Friday, September 2, 2016

Pretending to Fly......

I had a gorgeous day today; actually I had a great week, month, summer - but that's another blog.

Stepgranddaughter#1andonly is here for her weekly vist. I only arrived home yesterday from Inishboffin - where I spent a few days writing, so I didn't feel guilty about taking time off to spend with her. I know from experience how short is the timeframe of childhood - and the world isn't waiting with bated breath for my writing. I am determined to drag every bit of enjoyment from this little one's early years.

We went to the lovely where we fed the swans and ducks and laughed as the sea gulls tried to rob the bread. We chatted with a man and his son - the man was very knowledgeable about the wildlife in the area and I learned a few new things - every day is a schoolday. We had a cup of coffee, a juice and chokkie bikkies, made friends with a lovely woman and her three small children. It was fun.

Then we drove up to the playground in Skerries - it has to be one of the most beautifully located playgrounds in Ireland. It is right by the seashore and is really well equipped and totally safe. We fell to chatting with another grandmother, mother and little girl. The little one was a few months older than Carlicious and they were shy at first but soon made friends. The grandmother told me how her husband died a year ago, about how quiet and lonely the house can seem now, and how lucky she is to be near her daughters and their children. She sees everyone at least once a week and the grandkids often have sleepovers in Granny's; she said the company of the children has comforted her most. The woman was a total stranger, I only learned the child's name - but we hugged when we left and she thanked me.

I dropped Caralicious home to The Jemser and drove over to see my poor battered beautiful sister Lousy LuLu LongLegs. Louise had an accident last week, went over the handlebars of her bike, smashed up her jaw and face and broke a bone in her hand. She's on the mend - it'll be a long slow recovery - but she's alive. When you think of how quickly a life can be snuffed out! A simple wobble over a cat's eye and pulling the wrong brake. Where would we the Wobbly Walshies without our supportive compassionate empathetic Lou? Her husband thought he was going to lose her at the side of the road, he held her hand as she told him she loved him, she loved the girls and to mind each other. When the ambulance arrived she was giving the paramedics advice (she's a nurse - a damn fine nurse) despite the horrendous pain she was in. She had nothing but praise for the HSE - from the Killybegs ambulance that took her to Letterkenny General where the staff put her into an induced coma (although she was horrified as she slipped into merciful unconsciousness to see a scissors approaching to cut off the brand new outfit she was wearing!), to the ambulance men who drove her to Dublin the following day  and then the wonderful staff in the Mater Hospital who looked after her with such care and compassion. Praise where it's due - when the system works it works well.

 Louise bought the family home years ago and her bedroom now is the one I shared with my three sisters for years. As I lay on the bed beside her, chatting and trying not to make her laugh I couldn't help visualizing the room as it had been back then. The double bed shared by Aisling and Lousie lay under the Sacred Heart lamp. Judy and I slept in pale pink narrow iron bunk beds.The laughs we had in that room! Plenty of squabbling and meanness too of course! So, between remembering stuff from over forty years ago and feeling so for Lou and the pain she is in, I was in a state of heightened emotion on leaving the house.

When I got home I took Caralicious out onto the green where we played with a neighbour and her little girl - who is five months younger than Cara. This little girl -Maisie Belle - is like a little fairy, dark haired and sallow skinned with fabulous eyes. We played hittingtheballwithspades and pretendingtobebirds - flying around and around the tree before settling to make a nest with twigs and leaves and feathers. When everyone got tired we came home and Cara and I watched Elmo in GrouchLand. Christ I LOVE Elmo! Son#1 took Elmo as his confirmation name - much to the amusement of his classmates and the chagrin of his teacher; who knew he was doing it for subversive reasons, not because he had any devotion to St. Elmo.

It was watering the plants time then - and Cara, in only her knickies and crocs, jumped about with son#1'sgirlfriend (fully clothed!) in a puddle created by the hose. After all that we were exhausted, so we came up to bed and I read her the first three chapters of Winnie-The-Pooh; she loved Pooh, loved that I substituted Cara Teresa for Christopher Robin and Nanny for the adult narrator. I can't wait to continue the story tomorrow because then she'll get to hear about Tigger, I just know she's gonna love Tigger! There'll be a battle in this house when she gets to about six as to who is going to read the Haprry Potter series to her.

She is lying beside me now, fast asleep. And I think of the love that surrounds her, the love that surrounded me as a child from my parents, my siblings, the love of my own family and extended family today. Louise is fond of saying #lafamiliaestodo , and she's right. When families function coherently they are everything - Freud apparently said all we need in life is work and love, and although a lot of his stuff has been discredited I think this tenet holds true.

And  we need the breathing of course - don't forget d'aul breathing!

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