Sometimes I get to the end of the day and realise the day has been full of tiny moments when my heart has nearly stopped at how adorable Wade is. Moments when I have to try and remember if I ever really knew how to feel anything before he came along. Moments when I stop and think….we made him. He wasn’t here before and now he is. Moments I’m sure every parent feels when they watch their child develop personality traits uniquely their own. Traits that we didn’t teach him, they just came from within him. So this is a shameless, self-indulgent, cheesy, gooey list of things that make me go squee about Wade….just because.
1. The Public Squirm Test
Going out in public with Wade is something that I have to allow extra time for. Mostly because I am stopped several times a day to discuss at length the deep level of cuteness this kid emanates but often it is because Wade will make a beeline for someone and single them out as “The Greatest Living Person on the Planet…for Now”. Wearing a hat or glasses will increase your chances but often he just spots someone that he decides is awesome and will go and meet them. Buskers need a strong sense of self too as Wade will walk right up to them and stand at their feet, staring up into their eyes as they perform. I get such a kick out of watching said person work out what to do or say when they look down and notice Wade peering up at them. I’ve written before about the peace that surrounds him. He is comfortable in his own skin. He is neither shy nor confident…he just is. He will just stand there and absorb them. A lot of people have no idea what to with that. After the obligatory, “Hey there little guy, aren’t you cute” there is usually a wordless conversation of smiles and waves before it starts to get weird for the poor person. I like to leave it just that little bit too long before I head over to give them back their personal space! Adorable.
I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Some of it good, some of not so much. Some of it real and a lot of it less so. It’s that time again when the wheels fall off a bit but for now I’m just parked safely on the side of a quiet road instead of hurtling down a hill towards a swamp so it’s ok.
It was Wade’s birthday this week. 2 years old! Partly because I wanted to and partly because my annoying brain has been running riot this week, I didn’t plan anything for the day. I did have a party planned for the weekend but with temperatures forecast to be 40C, we cancelled it. Too hot. Too everything… We did a couple of small catch ups with family and friends instead which was nice.
I woke up the morning of his birthday with that strange mix of wanting to do something amazing for our beautiful child and feeling relieved that he is two and won’t know whether I did anything or not.
So I decided to take him for a walk. Not the walk I usually do, which is pop him in the pram and walk up the main road to the local cafe and enjoy myself immensely as I convince myself he is getting the thrill of all thrills playing with the grass on the lawn out the front. No, we went for a proper walk. We live at the bottom of a mountain which is one of the most beautiful places in Melbourne and yet I rarely see enough of it. That day, we drove up to the forest and spent half an hour walking 100 meters. It was beautiful. The eucalyptus trees that form the forest are very tall and very beautiful. Standing underneath them as they leap impossibly high on the slenderest of trunks is spectacular.
Wade started walking a few months ago and is the physical embodiment of the word “toddler”. Continue reading
My pregnancy was definitely a roller coaster of emotions where I questioned my resolve, my decisions and my sanity every time I got a new test result. But right from the beginning, all the way through till now, I had reasons why I didn’t want to test for Down Syndrome. This post is not about what I think everyone should do, it’s about what I did and how it helped me get through the turmoil of prenatal diagnosis. Even though there were ups and downs during those 9 months, by the time Wade was born, I was ready and happy and waiting there with open arms to meet him whether he had DS or not and if any of my thought processes help other women in similar circumstances then its achieved its purpose.
From the outset, I want to say that I am not fundamentally opposed to abortion. Everybody’s circumstances are different but I feel that we have a huge responsibility to think about it carefully and get as much information as possible. For me, it was important to “go there” in my mind on both sides of the argument. For me, considering all of my options and really thinking about it meant the right decision for me was so much clearer. As I contemplated my options, the right path to take kept leaping out at me. I chose to keep my baby and these are the reasons why.
During my pregnancy, I was working as a waiter at Marios’, a cafe in Fitzroy. The cafe has been there for 27 years and has many regular customers who have been going there for years. It’s the kind of place where you need to get along with the customers as well as the staff and owners, as they are as much a part of the furniture. It’s one of the things that I loved about the job. I had returned to hospitality after 5 years away from the industry and I was really enjoying it. I had worked at Marios from 2001 to 2005 when I left to go and find a career. I’d had a quarter-life crisis and after racking up 10 years as a waiter, I decided I needed to do something meaningful with my life. Whatever I did, it had to be noble and worthy. That is something that has always been important to me. I have always shied away from the corporate world of money, ambition and power. I have never wanted to be defined by my job.
I left Marios’ to join the police force. (Bad choice if you don’t like issues of ambition, power and being defined by your job!!) After 2.5 years of stress, heartache and anxiety which was mainly due to the size of my IN tray of paperwork and less to do with the horrors out on the street, I resigned. It wasn’t for me. Yes, I was earning slightly more money than waiting tables but I was drowning in paperwork and the job was consuming every waking hour of mind and most of the sleeping ones too. I couldn’t find a reason to stay so I left.
Then I worked as a sub contractor for a company installing eftpos machines. The money was fantastic, I worked for a great company but again, the work was taking over my life. I worked long hours on the road only to come home and spend a lot of the night preparing for the next day and doing all my own paperwork. After that job ended, I discovered that I crave the simple life.