Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Sun Also Rises.....

Dawn was beautiful this morning, the eastern sky lit by a honey-coloured sun. I know, because that's what time I first got up to make myself my first cup of tea. After 90 minutes or so of 'serious' reading (Schweizer's The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle) the husband's alarm went off and, peering outside once more, I was disappointed to see that the glorious sunny start had dissolved into a uniform sheet of grey. It's actually started raining now: cold raindrops sporadically rattle against the window-panes and it's chilly enough that I am wearing a fleece over my teeshirt. I've put some washing on and am still trying to decide whether, if I peg it out, the stiff breeze will overcome the damp atmosphere. The children are still asleep (or at least, in bed). What on earth can we do to amuse ourselves today? Whereas a year or so ago they were quite content to be entertained as a unit, their different rates of maturation (the girl has grown up exponentially) now entail quite separate requirements and expectations. The bright-eyed boy is still, in effect a child, and wants child's diversions and fun. The girl, although willing to go along with such jollities for a while, has become far more introspective and self-reliant, spending a lot of time on her own drawing and 'writing lyrics'. I am secretly delighted by such artistic creativity, seeing in her the private worlds that I myself constructed as a very young person, and am more than happy to provide the wherewithal for their pursuit. But it IS a complete nightmare to keep them equally happy and entertained. Consequently I am involved in some plate-spinning, catering first to one and then the other. Getting out of bed this morning, the husband suggested that I 'take them to the gym' (primarily on the grounds that it was free!). I can certainly see the theoretical merit in this: physical exercise releasing endorphins, waking the system, oxygenating the blood etc. In reality, though, what it would mean would be howls of protest followed by half-an-hour (max) of desultory flumping about, followed by a not-unreasonable demand for sustenance. Swimming is unfortunately out of the question during half-term as the pool is like baby soup. Yes, I know that I am a completely ungrateful wretch, that I should feel privileged and lucky - and deep down I do. I really and honestly do - d e e p down.....It's something that women who become mothers (or become mothers once again, like I did) later in life should be told well in advance, whilst being shaken firmly by the shoulders: by the time you get to fifty, you're pretty well knackered, physically, emotionally, psychologically and mentally. All you're really fit for at this age is dozing on the deck of your yacht with a Jilly Cooper, reflexologist and martini to hand. Not organising thrifty and amusing diversions for disaffected sprogs whilst, at the same time, vainly and pointlessly harbouring academic pretensions! Serves me right.

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