5:22am – I wish I could explain the sound, but unless you have a cat, and have been woken in the night to the sound of everything they have eaten for the last week being extricated from their stomach, you just wouldn’t understand my wake-up call. It was rough.
I waited a few minutes while listening to the harmonious sound of Poppy (our cat) laying booby-traps on the landing outside our bedroom doors, before deciding I could roll over and get another hours sleep. That thought lasted about 30 seconds before I heard the same gut-wrenching-melodies right next to our bed, on our brand new carpet. I made the least graceful dive ever attempted, let’s call it a botched-up front-tuck, from the bed, landing next to Poppy on what I hoped was not the present she had just left for us. I scared her sufficiently enough to have her flee from the bedroom and continue her exploits on the stairs. I was now suitably awake enough to drag myself from the warm comfort of bed, carefully and slowly navigate my way between landmines outside the room to find a small light, and begin cleaning up.
Shaun slept through the entire performance! This is strange, because he sleeps through very little. He protests loudly when I so much as roll-over too many times. (Ok, I do suffer from restless legs and have been known to roll-over a lot on some nights.) I decided if he was still asleep, I should snuggle back in and try for another few precious moments of slumber.
6:00am – the real alarm goes off. The real alarm is a sun. A fake sun mind you. It brightens gradually over half an hour and at 6:30am the birds begin chirping to tell us we really need to get up now. This clock was an autumn gift to myself, as our sun started its journey south and our days started getting shorter. I absolutely love it! (Real sunrise was at 7.55am, and worsening. Sad face.)
Today is not just any day, it is Shaun’s and my 15th Wedding Anniversary. Hooray to us! We were hoping to sneak in a special little something to celebrate the day, but with Shaun’s back-to-back meetings all day, we hadn’t quite figured out how that was going to happen.
Instead of talking through plans last night, Shaun was at Lincoln’s soccer all evening, and I was elbow deep in fabric and pins trying to piece together their Halloween costumes that they need tomorrow! We’re not talking easy cut out patterns here either, the kids have got me inventing soul-taker-death-people costumes and giant wings big enough for an adult size fairy! In South Africa I used to dig deep to harness any creative tendencies I possess and fumble them into elaborate birthday cakes, now I dig deep for some creativity to throw into their new favourite day – Halloween. Lola would dress up for school every day if she was given half a chance. Any excuse to get into character. And these days the characters aren’t pull-on princess dresses complete with a tiara. We now have hair coiffing, full make-up artistry and elaborate outfits. Was I just not into dress-up, or did my mother not let me humour in it? I’ll have to ask her. For Lola however, it’s real.
yesterday, no scrap that, for the last three days, I have been buried under embankments of fabric and tulle. So this morning when I woke up, I had no plan. That is never the best way for me to start a day. After 15 years of marriage Shaun knows this well, so he took the reins and decided we should stroll up to the bakery and pick up some goodies for a quick breakfast before his meetings start. So we woke the children, told them to “get to it”, and we left them to ready themselves while we took a slightly less than romantic walk in the pouring rain, under a broken umbrella while debating which child broke it. We did at least enjoy each other’s company. Thankfully this has remained true after 15 years of marriage. If there is one piece of advice I can give to people embarking on a life together, it’s keep the laughter alive. It will get you through many tough situations.
So a little soggy but with a bag of yummy bakery treats in hand, we arrived home to 2 children who were not ready for school. The normal morning arguments commenced, followed by the normal morning debates. Then pleas of lifts. Then acquiescing – on our part – and only because there were musical instruments involved. So our romantic breakfast was whisked away on the raincoat-tails of late children and garbage day. Oh I forgot that part – we realised it was recycling day. So Shaun got his coffee delivered to his desk as his first meeting commenced, and I drank mine while I transcribed the events of our less-than-idyllic anniversary morning for you.
And then I get the notification of photo-day at school. After Lincoln ran out the house in one of his less than thought-through outfits covered by a filthy tracksuit top that he grabbed from next to the front door as he raced out. We won’t mention the state of his hair. We’ll just leave it at – casual, bed-look. Sigh.
Today is about finding the beauty in the ordinary. The everyday. Rejoicing in the unexciting, humdrum, run-of-the-mill, life. Everyday is a blessing. 15 years of marriage in – I’d say even more so. It’s all in how you look at it. Right?