I am authentically myself when I am not at all myself, and it is magical, beautiful, wonderful.
What do I mean by this? Well, I’m not sure. It’s a little too obscure to understand or explain, but I’m certain you’ve felt it. I’m certain you’ll know what I mean when I tell you.
I’ve been reading the BFG to my son. He’s seven, and the best, and so naturally I want to give him the most beautiful experiences life has to offer. Reading is one of those experiences, and the magic of Roald Dahl is…well, it’s magic. There’s no real way to capture that feeling, for me.
And when I read this beautiful story to him, I so often find myself transformed. Every night I become the BFG. I put on my unusually accurate english accent and off I go. I am the BFG (or am I Roald Dahl, it’s hard to really say.)
It’s what I loved so much about acting. Embodying and expressing energies that are not my own is so intoxicating I could easily become addicted to the very thing. The deep booming cutesy tone that flies from my mouth every time the BFG speaks to Sophie: it fills my whole body, it resonates down to the bone.
I so love it.
I so love being authentically me, without being me at all.
I sang about fairy lights as we drove. I remember. My tiny head bobbling about in the back seat while Mum drove us through the darkness to her weekly game of basketball.
‘I love your beautiful songs, Brooke.’ It was a line she’d repeat all the way up until I left home; the warbling six year old I was never did stop making up songs.
Fairy lights. They really were beautiful in the distance. Just window lights shining from houses on the horizon, a lot of them. So many it looked like a sea of twinkling stars dancing beside us as we drove.
I’m not in the most peaceful of places. Looking after a newborn is not the easiest of things, and it’s especially difficult when your body begins to misbehave. Mine has done so spectacularly of late, many thanks to all the regular post birth complaints. Crunch, screech, ache, sob. But life can’t stop because I am in pain.We cannot pause our children, we cannot pause the laundry and the cooking that must be done in order to keep us all happy and healthy.
Fairy lights. I needed something to get me through the chaos and through these achy, sleepless days. And here I am, typing away, every now and then gazing up at our ornamental bookshelf, tired but grateful for the unexpected burst of creativity that found me earlier. Fairy lights. I’ve strung some up around the bookshelf frame and it is the most beautiful thing to stare at them and just…let them take me somewhere.
I love my children beyond it all and I am grateful to even have a home and things to care for. But sometimes I need a breath. Sometimes I need to raise my head above the water and find one of the joys of my soul waiting to soothe me.
Fairy lights. Beauty bringing me back to peace, once more.
It’s funny, isn’t it. How we zone in on the things that happen in life that signal an ending of something and the beginning of something else.
They roll on in, these momentous happenings, and soon they pass: although we do wish we could cling to the beauty of them. We do wish we could hold on to their quiet precious hands just that little bit longer than they allow us to. So we can breathe them in. So we can close our eyes and know something bigger than ordinary is actually happening to us.
That’s a lot of waffling just to get to the point isn’t it, my lovely bloggy friends. And yet I’m certain you all know me well enough to understand that waffling is my way of holding on to the precious moments of my life a little longer than the average human might.
Without further ado…
It’s a girl.
A beautiful, darling, button nose girl: isn’t that just the loveliest thing?
She’s been flip-side of my belly for a week and a day. It’s been a foggy time. A time where my hormones have screamed abnormal things and my rational side has begged to make it all feel a little more normal than that. But I am perfectly okay, and that is just about all I am asking of this post birth phase.
I am being so, so, so well cared for by a husband I love even brighter the second time around. I am kept busy giggling at my other children who tumble around, daily, and so often remind me of tiger cubs at play (especially when the tiger mum nudges them away and gently snaps at their tumbling bodies, in order to pull them into line.)
I was in tears this morning, bouncing on my fit ball in front of the TV at my new favourite time of day (4AM).
I was watching the world news.
Small children were being handed over a fence to soldiers at the airport in Kabul, thankfully with no idea there is a better life for them out there somewhere.
And then there was me.
So small in the world, thinking of my own beautiful children tucked neatly, safely, away in their cosy beds.
I felt helpless.
I wanted to take all those beautiful people in Afghanistan under my wing and hold them there for a while.
I have no control over the mental state of the terrorists of the world, or the mental state of their fathers before them. Fathers who were taught by their fathers that love looked like fear. Fathers who passed this very fear onto their sons, and so on.
I have no control over the pain of these poor darling humans in Afghanistan, just trying to live.
But I have this blog.
I have my words and I have my heart.
And maybe I can’t make a difference for those poor people, but if you are reading this, and feeling in need of some love…I can make a difference to you.
So here I say this:
Thank you for being alive.
For being unique and wonderful you.
For being human enough to have bad days.
And for the strength I know you’ll find tomorrow.
I hope today is beautiful for you and I hope you remember the sun isn’t far away if it’s not.
Because even when the darkness of the world takes over, there is always something beautiful to find among the rubble.
This is my reminder to myself.
And this is my love letter to you.
So much love and strength to you all, my beautiful bloggy friends.
Thank you for being such a big part of my sun for so many of my days.
Eight years ago it was, when I sat on the couch, a day before my 30th birthday, suspecting today might be the day I’d meet my very first baby.
There was a muslei bar involved. Four AM insomnia. And I suppose there must have been some sort of mild lower belly/back discomfort that had me thinking this particular morning might be different to other mornings. Waiting for baby. How epic a wait it had become.
Today, I sit upon the couch once more, again at an extraordinary hour, again watching the morning show and dealing with certain pregnancy discomforts. I am smiling quietly as I think of the years to come where I will reflect on the days I once ‘waited for baby’. Usually eating something grainy. Usually at ridiculous o’ clock.
I’m nearly 38 weeks pregnant, now, so it’s lovely to think that baby will be with us any time from now on. Just when it will join us is the greatest of mysteries and, I suppose, one of the most beautiful of life’s epic frustrations. It is one of the many times in a woman’s life where she is utterly out of control, and all that truly can be done to remedy the pain of resistance is relax and let it be. Let it be. It’s not an easy concept for a human mind to grasp, is it, and yet here I am. Having to give it my very best shot.
It’s come at the heals of a good few years of learning to ‘let it be’. Learning to release control and understand that life is only ever what it is, as opposed to what I always thought it was meant to be. What I often try too hard to make it.
I’m tired. I don’t know when I’ll meet this baby, I just don’t know.
But I do know I’m about to roll back into bed for the morning, which will be lovely.
I do know that first breakfast was lovely, and second breakfast (‘I don’t think they know about second breakfast, Pip’) will likely be wonderful, too.
Either way, I’m certain I’ll look back at this uncontrollable life, fondly.
The days I waited for my sweet, sweet babies to come with such frustration and desperation.
The days life happened sneakily in the background while I waited for something else to arrive.