Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dying Young

The world was supposed to end today. For most of us, it didn't. But for some, it did. Round about the time the Rapture was supposed to take place, the husband of a dear friend lost his battle with cancer and went ungently into the good night.

Death happens. We all know that. Yet we manage, most of the time, to keep ourselves removed from its reality. Until it happens to someone we love, and we realise that it comes to regular people, not just terrorists or criminals, but everyday people who make a living, care for their families, and just get through the days like we do.

My dear friend, at age 34, is now a widow. We, her friends, are devastated, and very much aware of our mortality. What can we do, what can we say, to make things easier for her to bear? To make it less painful for her to see her husband's remains cremated and fly them to the other side of the world, where he came from, and then pick up what was left of their life together, alone?

There are no words to express this kind of sorrow. Or perhaps there are, only I can't find them yet. All I can hope for is that when he went, he did indeed feel Rapture.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Count

By accident, just the way we found out he could read, I discovered Little A could count beyond 20. He has a magnetic calendar board with the days of the week and months of the year, so he can stick on the dates from day to day if he wants to.

For a long time, he only played with the hands of the clock on this board, pointing out the numbers from 1-12. Then one day he took notice of the date numbers. More quickly than I expected, and without any help from anyone, he put the numbers 1-31 in order and looked for more. The iPad has an app that counts until 50, so clearly he's been paying attention to this. There is also a poster on his wall with numbers up to 100, and he's been pointing to these one by one and asking us to count for him.

So - reading, check! Counting, check! Next comes simple Maths. My Waterloo. I do hope I'm up to this.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Me Time

As every mother knows, there are never enough hours in a day. Getting the kids ready and to and from school, driving them to and from their other activities, grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking, and trying to squeeze in work besides - it's no wonder there is a day set aside in our honour. What is a wonder is that it is only one day in a year.

One of the things that comes last on a mother's list of priorities is herself. Where once she would enjoy a few hours a week on her own, to get a manicure, go to the gym or quietly read, there is now a whole barrage of other, more pressing, things to get done in that time. "Me" time for mothers is reduced to a ten minute bath or five minute shower, and even that is rarely uninterrupted.

One of my goals this year (and last year, come to that) is to try and get back into shape. I've put on some pounds where I don't want them to be, and feel decidedly unfit. Last year, I managed a grand total of TWO exercise classes. This year I signed up for four to start with. Two are done, and I feel like I'm inching toward that fitness goal. There's a long way to go, but if I only steal an hour and a half per week for myself til the end of the year, I may yet achieve it.