she smiles, is there dimples?” Yes. Yes there are – and they’re gorgeous little things.
It can be hard to find the words to write about grief and loss. I’m a highly empathetic blogger and working copywriter. If you find yourself choking on your own words but want to share your experience with others, check my Work With Me page and shoot me an email on my Contact page.
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