If we were having coffee today, I’d be asking you to give me a bit of a pep talk and I’d be more than happy to pep you up as well. It’s a lot easy to pep someone else up when you’re struggling, than fire up your own engine again.
Last weekend, I got hit with a nasty blast of bronchitis followed up by what appears to be a diluted version of Influenza A. Our son has been sick for the last 2 weeks and has had 10 days off school and my Mum caught “what he was having” and her doctor took a swab which came back with the goods. Mum was put on 50mg and Mister 25mg of prednisone for 3 days. Poor Mister was in a horrid twilight zone and found it quite disconcerting but is off the stuff now.
There’s never a good time to get sick and to be perfectly honest, I am 200% thankful that I’m getting better. With the auto-immune disease its lung complications, Winter bugs have turned into pneumonia before so I should just thankful that I only lost a week and am doing so well.
The trouble is that this wasn’t the week I wanted to miss. It wasn’t the week where I wanted to be in bed. I missed the last of my adult ballet lessons on Thursday night and I’d really been looking forward to it. Had wanted to do something special…a tiara, a tutu. Definitely not a call out from my sick bed to send my apologies.
Today, I’d been planning to visit my old school for the Annual Garden Party. I used to go every year without fail but have been sick for the last two and now we can add another year to that. However, this is the school’s Centenary and it would have extra special and I might also have run into someone I knew. Adding insult to injury, it’s a beautifully sunny Spring day but, as my matter of fact husband pointed out, I am not perfectly well. No chance of getting there, let alone getting around.
Moreover, this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of my home Church. I have visited about 5 times in the last ten years but I was really looking forward to going to a dinner tonight and the service tomorrow. I’d even done a quick scan through my photos and emailed a few through. I’m not getting to that either.
By this stage, if I wasn’t coughing my lungs out, I’d really be feeling sorry for myself…except it’s probably a good thing that I’m still too crook to have any motivation to even get out of my comfy chair. I am telling myself that these are scenes from the past, which is also why it’s not that easy to pop back. I’ve moved both geographically and personally since then, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t want to be part of these celebrations.
However, the good thing about life is, that it is full of ups and downs. While one thing knocks you down, something else lifts you up. While this route might not have been the one you’d planned, it might even turn out better.
So it was last night. My daughter had returned from her ten days at two different camps, full of stories and chatter. Much to my surprise, she still had enough energy to get to her ballet lesson and was practicing her steps in the kitchen. I recognised the steps and terms from my lesson and she started conferring with me. “How did you do it?” It was a step called the “pas de chat” or cat step. Even though I felt like my legs were moving in a fog, we were working on our dancing together in such an intimate, personal way.
You could say it was an incredible mother-daughter moment but it went beyond that. Or, at least the mother daughter moments we’ve had before. We were two dancers chatting in the studio corridor, comparing steps and conferring…we were both standing on the inside. I was no longer outside the circle.
A dancer? How on earth did I become a dancer when I have a disability? When I can struggle to walk, especially down your common footpath without tripping and having a nasty fall?
Probably, in the very same way these incredible athletes have made it to the Paralympics. Somewhere along the way, a “can’t” became a “can” stirring up a kind of levitating magic, bringing us all out of the doldrums and on our way.
As a Mum, this meant the world to me. Being a disabled parent with a chronic illness, there’s been so much I couldn’t do and it eats away at your confidence but it can also send the message that you don’t care. You can’t be bothered. That you don’t love your child.
All of this came about by not only thinking from my daughters’ point of view but also by actually stepping inside her shoes. Well, buying my own to be accurate.
I was stoked.
So, instead of being disabled Mum, sick Mum, or too tired Mum, I was ballet Mum who not only knew how to translate the French into steps, but didn’t need to translate how it felt to dance.I know how it feels when that joie de vivre pulses through my body, reinvigorating the dead wood and making it sing.
So my song is: “Dancing…you make my feet sing”…da..da..na…nah!
Meanwhile, I’ll fly through the last week, which largely falls under the banner of watching the Paralympics. If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know they’ve blown me away. There’s been:
Also, although I’m very much a thinker and usually watch little TV, I have a few chinks in my intellectual armour and one of them came to a finale this week…The Batchelor.
My rationale for watching the show is seeing how people tick in this trapped in the lift type situation. And who wouldn’t mind being trapped in a lift with a young hunk/babe? Then, there’s also the big question mark…who is he going to pick? The suspense really gets to me. I wonder if he knows straight from the start. Or, is he standing back like a sensible sort approaching a smorgasbord, cautiously checking everything out before carefully making his selection? Adding to tension, the number of girls dwindles every week. So, you’re also trying to guess whose going home each week. Who isn’t going to get a rose? Viewer favourites emerged and for some reason a very catty girl kept hanging in there, using up all her nine lives. I was starting to wonder whether Richie was completely blind, when she finally revealed herself in all her venomous glory and she was straight out the door. Thank goodness!
The weeks went by and I been watching it with the kids, trying to nut it out. It might sound like a funny thing to watch with your kids but there were mainly adventure trips and a lot of talking going on. Richie did mention “his frustration” after getting out of the mansion… Three months of celibacy in that pressure cooker would not have been easy.
Anyway, we’re watching the last night and he’s down to two girls and from all the indications I could see, he was going to choose . However, much to everyone’s surprise, he chose single Mum, Alex. This prompted a huge outcry from viewers angry with Richie and coming out swords blazing for Nikki.
It’s been very interesting to watch. I don’t know Alex well enough to comment but I’ve been incredibly impressed at how Nikki’s conducted herself. Thinking she’d won Richie’s heart and was going to be the one, she’s publicly come out supporting the couple, wishing them well and the two girls are still friends. She’s expressed no animosity towards Richie but is heartbroken nonetheless. I feel like giving Nikki a huge hug and telling her what an inspiration she’s been. Such a great role model for young woman. She might not have won Richie’s heart, but she’s won the nation’s respect and I’m sure the right person for her is just working out how to ride his horse and will soon get on his way. Indeed, Nikki might just have become Australia’s answer to Pippa Middleton. A winner in a different race and definitely not a loser.
So, for someone who didn’t get very far geographically this week, I actually covered a lot of ground. It’s amazing just how far you can travel in your head.
How was your week? I hope it’s been a good one and I look forward to hearing from you!
Love & Best wishes (and a few coughs),
PS So far I’ve taken no photos of me wearing my beloved ballet shoes. My perfectionism is rising to the fore again and while I could have a go at dancing, photography is another story. I’m wanting “the shot”. I’ve been planning to take some photos at the local wharf where the soft, shiny satin will contrast the weathered timber. Stay tuned!
Sorry I exceeded the word limit this week. Haven’t got out much.