It’s been a few weeks since I wrote a blog post. I blame everyone and everything in my life but my tired, over-worked, stressed and increasingly haggard-looking self.
If I’m completely honest there is no excuse. I could have got my steadily widening arse out of bed an hour earlier than normal a few times a week and got some writing done, but it just hasn’t been in me for a while. I have not felt the need nor the want.
Well, I’m back. The kids are fed, the swimming lessons have been done, bath time is approaching and I have about half an hour before I start the hell that is hair wash night for my two girls.
Despite not doing any “blogging” I have found myself noticing things that I have wanted to write about. I have caught myself regularly engaging in my new habit of creating sentences in my head as things go wrong or things happen in my day. I have found myself thinking “Ooh, that’s quite funny, I’ll have to write about that.” I have realised that since I started my blog just about a year ago actually, I tend to notice things a lot more. I notice the little things as I go about my day, things that make me smile or make me ponder about how fortunate I am or how funny life can be, or actually, how shit things can be.
As an example, nothing that has happened over the past year has been as eye-opening and as funny as being a dog owner. The dog-walking / dog-owning world is a strange and wonderful place and I am now recognized in certain circles locally as the lady (it still shocks me that people refer to me as a lady or a woman and not a girl!) with the Fox Red Labrador puppy. Many people know my dog’s name but they have no idea what mine is. Most people now know that my dog enjoys some amorous “bottom dancing” (as my 8 year old daughter calls it) and will enjoy a bottom dance (hump) with most pooches at any time of day.
I have swung bags of poo amiably with complete strangers as we have walked through the beautiful Harrogate Stray, sharing stories about poo-eating and fur-collared dog coats (them not me)…..and I am loving it! I have met a black Labrador called Derek and one called Stephen. I have met the tiniest dog I have ever seen called Boo – who I could literally fit in my coat pocket, yet she gives Woody as good as he gets and usually comes out on top – and I have met a very eccentric lady with a fabulous white bob who sounds like she smokes 60 a day and talks like she couldn’t give two hoots about anything or anybody. She is marvellous.
But, I must remember to take it seriously, for the dog world is full of very serious dog people and I can feel myself slowly turning into one as the days and weeks go by. Only the other day a small black dog ran towards me and jumped up at my clean jeans, leaving muddy, wet marks all over me. I was not impressed and even less impressed when the owner said not a word about it. “RUDE!” thought I. “I will be watching out for him,” thought I, as I pursed my lips and swung my lead and heavy poo bag around angrily.
Despite the “fun” (also read hard work, exhausting moments, dirty shitty footprints in the house and dog-eating-everything-he-can moments) the past few weeks have been tough. For no particular reason I don’t think, other than it’s dark and depressing January, it was my birthday last week (which most people, including Hubby forgot) and life feels hard work right now.
This is the time when I miss her the most. This is when I want to call her up and just have a chat about how busy I am or how I feel I am not coping with life, or how I could do with her help and I know she would have dropped everything and come to my aid, helping with the children, babysitting and ferrying the kids here, there and everywhere so I could work longer hours or assisting in the decorating that seems never-ending. This is when the void is greatest. This is when it hurts most.
I spoke to Mum last week and again I had a split second when I heard her voice and she sounded like my mum. I asked her if she was okay and she responded by asking me how I was coping. Now, very used to the unconnected sentences and abstract words and comments I simply answered honestly: “Oh, I’m okay, Mum. Am keeping it together.”
“Well, you just have to take each day as it comes,” she said. “How is your mum?”
“Oh, you know, not great,” I replied, trying hard not to sob into the phone. “But, we’re doing alright, we’re trying really hard. It’s just difficult.”
“Well, I’m thinking about you,” she said. “It must be very hard.”
“It is, Mum.”
And that was that. The phone went quiet and she had gone.
I am hopeful that on some level she was really talking to me and communicating with me – that my mum was making a connection with me. It’s doubtful, of course, but for a split second it felt like there was a deeper message in her words.
Then my daughter walked in the house after treading on the puppy’s shit in the garden and wiped her shitty shoes all over the newly washed mat by the door.
“Really?” I asked, staring at the stinking, steaming mess. “You thought you’d come and wipe it inside as opposed to alerting me to the problem and removing your shoes outside?”
And, there we have it. No matter how hard you try sometimes, shit just happens.
Luckily my mats are machine washable.
Miss you, Mum x