Saturday, 5 October 2013

Gotta hold on to what you've got

{Ten Things of Thankful}

In the paper yesterday, I read an incredibly heartbreaking story about the tragic death of an eleven-month old baby boy. I don't want to go into the details but I have not been able to get it out of my head since. While I still had the paper in front of me, I heard my baby girl wake up in the next room. She had only been asleep for about fifteen minutes or so. Usually when this happens part of me would be pleading with her to go back to sleep so I could just have a few more minutes to eat something and get dressed. But the story I had just read made me realise just how damn lucky I am to have my baby, and instead of hoping and praying she'd go back to sleep, I went and picked her up and snuggled up as close to her as I could in my bed.


I felt like the universe was telling me to hold on tight to what I have. Yes, I am hugely sleep-deprived and that often results in doing things I don't remember doing and forgetting to do things I was supposed to do, but what is all that in the scheme of things? I still have my little angel in my arms but some other mother on the other side of town will never be able to hold her baby ever again. So instead of grumbling when she wakes up early from a nap or when she wakes up crying in the middle of the night, this story has made me think at least if she's crying that means she's alive. 

Before I read this article I had been thinking that this week my Ten Things of Thankful list would be difficult to write. It's just been one of those weeks. But now I'm reminded of the title of a Dr Suess book that sits on our bookshelf called Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? You know the one? And with that in mind, the list suddenly seems so much easier to write.

So here we go:

1. I'm thankful for my two fabulous sisters. All three of us have very different personalities, interests and opinions and we are also spaced quite far apart in age, but I am lucky enough to have a great relationship with both of them and I have had so many hundreds of hours of great conversation with them; I have no idea what I would do without that.

2. I'm thankful that both my sisters have had lots of children so that my son has cousins to play with. There's something really special about the relationship between cousins and he absolutely adores them all.

                                                            (an oldie but a goodie)

3. I'm thankful for my old friends. Today I'm thinking about how grateful I am to my old friends who don't have families of their own yet. I appreciate so much how, despite their busy careers and social lives, they still take the time to come and visit me or invite me out. I appreciate that they are genuinely interested in my children and that even though the city is choc-full of exciting things to do, they still so happy to just sit and have a cup of tea with me and chat.

4. I'm thankful for my new friends too. Our little family has lived in this town for less than two years. It can be hard to 'break into' a new place, but the friends we've both made through work and school and the people who live on our street have helped make that so much easier for us. They say no man is an island and these people have helped make sure our family has not become a little island lost out at sea.

5. I am enormously thankful to all the Scout leaders out there. Ben went on a three night Cub Scout camp that ended on Monday, with 700 other cubs. Dozens of leaders and assistants volunteered their free time to make this an unforgettable experience for the boys and girls. I'm so grateful that there are people like that in our community with such generous hearts.

6. I'm thankful that my partner has finally been able to fix his car. After painstakingly searching for exactly the right car on Gumtree for months, he eventually settled on one and was over-the-moon excited about it. Then the good old gearbox carked it the first time we went out for a drive. That was nine months ago. But a week ago his good friend came out from Italy on a working visa and ever since the two of them have been pottering away under the car together. After seven days of solid work, they fixed it up and IT IS WORKING! I waited for that car to get fixed for as long as I waited for my babies to hatch ... so this feels pretty exciting :)

7. I'm thankful for Skype. Our family is pretty scattered at the moment. My baby girl and I are 300 km north of home, visiting my parents. My son has popped over to the other side of Australia to go to his dad's wedding, 4000 km away, and my partner's family are all the way over in Italy. I'm pretty sure his mamma thinks Skype is the greatest invention of the modern world. It is the thread that keeps us all feeling close when we're miles apart.

8. I'm thankful I live in a modern era full of labour-saving devices. I'd like to give a special shout-out to the inventors of the washing machine and disposable nappies  - without you I would definitely never have time to blog. I probably wouldn't even have time to scratch myself.

9. I'm thankful for chamomile tea. Yes, I know this is a bit of a strange one for the list, but it has its rightful place here for two reasons: I have been drinking it regularly over the last week and have noticed that I have been sleeping better and grumbling less (hopefully that actually has to do with the tea and not the fact that my Other Half is 300 km away!). The other reason is that Annalisa started to come down with conjunctivitis and my partner told me to brew a cup of chamomile, let it cool then dab it on her eyes with cotton wool. It started to improve immediately and has now all cleared up.

                                                                         image source

10. Finally, I'm thankful to all the lovely bloggers who link up for Lizzi's Ten Things of Thankful blog hop each weekend. The first time I linked up, I felt like I'd walked into a party where I knew no-one and everyone came over and gave me a huge hug - that's how warmly welcomed I felt. I second time was just as wonderful. You guys are awesome!

Ten Things of Thankful