I am grateful for the dinner Kate cooked for Jem and I tonight. But not so much for the sulks and slammed doors that happened thereafter because Jem wasn’t hungry and Kate felt she should have been more appreciative. Nor for being disdainfully accused of having anger management problems after I raised my voice (a little) to try and restore calm in the house, as one does. Jeez Kate reminds me of me at that age. I remember thinking I was surrounded by idiots. I can see she thinks it too. Little shit. Yip, it all went down in the Cawood household tonight. I blame late nights and far too many hormones. Oh, but I am grateful for the spotless kitchen Kate left. My baby really is growing up.
Kate gave herself and me a big fright today. She had a fainting episode, or syncope, apparently. It was quite terrifying for her to experience. And me to witness. So today I am grateful for my daughter’s resilience in the face of a day of tests, for her growth, for our shared smiles as our eyes met in the various doctor’s rooms and for her pride at her ‘firsts’. I grateful for that little voice as I kissed her goodnight that stopped me at the door, saying, thank you mommy for driving me around today. Because whilst it was young and vulnerable, the choice of words weren’t. And the gratitude was sincere.
I ran away today. Day one and I ran away. From my kids. Kate is feeling ill and emotional and just generally needy and annoying and moody too. Jem wants to know what’s for breakfast after she turned down an offer to join B and I for brekkie downstairs. And she’s moody too. And they’re both bloody messy. And just there. Shit and its day one of school holidays. And I just didn’t feel like dealing with them today. I love my kids so much but I think I love them even more when they are at school. And if you are this far with me you know a lot about me and my family and the love we share and my gratitude for them and the characters that they are. But have I ever admitted that I never wanted them? Well, never wanted kids. My plan was not to get married, never to have kids and focus only on me and my career. My plan. Me. In Control. Then I fell in love. And we loved being the two of us. But then we decided at some point that something was lacking, not with us but just lacking and at 31 the kiddy thing started. I offered 6 weeks of myself. Then I was back at work. Well, that never happened either. I did go back, but later and as a very different person, with a very different view on the world. The thing about kids is suddenly you realise you are no longer in control. Not that I ever was, but I loved the illusion of it. So, this morning, I left. Because I could. Just for a moment. And I do love my kids. And I am grateful for them. More than anything in the world. But then, you knew that.