Bacon, Dee Why
What can I tell you.
Felix was fourteen today. We celebrated with yum cha for lunch and pizzas “from the good place” for dinner. I am so in love with my boy at the moment. Did I tell you he came equal first in his year in an English assignment. I was so proud I thought my heart would burst through my chest. He was suitably nonchalant and embarrassed when I flashed the assignment in front of his English tutor’s face and gushed with maternal pride. He plays it cool my boy. I know he’s a worrier but he assures me that while he worries he doesn’t let it stop him from doing things. He’s in that strange intoxicating land of being part child, part teen and part adult. He’s thoughtful – every night without fail he thanks me for making dinner. He apologises when he’s sick and can be an absolute terror to his brothers. As it should be.
I’ve lost my dinner cooking mojo and we’ve been eating a lot of substandard fare because of it. Hit me with recipes for your dinner favourites.
I had a wonderful lunch during the week with real life and blogging friends. I realise I need to have a session like that ideally once a week to get me out of the house and out of my head. There are so many awesome women in my life.
Chef and I have been in a weird place of late. Nothing dreadful but not our normal comfortable fit. Disconnected is how I would describe it. But we’ve talked about it and we seem back on track. My world is unsteady without him by my side and nagging me for sex.
I had my regulary check-in with my psychiatrist this week. We’d done some bloodwork to see how my lithium levels were tracking and if my liver was OK (one of my meds can affect it). He also tested my thyroid – which, for the first time since I was diagnosed two years ago my thyroid levels are in the normal range. Lithium levels were still low so we’re not quite there but I have to say, I’m feeling OK.
We are in the midst of applying for the disability pension for Oscar. I thought we were done but then a large envelope arrived this week requesting five other bits of information. One of those was the medical forms which took me and the GP about a day to pull together. Have I ever told you how much I love our GP? In pulling doctor’s reports from the wahzoo we realised he’s been our doctor for 15 years. Quite something. Anyway, I’ve got it all together now and must fortify myself for yet another trip to Centrelink to complete his application.
You know the work project that was going to kill me? It hasn’t killed me but gee, sometimes when you ask for feedback be prepared for people to be brutal. I’m not sure they knew I was the actual writer writing the material, part of me hopes not for their own reputation of being tactless and generally unhelpful. Anyway, I’m on the home stretch with it now and have grown very used to the extra income very quickly and hope other work will come from them.
I need to start walking or doing some form of exercise. It’s getting to be a desperate state of affairs.
We’ve become a rugby union family and that’s that. We have tried all the codes and arrived at union and nothing could make me happier. The season is just getting underway and so far all games have involved rain and biting wind. Perfect rugby weather.
Grover is as obsessed with rugby this season as he was with cricket in summer. His coach told me on the weekend he’s the best player on the team because he concentrates. Ahhh, so many other codes, so many of my other children sitting on the field picking blades of grass. I don’t care its the U7s, I’m taking that pass for parental gloating and running with it. He won man of the match last week so his coaches comment allayed my fears he may have peaked too early.
Felix is U14s this year and there’s just a bit more pressure and expectation on them all. They were season premiers last year so there is a reputation to uphold. He trains 4 times a week, twice at school, once with reps, once with club and loves all of it. To me he’s evidence of a teenage feeling – and being – connected in a way that makes them feel good about themselves and a part of something. Off he goes, size 12 boots and all.
So why have I fallen so hard for this sport? I think the first sign I had was Felix’s very first game. He came off after a couple of minutes and the age manager got down to Felix’s height and gave him the biggest rap. A pep talk with praise and advice. I was sold. Then there was the fact Felix was good at it, that helped I guess.
Did I tell you about the time we went to Maroubra to visit M and went for a swim? Oscar disappeared on me which was alarming until there he was, standing with one of the lifeguards directing people in the ocean to move back towards the flags. Grover turned to me and said, “Oscar makes friends wherever he goes”. Never a truer word was spoken.
All of Felix’s team mates have always accepted Oscar, none of them “briefed”, just a simple case of “that’s Oscar, Felix’s brother”. At rugby he stands with Felix’s coach no matter what. Rain, sunshine, good match or bad Oscar is there and C doesn’t mind one bit. So this season he approached me and said he had a spare jersey and would it be OK to give it to Oscar. WOULD IT.
I’m working on a new project that has my stress levels in the category of stratospheric but the phrase “just think of the money” is keeping me going. When I first landed the gig, which I got after cold calling a guy I went to uni with, I totally freaked the fuck out. Of course my FTFO is so stellar I jump straight from “why, I’m feeling a tad stressed about this new project, which is a completely normal emotion” in about 1 millionth of a second to “I’m just going to kill myself because everyone would be better off that way”. Incredibly I’m five weeks into the 12 week project and am a) still alive and b)not as suicidal. Good times. Also, just think of the money.
We’ve just wrapped up the first term of our school year. First term is hard. For starters it features the hottest and most humid of months along with the brutal re-entry from 6 weeks of holidays. There’s new teachers to adjust to, new routines and the whole begrudging trudge back into the land of school lunches, 5,000 notes and late night washing for a clean uniform the following day.
Oscar’s still on his long term (3 month) antibiotic regime to ward off the not-but-maybe-osteomylitis-always-cellulitis but has tonight come down with a wicked temperature and head-ache. In a normal child this is called a virus. In Oscar it’s called CODE RED HIGH ALERT. I will look anxiously at his left ankle, the offender, in the morning as tonight it was not hot, red, or swollen. While I am wishing this to be some bog standard ailment or flu, my friend J just had a flu so violent it was named the black death vomit. I’m not wishing for that either.
Felix had his first Duke of Edinburgh camp last weekend. It rained on them for about 12 hours the first day and at that stage they all hated it with a passion. The next day gave them a weather reprieve and firmly planted the adventure back into the category of awesome. I am so so stoked Felix is doing DofE and thrilled he got as much from it as he did. This was a test hike with a staff member hiking with them. The real deal later in the year will be groups of them going out on their own. I think as a parent I’m meant to feel apprehensive about that but curiously, no. Just lots of excitement for him.
Jasper. Well Jasper spent the entire duration of Grover’s rugby game in the car colouring in. The kid has smarts, it rained on us three times. He’s learning guitar and a teacher change mid-term saw his attitude towards it change markedly. He doesn’t want to play rugby or any other sport (he did an 8-week cricket thing with Grover but I think that was more on the fact they got a shirt, hat and bat than any great love of the game) but was gutted last week when his best-rusted-on-friend-for-life was picked for a school team and he wasn’t.
Grover’s obsession has moved on from cricket to rugby with the change of season. He won man of the match in their first game last week and my concerns he might have peaked early abated with his performance on the field this morning. He’s such a cracker of a kid. I refused to lie down with him at bedtime a few nights back because, well I just didn’t want to, and he wailed and carried on like I’d amputated the wrong leg. By the time I went back up there he was a hot steaming mess of tears and snot. He clung to me and said, “I just needed a friend to help me go to sleep.” “Am I your friend?” “Yes”. Kid has me wrapped around his little finger.
We’re two weeks in to a rather substantial punishment for one of the boys. I guess I should protect the guilty so let’s just say his name rhymes with helix. No phone, no laptop, no xbox for a month. A month.
Granted, I meted out that teenage death sentence in the heat of the incident but I am still of the belief it is fair for the crime. Every now and then my cold dead heart melts a little and I consider shortening the sentence but then he asks for his laptop back and my steely resolve is shored up once more.
I know the length is appropriate because last week one of his wails on not getting his laptop back was “I didn’t even hit him that hard”. He’s lucky I didn’t add another week for that one.
The weekday evening moping is deliciously excruciating involving a lot of lolling about on the lounge or the floor wrapped up in a blanket personifying misery.
But here’s the kicker, it’s SO NICE having him back when I didn’t even realise he was gone. We hang out on the lounge, tonight has been a relentless campaign on who can get in a tickle before the other one flees or, in my case, wets their pants in hysterics. There’s discussions about politics, about what he’s learning in science at school, about STUFF.
There’s two long weeks to go and I’m quite sure this week will be as hellish as the last with moaning and wailing but there’s a perverse pleasure in that anyway.