Thursday, February 26, 2015

they really do

A few years back I was exiting a supermarket with two nutso little girls and a full shopping trolley. A full bladder too, but the thought of negotiating a public loo with two nutso little girls and a shopping trolley was too much to bear - adult diapers suddenly seemed like a really great idea.

It had been a painful excursion. Squabbling, whining, high jinks in the trolley and some of that awful exasperated-mother-in-public behaviour I am loathe to witness, let alone admit to.

The wind was howling, the car far away. One child was Not Listening, the other engrossed in collecting vile rubbish in a gutter.
A little old lady tottered over to us with a walking stick and smiled dreamily at the girls.

'Don't say it.' I thought, 'Do not fucking say it.'

But she did.

'Ah, enjoy it my dear, they grow up so fast.'

Really? Really? Not fast enough.

But they do.

Stella will be 5 next month. She has 4 loose teeth and long coltish legs. Her soft edges are sharpening up, her cheeks are getting more angular. Every now and then she says 'breakfast' instead of 'brekfik'.

Frieda got a Valentines rose last week. From a boy. A new swimming costume sized 9-10 is too small for her. She squeals when she sees a bug and this weekend, while romping with her on the couch, she cried out in pain and said her 'boobs hurt'.

They're growing up so fast. Not slow enough.

And I love it, I love the conversations and the explorations and the new realm of personhood they're both entering. But deep in my heart I'm also sad.

Does parenthood never stop with the dichotomous emotions?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

the other side

And just like that ... I'm here.

Back out the other side of a phenomenal week, a phenomenal job, a massively exhausting yet totally exhilarating experience.

300 delegates for 5 days in arguably the busiest week of the year in Cape Town.

(Truly, a few days before I tried to find 4 rooms in the city for some visiting guests (as a favour to one of our funders). I phoned THIRTY-EIGHT hotels, guesthouses, B'nB's - there wasn't a room to be had!)

The week was amazing. Filled with its share of challenges and near-fuck-ups and moments of glory.

We marched through the streets of Cape Town protesting unethical mining practises ...
... we went to great lengths to get the Group Photo ...

... we hosted one of the greatest women in Africa, Madam Graca Machel ...

... and we listened to the SONA chaos at what felt like the edge of the world.

There was the usual mix of divas and dramas, of scheduling crises and hysterical giggles. There was even a hilariously sad tale of a lost delegate, but I'm planning on doing a podcast about that.

And this past weekend there was a joyful return home - to two small girls who'd missed their mum, and a husband who was a total daddy hero, two mad dogs, two grumpy cats, a lake full of coots and a house full of laundry.
We're on the other side, and it's nice here.