Life leaves scars. Sometimes they are big visible ones like the one left behind by my caesareans. Sometimes they are big but leave an internal scar. The scar of a miscarriage or a still-birth. The loss of a close relative. Those scars that over time you kind of get used to carrying around quietly in your heart. The initial impact might gradually fade, but they're still there. Part of who you are. A remnant of your life story.
This year has been a year that's left a scar on me. I've experienced anxiety in ways that I've never felt before. It's changed me. I'm still processing how that kind of anxiety and stress has impacted on me. I've appreciated paid employment in a way that's been new to me. I understand now why people who are facing crises in their personal life will keep persevering with making it to work, because it provides structure and predictability and task completion.
But like a caesarean scar reminds me of the happy arrival of a new baby, scars are not always bad. This year has helped me refocus on what I want for my kids. When all you want for your child is that they can sit upright long enough to eat dinner with the family, suddenly the trappings and achievements of the extra-curriular/education whirlwind fade in significance. Being forced to do less has given us more time to just hang out with our kids. Sure, we're not accumulating visible trophies or parenting accolades, but just quietly trying to strengthen those relationships as they grow and wrestle with the hard things of life.
Where are we up to with J? Thankfully on what seems to be an upwards trajectory. She made it to four half days of school by the end of last term. Our goal over the term is to gradually increase that until she is at full-time school towards the end of the year. Our concern remains that she can cope with travelling to high school by the end of January.
Last week J and I flew to Melbourne for three nights to stay with friends and to have a look at the apartments in the renovation TV show 'The Block'. Our friends organised tickets for a neighbour's private viewing and she got to meet some of the participants. It was special and it made up for a lot of camps and outings that she's missed out on this year. She's also watched a lot of reality TV this year - some of those people were her 'friends' in the dark days when she was stuck at home for months.