I am up quite early, for once not worrying about the tasks ahead or pounding out my anxiety over social media. Yes, I was awoken by Monkey-chops having an especially loud nightmare that involved her kicking and hitting me when she woke up and I did try to explain to her that, darling, you are in your bed here and I am next to you and whatever was just happening was just you imagining whilst you were asleep and so whatever I was doing whilst you were asleep, well it wasn’t me, it was you, imagining. She hit me again and told me to shut up.
Despite that, I am awake and contended. It’s novel.
The Monkey has not been well for, well, ages and we seem to be achieving some breakthroughs with that which is rejuvenating. Her illnesses are just regular childhood illnesses, not the problems of overcoming actual physical problems that impede function and development as my friends have direct experience of having to balance into their lives with the birth of their delicious second child, born with sight problems. I should have some real problems, I know. But we all have to deal with the hand we are dealt and I know I don’t always make as light work of that as would be beneficial for me. A few short days ago, it felt like everything ahead was to be overcome but this morning, I sit here in the middle of a still home, contemplating all of the wonderful things to have come from these challenges and all of the things I am grateful for.
Even though Emilia has been really sick this week, being with her when I was able has been wonderful. We’ve read lots of her new Oliver Jeffers books and much-loved old ones too, but the most delightful experience was the first day she appeared to have made substantial recovery.
She fell hook, line and sinker for Neil Gaiman’s first toddler book about a panda with a sneezing problem: Chu’s Day. It’s quite a slight book and I think un-Gaiman like but it will be a long time before I forget the joy of seeing her bouncing all over the bed pretending to sneeze and cause chaos, not twenty four hours after we thought we were heading for a hospital stay. She loved its silliness and the panda with goggles.
My mother-in-law came to help us out so that husband could work and I could get to my course and be on track to finish my practitioner certification: just a few days beforehand I’d envisioned that that was all going to have to be postponed for a year because MF was jsut so poorly. But my husband’s mum, who we rarely ask for support, was magnificent with Em and despite the capital’s transport meltdown, arrived and with many of husband’s childhood books about her which I found really moving and touching. They read together which of course I didn’t witness and when I came home I noticed that I had in fact also had two of the five books she bought with her. How strange that a book-cover can appear so very familiar and transport you down those thirty-five years to see that book cover held in your own childish hands. It was a little moment of magic.
I don’t know what lies ahead for the following week: dramatic storms are forecast for both sides of the Atlantic and I don’t know what that means for my plans to travel to the US East coast. I am content to not go and stay here and deal with the things that need attending to here: God knows I could stay home for a month and be gainfully occupied. And I am content to head to the States and rest and read the books I have been jealously gathering about me.
I have Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, which although I’m only thirty pages into, I already love; and I have text books and Learning and Development subject-matter books. So much learning therein that I am stuck which to devote my energy to first and to pack.
Whatever magic happens, what’s ahead is exciting and it’s so refreshing to feel this way.