Gee thanks, my child

Carien’s pre-primary class is learning about cows, milk and the connection between the two.  And strangely, my child who is fussy about everything else is quite fine with the idea of milk coming from the cow.  Maybe because she used me as a cow until she was 3, almost 4?  She still has a boob-fascination going.  Being given a choice she would spend her whole day with a hand on my “soft bits” (mamma se sagte vleisies).  As a poor substitute she spends a great deal of the evening on my lap in that position and an even greater part of the night in our bed, hand in position.  I am trusting that she will attend her matric dance without a boob in hand.  Hopefully.

Yesterday as I was getting dressed she gave me her “I am thinking” look – a sure indication that whatever is going to come out of her mouth next will be something that I don’t want to hear.

C:  Mammaaaaaa?

S:  Ja my skat?

C:  Daardie … ronde … vet … goed noem ons ‘n uuuuier.  En daardie …. stingel … is waar die melk uitkom.   **

Imagine my surprise.  Not only I am I the proud owner of an udder, I have a “stem” too.

And then she mimicked a cow walking off with an udder ready to burst:  wide legged, weaving from side to side.  Now I know that my boobs aren’t quite what they were (or where they were) pre-children but really?  I don’t think it looks that bad.  I hope.

** C:  Those round fat things we call an udder.  And that stem is where the milk comes from.

Good grief

Tomorrow I start working again.

On 19 December 2008 I left work to go on leave.  I never went back.  And now, 3 and a half years later, I am leaving my kids at home to rejoin the work force.

I couldn’t put my finger on why I was so deeply depressed the last month.  Not obviously depressed, so that others will notice.  But deep inside.  There were I stored all my feelings when we were in and out of hospital and I had to keep my mask on.  A deep, pit of the stomach grief.

Then Magdel, the mother of one of Woutertjie’s class mates, cast some light.  After giving up everything that I thought mattered – a career, financial security, friendships – to take care of the only thing that really matters, my family, I am now stepping back.  I have to wrap everything that happened the last 3 years into a neat package, leave my children in other people’s care and get on with “normal” life.  I have to let go of my children and trust them to make it without me.

If Woutertjie didn’t get sick I wouldn’t have stopped working at all and my children would’ve gotten by fine without having me around so much.  Most kids live their lives like that.

I never thought I would be a stay at home mom.  I never thought I would enjoy it.  I used to say that going to work makes me a better parent, allowing me to be more patient with my children.  I was full of shit.

Spending days and days with my children showed me who they really are.  Yes, some days they drive me up the wall.  But those days are all worth it when I pick them up from school and I am the first person to hear their stories.  From Woutertjie telling me that he called on Carien to sort out the bullies to Carien telling me proudly that they played family-family and she was the baby.  I was the first to hear about it.

I know that I have to get back to work.  From tomorrow we will have a stable income again.  Something we haven’t had in 18 months.  We will definitely have medical aid, not sometimes be suspended for lack of payment.  Things won’t be 100% but it will be a start.

The first time I had to write “house wife” as occupation I grieved for my past life and everything I had to give up.

Tomorrow I will be employed again.

And I am grieving for everything I have to give up.

This time it is worse.