I'm not the kind of girl who generally gives a shit about the weather. I have fair skin, freckles and wear a size 14 (UK) jeans, so it's not like I have some great desire to be lolling about in a string bikini in the sunshine but... I do enjoy the possibility of catching a few glimpses of the sun.
I am a happy person. I like to laugh. I usually see the funny side of things, look on the bright side of life. I do. Honestly. Said "bright side" is obscured by constant rain, wind and near perpetual darkness here though. The bright side might require some kind of miracle laser eye treatment with a side of mood-altering eye drops.
Something happens when it rains constantly and it's dark by 5pm. Something switches gear in my neurons and I get miserable. The good thing is that I am aware of this happening and I have the ability to switch over into something more cheerful. The bad thing is the regularity with which I have to make this concerted effort to shift.
As a Southern Hemisphere native, I have always taken sunshine for granted. I have even complained about it. I hated getting freckles. I bemoaned the pressure to DO THINGS when the sun was shining. There is such a ready excuse to vegetate when the weather is bad. I have spent 25 years of my almost 33 in sunshine though and I tell ya it's something quite intrinsically linked with my psyche.
It isn't Ireland's fault that it rains here all the time. I'm sure Ireland would like to be dry sometimes. Certainly the vast numbers of youths in Ugg boots must pray for the rain to end at some point. I can't imagine soggy sheepskin boots make for pleasant footwear. I'm sure, given the choice, even Irish sheep would have a more durable coat than waterlogged wool.
But here we are in November on the slippery descent into Winter and I need to just process this and commit to the layers, the hat, the gloves, the coat. I made a lifelong commitment to boots many years ago.
Winter with a toddler offers a whole new potential for misery. I can barely persuade my personal toddler to wear a nappy, let alone trousers AND the 47 additional layers required to face life outside the front door. Our usual salvation is the park around the corner which has offered daily (sometimes twice daily) entertainment for the last 6 months. Now the swings are butt cheek high with water and the usual wipe with a muslin cloth ain't going to cut it. The slides are more like something from a water theme park, only without that whole 'enjoyment' factor. I don't have any idea what we'll do indoors for the next 5 months. I do foresee having to put everything back into the kitchen cupboards many, many times over. Macs never seems to tire of his own special brand of stocktaking in the kitchen.
On the upside, we have a month in South Africa booked and that truly is the light at the end of this gloomy tunnel. I can't wait to see my little boy with sand between his barefoot toes and his button-nose slathered with sunblock. He will enjoy that so much.
Until then, Starbucks will be our daycare ... not a lot can get me down after a double tall non-fat capuccino... or 6.
Monday, November 16, 2009
It took me a while to decide that I was ready to have a baby. I knew that I wanted one, but I also knew that having a child would change everything. I knew that on a purely cerebral level - the only way one can before a baby arrives. I thought I would stay the same, but I'd be me PLUS baby. I thought we would stay the same, but we'd be us PLUS baby.
Of course once a baby arrives, absolutely everything changes and neither you nor your partner nor the relationship nor anyone you are related to or anyone you meet is ever the same again. If you're reading this and are pregnant or considering being pregnant, don't be alarmed. You see, this is what is the difficult part to explain. I can tell you in graphic detail about the cons of parenting. I can tell you that I've been vomited on from every angle and in every hue and shade of every colour. I can tell you I've not slept a full night in 16 months, 3 weeks and 2 days. I can tell you I've recovered my mascara from inside the toilet and that I sometimes go 2 days without showering and that I can consume up to 5 or 6 double strength coffees a day to remain energetic....
Those are the tangible negatives which are very easy to explain. It's the positives that I can't even begin put into words. You see, the moment I saw that howling scarlet little face, every cell in my body woke up and fell head over heels in love. I am so intensely proud of every sound he makes, every morsel he consumes, every minute that he does sleep, every step that he takes - I'm proud even when he's doing nothing at all. I am so filled with overwhelming, giddy love for this tiny person that everything with any negative connotations pales into such nebulous insignificance that it disappears almost entirely. The other people who also love him are elevated in my estimation. I love my husband more, my family more, my friends more. Truly, there is no feeling in the world that compares with the love and joy that children bring with them. They bring it as part of the package. It's a huge and diverse package that arrives after that 40 week wait. More than anyone can prepare you for, more than you can ever be ready for, more than you had any idea would be possible.
But, if you can and you think you might want to...