Photo: Circus skills class
As this pregnancy draws closer to the end, I’ve found myself thinking about how different John’s early childhood’s been from what Ian and I had wanted – particularly what I’ve done and how I’ve engaged with John as a mother.
We all have grand plans of the childhood we hope to give our kids. Play dates, sports activities, educational outings, visits to library readings, heading to the playground all sit in on the plan – whatever falls within our means financially and time availability. And often our wishes don’t fit our means.
In hindsight, widowhood has also had an impact. In some ways, it’s given me the means to provide John with these activities than I possibly would have had. I put some of Ian’s estate aside to pay for activities, and by studying part time rather than working, have had the time to give him.
But simply getting out of the house. Socialising with other parents.
That’s been much tougher.
And it doesn’t help I wasn’t the most social creature before Ian died, let alone after.Read more
I’m naturally a person who likes to have a few things on the go at once. Hence I’m currently combining solo parenting and John’s various activities, studying and a pregnancy, plus involvement at the leadership level of a community organisation.
I’d not say I’m making a success of being busy (2 finals this week and I am WAAAAY under-prepared), but I like idea of having things that need to be done and places to be. It stops me from feeling unproductive and lazy.
You’d have thought the crash-and-burn of trying to maintain a similar load in the first 9 months after Ian died would have taught me a lesson in moderation.
I'm into year four...Sunday marked the third anniversary of Ian's passing.
And like all other anniversaries so far this year, it wasn’t too bad. There was some sadness which I didn't have with the other significant dates, but it wasn’t overwhelming, and was shared with friends of ours from church. I had no anxiety which I’ve had with this and other anniversaries in past years, such as surgery, illness hitting, wedding and so forth.
John and I kept to our usual Sunday routine of a slower morning, I try and run a load of laundry, we head to church, and then laze around on Sunday afternoon reading, watching movies or playing video games together.
At church, the general discussion on the anniversary revolved around that strange thing that happens with time. Three years – feels so long ago, but also like only yesterday.Read more
I figured I'd keep with the currency theme for my post title...
There are two things I've noticed in widowhood - how time becomes quite elastic and how quickly you can find yourself in another stage, another headspace without even realising it.
A while ago I wrote about avoiding going back to work. I've tried to find the post, but in my pre-coffee haze and with that elastic time thing going on, I can't find it. Must be older than I think it is, although I swear it's only a few weeks....
One thing I've struggled with is how to manage John's understanding of Ian dying. Of having a daddy, but having no memory of him.
We're a family of faith, actively involved in our church community so that gave me a bit of framework to use. We talk about daddy going to heaven, as opposed to other explanations. When ever I've been talking to John about Ian dying, I have kept that explanation consistent.
Recently John's been showing an interest in our wedding album. John was 4 months old when Ian and I married, so he's in the photos. And he has taken to saying that is when Daddy went to heaven.
I've got photos of John with Ian after the wedding up around the house; photos where John's obviously older than in the wedding photos.
I'm in that lovely crunch time in semester where I have assignments and other assessments coming out of my butt and I seriously question the sanity of going back to school. Ok, I'm always questioning the sanity of that choice!
Which has had me thinking in the last day or so as I worked on cost accounting exercises - would I be doing this if Ian hadn't died?
Initially I thought no.
This week has sucked.
Restriction in mobility.
Kid who's acting up.
Change over to summer time so sleep is out of whack.
Pain meds making my brain addled, so I've not been able to study effectively for an exam I have in about 24 hours. Economics is just plain not computing.
Frustration I can't stand long enough to be able to get the house cleaned properly (though glad I spent money on a robo-vac).
I'm sitting here incapacitated, writing my post while implementing the RICE acronym for injuries.
On Saturday while working in the garden as John played under a sprinkler, I tripped over something I knew was in the lawn. Because I've not yet got to mowing, the stand for my sun shade has been hidden by the long grass. Whilst trying to avoid the spray from the sprinkler, I leaped and landed awkwardly on the hidden umbrella stand, resulting in a very badly sprained ankle. My initial fear was a broken foot or ankle because of the lovely sequence of crunches I heard/felt while going down. My first thought was "SH*T - this isn't good".
I asked John to bring one of the phones to me, but he struggled to find one. I was eventually able to crawl into the house and call my step-mother for help. John meanwhile was back under the sprinkler because he's 3 and loves the water.
Right from a young age, Ian encouraged co-sleeping with John. Ian always wanted him close. It was a habit I personally wasn't keen on, but let it slide. Once they were both asleep (like in this photo), I'd take Ian's glasses off, and move John to his crib.
Since it was the easiest way to calm John, I maintained that habit once Ian got sick and John and I spent the first few weeks of his illness camped out at my parents place.
And it continued once we came home. If I'm exhausted and John's not going to sleep, if he's in with me he drops off more quickly than left on his own.
But in the last few nights, he's moved himself to falling asleep in his own bed, without necessarily needing me cuddling him like his dad did, and staying there for most of the night.Read more
Spring has sprung here, and it's glorious getting outside, enjoying the sunshine and melting off the cobwebs. Particularly since all my anniversaries fall over the middle of winter and I coop myself up more than ever over the grey season.
After I joined the ranks, some of my before interests didn't satisfy me, didn't provide the enjoyment they had before. Interests just got left alone. However I'm finding each passing season I'm more and more able to tap back into what gives me joy, brings me peace and feeds my soul.
I've always enjoyed gardening, getting my hands in the soil and connecting to the earth. It's one of those things that feed my soul. But it is an interest that got left alone, leaving parts of my front and back gardens to get over run with weeds and become unkempt. There's been the occasional spurt of activity, but not the level there was before.Read more