Friday, 16 January 2015

First days

Wednesday was Immy's first day of school. Proper school. BIG SCHOOL. I was fine. Or so I thought. Until we walked her to her class, where she met her teacher, picked out her name tag and strolled over to the nearest table to investigate what they were up to. And just like that, it was done. A quick smile, a quick hug and then instantly absorbed.

Grade 0. Early mornings, and early bedtimes. Uniforms, and school bags, and lunch boxes. She LOVES it. And I'm hoping I'm going to get used to the 5am wakeup time.

Side note: we took these photos the day before the first day of school. Because I didn't want a stressful, rushed, crazy first morning. Just as well, because it absolutely poured with rain the next day. 

Well. There's Granny.

And Grampy.

and Thoko...

and Busi...

and Thelma (with a brief pause in-between because the irrigation system came on and enthusiastically irrigated the words right off the blackboard and all our legs got wet)...

and Nana and Grandpa...

and Jeremy the un-Giant.

Also a quick lesson in how to prune hydrangeas. I should have paid attention as closely as Immy, because I think I have pruned them to death. Literally. I am watching the flower boxes and absolutely willing them to grow again.

The actual first morning. We clicked off about two photos before the rain started coming down in sheets.

I didn't think I would cry, but I did. Of course, I want her to be confident. To be unafraid of new things, to embrace all the wonderful new experiences of growing up, with excitement and joy. To be independent, and curious. But oh. Sometimes I wish I could slow things down. To have just a moment to hold that warm tiny baby against my chest, to breathe her in and fold myself around her and keep her safe from the world.

Instead, I find that now my job is completely the opposite. Instead of holding her tight, I have to let her go, bit by bit. Take her hand and walk her through each new shining experience, to guide her and show her all the magic and wonder that life has to offer. Step back when she feels brave enough to step forward. Always following, always watching, but never crowding. Because ultimately the better I am at letting go, the more space her wings will have to unfurl.

Things I'd like to remember about right now. That she says unrub instead of rub out. Fast backwards instead of rewind. Glitterbug instead of litterbug. Her unbridled enthusiasm for absolutely everything. The way she talks in her sleep, and holds my hand at the robots when we drive. Best of all, the way she tightens her arms round my neck at bedtime, and kisses me hard, and says - I love you mama. You're the nicest mama ever. 

When we left for school,she asked if I would sit in the back with her. Of course I said yes. We held hands, and I looked down and thought: I know it won't always be like this. And that's ok. But I'm sure going to hold onto it as long as I can.

My beautiful girl. We love you wildly and are fiercely proud to belong to you.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Holiday snaps

We've had two weeks of sleeping in, piggy nights, movies, painting sessions, reading and reading and reading, swimming, sleepovers, afternoon sleeps and thundershowers. Tomorrow I go back to work, and next week Immy starts school and a whole new routine for us.

Some of the things we've been enjoying...

A day trip to a local resort with friends. Palm trees and cocktails, and swimming and snoozing in sun loungers. And for the approximately fifteen minutes that the kids were out of the pool, a bit of tree climbing to balance things out.

Warm, rainy afternoons and puddle jumping.

Jeremy. And watching him eat. Because it's just beyond cute. Nothing slows down a person's heartbeat like watching a tiny tortoise trying to eat. It's so slow. Utterly inefficient. Completely mesmerizing. 

Open wide. Stretch, and...


From me, to me. My summer holiday splurge - a Jo Malone candle. Lighting it is pure luxury.

My two day getaway at Abloom Lodge. Absolute peace, and tranquility. In-room spa treatments, and slipping into a heated plunge pool with a glass of wine to watch the sun steal away and the stars push through the blue canvas sky one by one.

And lastly, perfect rainbows and dancing and all the other things that make life that much sweeter.

One week in, and it already feels like a good year. A year of more. More growth. More peace. More yoga, and park runs. More books. Starting with Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. Because I've been wanting to read it forever, and it's finally ordered and on it's way to me.

More bedtime stories, and more early morning cuddles before launching into the day's routine. More photography. More poetry. More travel. More writing. More mindfulness. More love.

And so to end, this poem, because I loved it and thought it the perfect one with which to start the new year.

if we only knew how to
stop waiting for all the
things that are not meant
to arrive, then perhaps
some of us would finally
let go and learn how to
fly against the wild wind.

R.M Drake

To wild winds. And more.

Happy 2015.