We arrived home from….home…..um, a couple of days ago? I can’t remember. I’ve been to caught up in the memories of when we were home.
I’ve neglected my blog whilst nourishing my soul with all things family.
I don’t even know where to begin there is just so much to tell you my dear blog; think I’ll let the thoughts and words and lessons I’ve learned while away tumble out and what the heck I’ll plaster some pictures here and there too (well I was going to, except that its taken me 3 days so far to go through them and still I am not done. So here is the non-illustrated version. I’ll post thousands of pictures tonight.) by golly there are many of both I’m sure.
Waking up on an air bed, looking up at a high rafted ceiling with views of the trees and gloomy skies just outside my window with sounds of the beach rolling in…*sigh* I wish I was back there now. But then again it wouldn’t have mattered what I’d woken up to. Sleeping on a card board box, to the sound of growling dogs fighting over scraps of discarded food while peering at a graffiti covered brick wall probably would have offered the same contented feeling. Just because I was in the vicinity of my family.
I was in my sister’s house, my girls giggling quietly. Sneaking out of their -well lily’s- room to poke Uncle Matt in his sleeping face, or to stand creepily over Glen and my sleeping self until we woke and they’d say ‘hi, good morning!’ in cute little whispers.
They were happy too.
We taught Lily about food swapping at meal time. Its where whoever can reach your plate takes what they want. The moment they do, it gives the takee permission to take food from the plate of the take-er. She caught on quickly. The kids learnt that adults can be ‘naughty’ too, there were a few food fights.
Way too many cheese platters and for some reason a lot of bacon consumed. Which is something we don’t normally have in our house. I taught Matto how to make a mango baked cheese cake, BLT’s, Glen taught him how to make microwave omellete type things and he was so happy with his newly aquired cooking skills. Nicole became the topic of many jokes and pranks and was laughed at quite a bit. With all the kids at one stage calling her ‘trotts’ or ‘tots’ in the smaller kids cases. We were in the back yard and Nic called out ‘come on let’s go’ and as she turned to run…Matt swore he heard her ‘let fluffly off the chain’…..Trotts. such an unpleasent nickname, but we cracked up anytime anyone mentioned it.
Sophie celebrated her 5th birthday on the 4th of January along with her Aunt Nicole who turned 25…weird hey? Weirder yet, Glen’s aunty Marie’s son turned 50 the very same day. 5, 25, 50??? I am convinced that it is lucky or some kind of sign. HAS to be. I think I’ll google that. Nic and Sophie shared a pancake smash for breaky, which then turned into a food fight when Matto felt left out. We unwrapped a couple of morning presents then we headed to the beach with Glen’s mum Gwenda and spent some time splashing and collecting hermit crabs to eat?…..(Bella asked if we could eat them for dinner, and I said only if she could collect enough for everyone, turns out there were more than I thought. awkward.) After a ‘random day present’ we all went to Aunty Marie’s house for dinner. Can I just say the acceptance and welcoming nature of my new extended family amazes me. Nicole, Lily and Matt came along to my ‘in-law’ family…(I don’t know what it is meant to be called) Nicole was showered with birthday gifts, and cakes for both Sophie and Nicole were made. We went home that night with conversations about what ‘real’ family was like.
Shocking to us really.
The first weekend Nicole and I went out and ended up at a beach bonfire, dancing and singing under the moon, 2nd weekend was new years eve and Matt, Nicole and I went out together…and again ended up at a massive beach bonfire. (Both of which I will proudly add, I started.) Now THAT was an awesome night and I will never forget it. First time I’d been out with my sister and brother. Matt was so proud of himself shouting his older sister drinks. Such a good young man. Matt and I had a bongo ‘off’ while Nicole sang un known words to weird songs. I laughed as Matt tackled Nicole into the sand and then sang my own weird drunken songs about smelling marijuana….and it wasn’t coming from the hippie type people but the stuck up Sydney siders whose main entertainment for the night was their iPhones. (Yes I still have an iPhone grudge.)
I will never have a better time than I did that night.
3rd weekend Nic and I joined my bestie and a bunch of other girls for a girls night out. I enjoyed the company but not the venues or the atmosphere. Kinda creepy how it seemed that only very young people in very little clothing were out and you could see in their ravenous eyes exactly what they were after.
You couldn’t make eye contact with the ‘boys’ as they’d begin nodding and smiling like idiots and you couldn’t make eye contact with the ‘girls’ as they’d give you murderous looks….yikes so much competition and no one seemed to be having fun.
We made our own and danced, eventually people joined in. We weren’t there for them, but for us. I wasn’t going to waste a minute worrying about what unknown people thought of me.
Think I’m sticking to the liberating moonlight beach bonfires from now on!
I haven’t been out so much since I was a teen!
We took the kids to the beach plenty, visited family for afternoon/morning tea, brunch, lunch and any other meal time you can think of. I waved to my Nan Johnson’s ‘place of ash spreading’ as we drove by the mouth of the river where the sun glows at specific times of the day. (Because of her I am sure.)
Soaked up all that family!
We even made the decision to see our dad. Nicole, Matt and I sat down and discussed the situation in-depth. We want him a part of our lives, and our kids to know the man who made us but not the draining, emotional games that go with it.
It was on our terms and it went well.
We all had a good time, Dad said he was just about in tears as he saw us all turn up. I guess it would have been emotional. We haven’t seen each other for so long. Last time I spoke to him was the day I found out Buddy was a boy. I thought he’d like to know he was going to have a grandson. But he never called me again. I thrust Buddy on him long enough to get a couple of pictures. I made sure I got LOTS of pictures. We’ve got none of him and none with him. We do now. We lunched together at a riverside restaurant then took a drive around ‘the farm.’ I grew up on ‘the farm’ I worked for my dad on the weekends on the farm, $20 a day. I would have done it for free though. I miss the place. It was awkward at times. We don’t know him, and he has no idea who we are, what we do or the people we’ve become. Maybe he got a small glimpse.
Glen commented that “I was in my element.’ That day and when I thought about it…yes I was. The farm is part of us all in varying amounts. I can just look at little things and remember times long gone like they were yesterday. Like a thistle reminds me of when Nic and I would sit on the tail gate of our car and drag our feet along the grass……Dad would drive over thistles on purpose so we’d get spiked. Or in the yards there was this one post which always had gaps and inside the gaps big green frogs would be sleeping. I wandered over to see if they would still be there. No frogs. I wonder when they left and where they went.
The crush where dad would castrate bull calves. I’d hang on for dear life of their tails from about the age of 7. I’d open my cramped hands after he was done to see purple marks and hair come loose from my strong little girl hands. The big fig tree which I always loved. You know how when you look at something when your little and it seems so massive, only to see it again when your grown to realise it wasn’t that big after all?….Well this doesn’t apply with this monster tree. It will continue to grow along with me. I have always wanted to climb its enormous low branches. But it’s growing in the neighbours paddock….Maybe one day I will with my kids.
It was a little sad to drive around the paddocks and not recognise any of the cattle. They were all strangers to me. They used to all be familiar family pets. As friendly as they were with dad they were not confident with strangers and I no longer am a regular to ‘the farm.’ As familiar as it was to me, the animals that live there now were clueless as to who we were. There was one animal that eventually warmed up to me. Gemma. She was mine, I think I’ve written about her before. She was the one who’d bunt me over until I went and fetched her some bread from the kitchen?? Well anyway, she’s still alive, and was pregnant with her final calf. After a little chatting I think she remembered me and let me pat her and give her a scratch. I’ll probably never see her again so it was nice.
Nicole took a picture of me that day, it is my favorite photo in the world. That says a lot because like most women I don’t like pictures of myself!
But I feel like it shows the peace and content I had that day.
Wild and free.
Which brings me to the tattoo Nicole, Matt and I all got. Yes matching tattoos how corny of us. We wanted them to show that we are committed to each other as brother and sisters. We are always there for each other. They both know I will be there for them day or night. We have all grown to realise that if ever we need someone, we are it.
Doesn’t matter what each says, does, or goes, we’ll always just be there.
Our tattoo says ‘wild and free’ with all our initials ‘cjy nsy mgy’ Wild is to represent the bush side of our childhood, the wild side of who we are. Our connection to the land and I guess our dad who has always been the bush lover. Wild also in the sense that we are who we are and will continue to be so. Free, represents the ocean, which is the other half of our childhood. We spent so much time together out way to far, past the breakers, chatting about what if and when we were big people. Our mum is a beach baby and like dad is a big part of who we are. Free also for us is our release from what people ‘expect’ of us.
We just are.
Wild and free.
In our heads, in our hearts and for that, our souls soar.
We ate so much. We probably drank too much, played too much, got a little sunburnt too much, laughed too much….no, not enough. We talked and complained, listened and spoke in stupid accents for days on end, listened to matt’s music a lot, sat in silence for a little, we smiled.
We did stupid stuff which was so damn fun.
Time went in the blink of an eye.
We got to spend time with Riley and Gracie, my baby brother and sister. I had to pay Riley to get him in some photos which I turned into little photo books that they could take home with them. We spoilt them a bit with sacks full of christmas presents, took them to the beach, then to the carnival and then they had a sleep over with us all crammed into Nicole’s 2 bedroom villa.
Thats only 12 people.
Best fun ever.
I had a chance to go visit a couple of my beautiful and most oldest friends and their handsome little boys. It was so great to catch up. Felt a little like time warp, except we all had our own little families now and it would have seemed odd to invite them for sleepovers like we used to. I can’t wait to get back home so we can see each other more often, plus Buddy needs some little guy friends!
We dealt with mum and tried to accept dad. We know family is most important and just because someone is called a parent doesn’t really mean that they know how to be one. And really who am I to say what a ‘good’ one is anyway?
Sometimes it is the ‘children’ who need to take charge and ‘teach’ those who are normally meant to be responsible. Not even that, sometimes people who are ‘whole’ need to help out those who aren’t?….Slowly but surely I think we’re teaching them.
They’re loved unconditionally.
They’re forgiven for everything and anything.
They just don’t get it yet.
I wish they’d realise what Nicole, Matt and I have. Such peace, and calm comes from total acceptance of another. Gosh I miss them so much already.
Feel like I’ve lost a couple of limbs really.
Matt spent most of the time as the little girls taxi. They wanted him to carry them around everywhere. He’s a sucker for little chipmunk voices pleading ‘Pweasssse Uncle Matty…pwease?..’ I’m sure a little eyelash flutter didn’t go astray either.
Nicole spent most of her time being chased and pulling faces at the kids. She’s very good with facial expressions, I guess that’s where Lil’s has picked it up from. Dramatic and cute little duo they are.
My girls and Buddy were so overwhelmed with the extra adults on hand to shower them with love. And that’s the best thing about awesome siblings. My children benefit greatly. I am so happy to have their influence on my kids and totally trust their judgment. I can’t wait for Buddy to learn what Matt knows. I am positive he’ll want to look up to his uncle. He’s so lucky to have a brilliant good-natured, strong valued father AND grandfather and an Uncle who is as cool and smart and ‘switched on’ as he is.
The whole mixed up bunch of Glen’s family and my minute yet super special family is just one creative pool for my kids to dive into, they’ll learn and feel cherished….I am blessed.
So darn blessed.
I just wish I could accurately describe they way I feel.
I have no need for anything. No wants at all. Content. I know where I am going. Who I am. What I hope to achieve. I know I am loved. I know by whom. I know whats important and what matters in the very basic and truest form.
I just know.
I’ve clicked and am thankful.
So very thankful for everything. Each breath, each day. Each member of my family.
Each child I have been so lucky to have and call my own, so lucky to have met Glen and been able to love him as much as he loves me. So lucky that Nicole and Matt were given to me as siblings and so lucky they know whats important too. And you know what? As odd as they may be, I am lucky to have the parents that I have. I am happy to help guide them and try to get them to see what we do. Happy that they are who they are and that they shaped me into the person I’ve now become.
I am confident in my choices for the future and feel like I can do anything.
And no; I have not become addicted to drugs. (I know you were wondering….)
I just feel good. I feel like I just am. Like I finally am me….
I haven’t felt like this for a while so I’m going to float around in it for a little bit.
And all that stuff……….