It's the last week of the holidays and we don't want to believe it do we; the end of all those lovely long rambling days with or without a plan, heading towards timetables, uniforms, squeezing down time in where possible.
I am trying to create a working life that has space around the edges. Last year I found myself running from one student to another, from class to home to school, to shopping, to rehearsals, to pickups and home again with tired children, late dinners and late bedtime. Batty.
Time to be still and think about what to eat, having a wholesome meal on the table for a hungry, busy man and kids, getting some dishes done, welcoming the children home with a snack, knitting in bed with a warm drink, a potter in the garden, an evening walk, a chapter of a good book, a glass of wine over backgammon in the garden, ball games on the trampoline, an hour with guinea pigs oinking on our laps, a visit with friends or family, a family walk on the beach or in the bush, a drawing/craft session around the kitchen table after school, a cup of tea with a girlfriend, a long cuddle on the couch (with a big or small person, or all three), a bit of considered blogging, piano playing that is for naught but pleasure; these are some of the thing that make our life feel a bit more elastic.
Still working on the ladies. I started them year ago for a Jewish friend who I lost contact with. Perhaps the painting of her dolls will call her. I love painting Maytroshka's. They are such little treasures.
Abuelo is kneading pizza dough. The children have gone to the Other Families. The house is quiet. Too quiet for me. I need a bit of their giggling, their footstep down the hall, even a some mess to negotiate. Our parent friends' eyes glaze over when they ask about our weekends without the children. Mine would. There are so many blended families out there now, all experiencing some kind of toing and froing, with varying degrees of success. Time alone is precious for everyone. But a couple of days would be enough. I still haven't gotten used to the week on week off swing. It even feels a little harder than when it started. I find we get into such a lovely rhythm by the end of our weeks and then blip! A 360 degree turn. How is it for the children really? Are they as happy as they report? Could this way of life possibly function on some positive level like the village? When all is well between carers there is much love and support. I suppose we will find out as they become more autonomous, and begin to reflect and ask more questions. It's not the family life I imagined for us but it's working. All we can do is keep on loving and taking one wee step at a time, keep our eyes and ears and heart open, and take a giant daily leap into the unknown!