My mother won't admit it, but I've always been a disappointment to her. Deep down inside, she'll never forgive herself for giving birth to a daughter who refuses to launder aluminum foil and use it over again. ~Erma Bombeck January. January is the month Star & I go away. Each year since my parents moved back to Queensland I have taken the kids & spent at least 10 days with my mum. This has been particularly important to us since first my dad, & then my youngest brother, died. For the last few years my other brother has been gadding about Asia so mum & I were all of our family there was.
Now Liddy & my mother are like two peas in a pod. Star & I, well we flip them out. They are just really, really pleased not to share our head space but we are family, quirks & all, & the bond is strong enough for me to regularly uproot myself from cats & garden to make the 2 hour trek north. We have tried to do it at least once a term but January is our long stay. I keep my Christmas reading for January. I try & plan to be around for dad's birthday. I have mum's Christmas present wrapped & ready ~ & she has ours! We anticipate quiet hours of reading time, long walks on the Sunshine Coast beaches, trips up into the hinterland for bush walks & window shopping all the little curiosity shops. We eat & talk & the children hear ma's stories about being the oldest girl in a family of 8 growing up on a farm after the war, & being a young girl about town in a Brisbane that has disappeared.
This year Star is auditioning on dad's birthday. This year it is wetter than usual. This year my schedule is more crowded than usual. I was chatting with mum last night. The roads up her way are awful. The driving conditions are awful. She has more rain coming down than we do. We would be house bound & going stir crazing in her house rather than our own. With great reluctance we have agreed to defer our visit until the weather conditions improve.
No biggie, you think. No biggie except ma & I know, who better? that there is no future guaranteed us. There are only so many years, so many days, so many hours, vouchsafed us & we do not know how much of that is left to us. I know trying to wrangle a similar space later on in my year is virtually impossible. Yes, I can pack all Star's work into her bag [& won't she just love that!] but Star has put her hand up to work backstage for Creative Generation this year. We hit the ground running & it isn't going to stop.
Gloom & doom, gloom & doom. I think we've had enough rain for now, don't you?