At 5.30am this morning, Pia woke up crying. No. Make that painful [for us] whingey crying. At 4.30pm she was still going. That makes 11 hours of solid screaming and crying. About nothing, and everything, and about being tired, and over tired. Today, nothing was right for her. Whatever was done. Whatever was said. Whatever was made. Whatever was given. It was all wrong. On top of that she worked her way through the entire book of "How To Really Annoy Your Parents And Siblings". And she clonked her head while out playing, so she has a massive bruise on her head. She's been sick. I've been sick. I know we're all run down.
Sometime through the night Max woke crying. And continued to cry. Punctuated throughout the day with sleep as he lay sick and feverish. Sick crying I can deal with - I know that. I understand it. And I can usually make it go away. Max threw up all over the couch. So we've washed all the covers. Did I mention it's been raining today? And we don't have a dryer. And he clonked his head on the stair bannister in mild excitement at one point, so he has a bruise too.
Sometime through the night one cat lugged [and I still can't work out how, or from where] someone's half decomposed lamb roast dinner carcass into the bedroom [it was the same size as her] and had a feast under our bed. So the furniture has been moved and the carpets foamed and cleaned. The room has aired. I hope.
Sometime through the day I've missed a deadline for a magazine submission which I'm really annoyed with. Just 20 minutes would have done it. 20 minutes which were not mine. I feel I've let people who believed in me down by not submitting.
Neither of the two adults in the house have enjoyed today. Neither of us have risen to the challenge and maintained smiles and positive attitudes. Voices have been raised. The noise has not stopped all day. And there have been adult tears. Now both children are in bed, we have both looked at each other and agreed this has been the worst day ever as parents. There has been juggling of every single person and aspect of today. The pushing and pulling of every emotion inside us has been relentless. And I am all too aware we have wonderful children who are actually quite calm and well behaved. But today was trying. At 4.30pm I took Pia out for another walk, right after the rain had stopped. I took my camera.
I needed to find something else to focus on. I needed to find little details which were beautiful. Which were joyful. Which gave me something to bring today alive. I found subtlety - elegance of colour, tone, texture, detail. I found doorknobs I walk past everyday, made magnificent by getting up close to them. I found puddles with birds and wires reflected in them, upside down, topsy turvy, a mirror of our own day. I found spring buds everywhere, and the scent of jasmine and magnolias followed me everywhere I walked, seeping over fences and trailing along footpaths. I was glad to see southern facing magnolias still in full bloom. Pia slept the whole time, quiet, and still.
For 50 minutes the world was mine.