Monday, January 27, 2014

melting moments

It was yesterday morning, on discovering an unsightly patch of eczema on my arm, clearly caused by my crutches, that I had a bit of a meltdown.
I didn't cry, but I kind of wailed, pathetically.
I mean, really?

I needed to bake. I've been so restrained since Christmas, and have in fact lost weight since turning my ankle. (I call it the Inertia Diet - so far it's working for me.)
But therapeutic baking was required so I whipped up some biscuits for tea.

Within minutes the smells of lemon, butter and vanilla soothed and comforted me. The pulse of the mixer, the twanging of the oven shelves as they warmed up, the expletives as the piping bag I was using split, the hilarity at watching husband continue regardless, pushing the biscuit dough through the piping knozzle with his thumb ... the baking zone is a happy place.

And then tea on the stoop, the stoop which knows me so very well at the moment, tea and homemade biscuits with my loved ones on the stoop.

It's handy to be a homebody when you're stuck spending a lot of time at home.

Friday, January 24, 2014

all the other molly's

Last year I got offered a job in New York. The offer was only partly made in jest, there was definitely room to continue the conversation if I was keen.
Which I was, but realistically, I couldn't.

It was not a job I could've done with a family, with two young children, even if I had been able to persuade them all to pick up roots and move across the world.

It was a poignant moment, one of those junctures in which one is forced to examine the choices you've made, the life you've built. It was a moment in which I looked through the time/space continuum and nodded at a different version of myself, a different life Molly.
'Off you go', I said to her, 'go live and work in that city you've always dreamed of, go have adventures, send me a postcard.'
She looked at me and smiled, and got on the plane.

A few weeks later I found myself back on a beach where I'd spent much of my adventurous youth.
One of the girls needed to pee and in the beach loo's, while doling out instructions on remembering to wipe and washing hands and don't touch that, I looked up at the old speckled mirror and caught a glimpse of my 17 year old self there.
She was checking her hair, examining her peeling shoulders, rearranging her bikini and wondering whether that dark-haired wave-skier had noticed her ...
Her eyes caught mine and we briefly acknowledged each other.
Hello mother-type person. Hello different life Molly.

These last few weeks of enforced stasis I've been communing with another previous version of myself. I've been hanging out with the pre-kids Molly. The Molly who has time to sit and think, who moves much slower through the world, who takes long baths and watches TV without feeling guilty that she should be doing something else, for someone else. The Molly who looks after herself.
I wish I could say this time has been productive, that I've been writing and planning and using my time wisely. But you know that parenting thing of always wishing you had more time? Now I have it I don't really know what to do with it, and instead I find myself doing nothing.
But one thing I've always known is that doing nothing is not a bad thing. That, as someone once said, 'time wasted is not a waste if you've enjoyed the wasting of it'. Does that make sense?
Doing nothing is a complete and utter luxury. And for whatever reason, that luxury has been bestowed on me at a time, in the madness of this parenting life, when I can appreciate it enormously.
Far more than pre-kids Molly ever did!

I do wish however I could parcel this time and share it though. My husband could definitely use some, most of my friends wouldn't say no, I wouldn't mind being able to store some away for future months when I'm back on my feet and the madness returns.

But for now Cripple Molly is at peace. I don't really have a choice, do I?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ho hum ... grateful ...

I don't make resolutions - 'cos they're naff - but two things I'd like to do more of this year is take random pictures of shadows and textures and such, and send interesting packages to interesting places.
All of you who live in interesting places take heed.

My sister-in-law is the care package queen and I find it highly enviable. Also, I have latent guilt from friends and family living abroad for many years and receiving very little actual post from me.
I'm starting with a sick boy I know of far away ... let's see how well I pull this off.

Two weeks tomorrow, still on crutches. Photos taken: 0 (besides the obligatory first day of school snaps). Care packages sent: 0. Getting off to a good start ...

But, I am grateful for ...

~ rediscovering the joy of a bath, in my able-bodied life I'd shunned baths in favour of the more efficient seeming shower
~ netflix - because when you really need to kill time, there's no better way
~ my smartphone and how it has entertained me when the effort of fetching my book from the next room is not worth the pain, or awkward under-the-arm-tenuous-crutch-grip-slash-risk-of-another-injury
~ the kilo's shed (or more truthfully, not gained) as I'm unable to snack indiscriminately (see: reasons above)
~ that I work from home!

But mostly of course I am consumed with gratitude to my husband, my mum, my fabulous kids, extended family and friends - for assisting and supporting and sympathising.

It's only a sprain, a few weeks on crutches is, as my father would say, but nothing against the limitless span of eternity, but it's been interesting. More thoughts on that soon.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I'm not going to lie, spending three days sitting on my exquisitely-positioned stoop, stoned on painkillers, having conversations with nearests and dearests, my kids largely being taken care of by themselves and others, has definitely had its moments.

When I first posted about the sprain on FB, a friend with a 3 yo and 2 yo TRIPLETs retorted: Lucky you!
I can't fault her envy.

There's something undeniable about crutches. Unlike a cold, or a tummy bug, or just plain slackness, no one can really doubt your inability to do certain things (like carrying a mug of hot tea), and after spending the first 24h after the sprain fighting rising panic, I've found a place of calm acceptance.

This is not unlike being pregnant. My body is doing something which has meant I've had to change my modus operandi, have had to embrace assistance, have had to surrender to the now and patiently wait it out.

I've had more down time in the last 3 days than the whole of the long summer holiday - this cannot be all bad right?

It's just ... not how I'd planned to start my year. 2014 was to be about speed. Doing more work, getting my motorbike licence, moving a little faster now that my kids no longer hold as tightly to my apron strings.

But no, seems it is to start with a period of very slow contemplation. Right. Back to the stoop.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

best foot forward

Late on Wednesday afternoon, I stepped off the patio to catch a glimpse of a Fish Eagle I heard calling over the lake.
And turned my ankle.

I always thought Fish Eagles were one of my spirit guides (long story), but I'm still trying to work out how this one was serving my best interests.

Doc this morning gives me 2-4 weeks immobility (I'm on crutches) as a best case scenario. Could be closer to 6.
Right foot sprained, no driving, swollen toes, sore arms and palms from crutches, work-stressed husband/solo parent, delightfully helpful little girls (for now), school starting next week, anti-inflammatory meds, complete state of disbelief.

Really 2014? Really?

This is not how I'd thought we'd set off together.

gratuitous photo of small girls running, because they can

Monday, January 06, 2014

a few of my favourite things

Julie did this today, much more artfully and better lit than me, but I had to play along so did a quick whip around the house with my camera before we lost all light (it's an unseasonably grey and rainy day here, 'summer rain' coincidentally being one of my other favourite things ...).

my silver and gold (and some white gold) rings, and some of my adored yellow glass collection
my beloved Shy Girl by Frank van Reenen
my growing Lego minifig collection, inspired again by Julie ... got a couple of gaps to fill yet. Yay!
there are a couple of interlopers in the collection, incl. Mr Frosty - he's awesome
Nguni cattle poster. I adore Nguni's, have I mentioned Husband's promised to buy me one one day?
my Liesel Trautmann ceramics ... I have a growing collection
Tord Boontje Garland, draped around the light on our stairwell
And I haven't even pictured these sneakers or these or this fabulous awesomeness ... I often get despondent that I don't have cash to buy nice things, this was a timely reminder that I already have some very nice things indeed!