25 August. Travelling along the roads en route to Blackbutt I was once again taken aback by how beautiful and varied from gentle to lush to beautifully arid the Australian landscape is. B and I were commenting on how Australia was never on our radar. Not ever. And here we are on a saturday afternoon hurtling along some road miles from nowhere with one of our daughters ensconced with friends she would never have known in the middle of god knows where growing and being. Today I am grateful for the unexpected gifts and paths life gives us. And for the courage to take them.
I have been getting many we care about you but we are starting to wonder because you are obsessing a bit and maybe a little odd writing to your daughter every single day looks from my friends. Seriously, every day? Well, I am grateful today to be able to say nah nah nah nah nah. I am so grateful I have written most days (Jem and B did on the days I didn’t) because Kate feels loved. Feels acknowledged. Maybe I should write twice a day?
A friend said she’s missing me. Me ranting and oversharing she meant. I realised I have been sharing less. Even though the writing thing has actually become quite therapeutic. Whether a moment of gratitude or a moment to ponder, writing about it seems to calm me. I realised my therapy is ongoing, I just have a new therapist. Kate. She gets a letter a day, because by now we all know I am a tad obsessive. I can’t bear the thought that she might be the only 15yr old not to get a letter on letter day. By now we also all know I am a tad controlling. (Not sure how she feels about probably being the only 15yr old to get a letter from her mother every single letter day. Oh well.) Anyway she was the one who heard all about the lady from the shop downstairs who is being boycotted by me because when Jem very sweetly and very bravely went to ask her for a 40hr famine donation she said she supports many charities but that is not one of them. So no. I so wish Jem could have said what B came up with at dinner as a response. My mom buys lots of stuff from many shops, but yours is no longer one of them. Bitch. Especially because we do buy lots from her all the time. And she knows Jem. Very well. And she was mean. And Jem was brave. And I feel guilty because Jem doesn’t have a ‘normal’ neighbourhood to canvas because B and I love apartment living. Anyway I did feel better after sharing this with Kate. And it did give me pause and decide to lift the boycott. I’m sure she’s relieved.
Our local supermarket now has a small South African section. I am grateful for this reminder of when I was little. These caramel creams were my favourite. The funny thing is when I was still in South Africa I hadn’t had them for years, despite them being available. Yet discovering them here, so far away, I ate the entire pack. It seems I’m allowed to here. Because it reminds me of there. And then.
I drew the short straw today. Or so I thought. I got to take Jem and her friends to a water polo match at 6pm 40mins away from home. To see those determined little faces in their funny little water polo caps, to watch them soldier against much bigger girls, to see them fight hard and score goals, to feel their pride, to hear my own whoops of joy and encouragement, to feel my not very well hidden competitive spirit. I had such a fun time. I’m grateful for short straws that are actually long straws.