Monday, 31 December 2012

And so I face the final curtain

Here I sit, half an hour until midnight, and as much as I'd love to say something profound and meaningful right now - to pass on some thoughtful insight on what I've learnt from this past year, or what I want to leave behind or take forward with me into the new year - my mind is a blank.

Wait... Wait...

A trickle of thought. Not quite the reflective kind. As much as I'd like to see in the New Year in a state of Zen-like calm, I'm currently worrying about the Teen who is celebrating New Years at the party of a friend of a friends. (I'll be picking her and her boyfriend up at 1am - they'd better there!!)

She's going to turn 18 in 2013. Eighteen!

Realising your very first baby is no longer a baby, and is walking the steps of an adult (but still with the tumultuous emotions of a teenage girl) brings a whole new meaning to parental anxiety. I'd quite like to wrap her up in tissue and pop her in the freezer until I'm old enough to deal with having an adult teen. Another five years should do it.

If I could have any kind of New Years wish, it would be that this year is a better one for her. She has all that teenage angst going on.. The bleak inner voice the tells her she's too fat, too ugly, too unpopular.. Fueled by the startling ability to make self-destructive decisions, and fanned by the fellow teen girls who cheer her on in her self-hate. The kind that are her best friend one moment, then spilling her deepest secrets to the world and telling her to go kill herself in the next. I hope above all hopes that 2013 will be the year that she sheds the fake friends and gains some inner peace and emotional stability.

New Years Resolutions? Haven't made those since I was a kid. I remember sitting up all night writing up a list of ways in which I would improve myself over the next 12 months, even at an age where there was very little I could do to control life's circumstances. Resolutions were never kept then, nor are they ever now. The only tradition I hold true to is a New Years Day swim. At the beach preferably, and even if it means just dipping my toes in the water (Let's be honest - I can't really swim.) Cleanse away the old year, start the new one with a clean slate. In theory.

I'm feeling bad for the fact that the Lad is sitting across the room channel surfing, and though we're in the same room, we're almost alone. Normally, it's perfectly comfortable for us to share the same room while doing our separate things. But tonight is not a night to be ignoring your loved ones while perched in front of a computer. I should have thought of profound realisations earlier, rather than try to scrape together anything now.

Quick - resolutions. Let's pretend I'm going to make one and actually remember it for more than a day.

1. Put Infinite Monkey Design on hiatus. It's stolen far too much time from the kids.
2. Remember to live, rather than simply exist.

3. And maybe, if it's not too much to ask... Maybe learn when to turn off the computer.

HNY..... :)

Burn! Burn my pretties!!

Note: This post was from the Draft pile - I'm clearing out the backlog. Don't hate on my bad MS Paint doodlings. Happy Christmas and Merry New Year ya'll!

THE LILY BUG: I wish I was the sun so I could shine brightly.
ME: Aww you're so cute!
THE LILY BUG: Then I'd turn myself up really high... So everyone can burn. *cackles manically*

She said that. I kid you not. My sweet lovely loving (most of the time ;)) little Bug uttered those words.

In her defence, I think she had just mucked up her phrasing a little. It was a cold morning on the way to kindy, and I'm sure she was only thinking about how she'd like to bring toasty warmth into the lives of those who, like us, have a thinly insulated home and a car heating system that kicks in five minutes after you reach your destination.

And I'm sure the way she tittered gleefully at the end of that statement was due purely to the amusement of watching my jaw swing open and hit the floor of the car. I admit, I too would find that comical. In a Loony Toons kind of way.

The Lily Bug is going to make a fantastic Global President of the Entire Planet some day. I think the evidence speaks for itself.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Tornados and Storm Chasers

This afternoon while the Lily Bug danced in a thunderstorm, a tornado ripped through our neighbouring suburb of Hobsonville. It's odd, but as I drove home from kindy shortly before lunch, I reached a part of the road where I had a clear view towards the North Shore and saw a strange cone-shaped cloud that looked like it was spiralling out from the cloud above. I paused at the intersection longer than necessary just to watch it and see if it were a freak cloud or something more malign.

I couldn't truly tell, and so deciding the distant peals of the thunder storm (which was approaching from the opposite direction) had simply made me paranoid, I went on my way.  There were a few things I needed to do before heading home, but the cloud had unsettled me. The more I drove, the more my anxiety increased. I had wanted to make a detour to the fruit and vege shops along Hobsonville Rd because the Lily Bug was pleading a strong case for plums from the back seat, but anxiety caused me to return home instead.

Once inside, I told the Teen about the freak looking cloud (and she, zoned on Facebook, nodded vaguely in response), then paced the room waiting for the thunderstorm to hit. When big fat raindrops finally kicked in, they did so with ferocity.  The Lily Bug tore outside into the rain so she could run in it. In force of habit, I grabbed the camera and snapped a few shots of her playing in the rain while repeating "too wet to go out, to cold to play ball, so we sat in the house and did nothing at all" in my head with a smile, anxiety momentarily swept aside by my daughter's childhood joy at the forces of Nature. The Lily Bug's storm dance was short-lived and soon she was in a warm shower. Not long after, I heard sirens, and assumed the heavy rain had caused a car accident on Hobsonville Rd.

Later, one of the Teen's friends told her via Facebook that a tornado had struck and killed three people. The phone began ringing as friends and family checked to make sure it hadn't cleaved a path to our house. Thank goodness no, this house almost comes undone if I turn the suction up too far on our vacuum cleaner.

Only a km or two away, three lives were taken and homes were up-heaved, their inhabitants left homeless.  Warnings of further tornados coupled with ongoing emergency services sirens left me on edge and unwilling to let the kids outside despite the rain having cleared. I relaxed only when the birds and cicadas took up their songs again. Geeze, the tornado didn't even come close. Always a little prone towards dramatics, I am.

I don't know if that cloud I had seen was in fact the tornado forming, or a quirky-shaped coincidence. But I do believe in signs, and in gut feelings. And I'm glad I followed my churning stomach by not driving to the fruit and vege shops. Overly dramatic or no, it would have been so easy for me to drive a little further on to Hobsonville Point for a good pre-storm run around on the playground. It would have been so easy to have been caught up in the wind-whipped terror, had I taken that path today.

Ignore the overgrown lawn. Please. Our lawnmower broke three weeks ago, and the Lad is going to fix it... Somewhere between now and Christmas.
Guy Smiley did a lap around the house, but didn't like rain in his eyes.