I am grateful for friends who are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.
I am grateful for happy children. My friends and family know how I agonised over the decision as to which school to send my ‘precious’ girls to. We ended up where we ended a little by default. Our first choice couldn’t take both girls. Probably my first lesson in letting go. I am grateful I had no say ultimately because the gentle environment they’ve found themselves in has allowed them to grow in immeasurable ways, ways beyond just academic achievement. Yet they’ve managed that too. But mostly I’m grateful for how I’ve grown, how I’ve learnt to let go a little, to let them be. And not to be too precious about them. You’ll be alright mate has finally got me too.
We put an offer in on a house and it was signed today. Damn if B is in Sydney again, so we can’t celebrate together. Well not today anyway. So today I am grateful for my friend who celebrated with me. Who knew what I needed. Who held my hand a lot through this process. Who knows what it means to me. To us. A defining day for the Cawoods. Cheers to us.
26 October. I was screaming along the Bruce Highway, well as much as you can scream at a little over 110km/h, to get back to Noosa from Brisbane because the school had called. Kate was in sick bay. (Mom, where are you when I need you?) Anyway, as I was screaming along I passed a stationary little red car on the side of the highway. Sitting next to the car on a camping chair was an old man. Holding an umbrella to awkwardly shield himself from the 30+ midday sun. On the side of the highway. Odd. I couldn’t stop, and reassured myself he must be fine. Or someone would stop. Then I imagined he was stuck without a mobile with no energy to stand and everyone whizzing by thought someone else would stop. Bugger. I had to stop. Kate was waiting. My phone battery was almost dead. Where to stop. Fuck what to do. Then I passed a sign with this number on for reporting any traffic issues on the Bruce Highway. I needed to tell someone. Within seconds I was through to an operator. A minute later and the compassionate man had promised someone would be sent out to check. I hung up with a smile on my face. And thought to myself, today I am very grateful I am in oh so very efficient Australia. My friends in South Africa know exactly what I mean.
I have come so far and yet sometimes not at all. I realised this as Jem and I were chatting on the way home from school. We might have bought a house and Jem who has the biggest ears in the world and has heard us discussing finances, wanted to know how much we had offered. I used the opportunity to mention that it was not really necessary for her to know, or to discuss with anyone. And furthermore (you can hear the annoying mom tone can’t you and we wonder why they switch off) at her age there is no need to ask or discuss issues like how much her dad earns, how much I used to earn, how much rent we pay …. Yip, didn’t get past her. She smiled at me, you couldn’t resist mom could you. Shit, I am so bloody transparent. And damn, it does still bother me that they might not see me as the financial contributor I used to be. Damn that it still bothers me. They could care less. But I have got a lot better. I have. When filling in forms I refused to write housewife, or home executive or whatever. My stuff. So I used to write n/a. As in not applicable. Now I write mom. How far have I come.
I am grateful for my nieces who know me so well. And for my perfect gift. I still chuckle over a family conversation my sister shared with me when both the girls were little. The details are a bit murky but in essence my brother-in-law out of frustration one day when they weren’t listening to him, said seriously girls, who’s the boss. And the littlest one, in all seriousness said, Lianne is! Okay so I’ve always had control issues, but I’m working on them. And my intentions are always pure. They are. So today I am so grateful for my wonderful family and how tolerant they are of me. And the wonderful sense of humour we all share.
There is something about women and how we share. I am grateful to be surrounded by women who choose to celebrate life. In all its weird and wonderful and challenging ways. And for friends who genuinely open their hearts and their homes. ( And their champagne bottles). Even (or especially) on a school night.
I am grateful for my new tote. Just as it reminded my friend of our special times, of our special group, it does me too. And just as she so often thinks about us all, I do too. I am grateful for those days, for those exquisitely precious moments, for lives shared, for the kindness, the irreverence, the laughter, the tears, the wisdom, the wine fuelled madness. I am so very grateful for forever friends.