The most painful thing in the last couple of weeks has been reconnecting with my children ... when I didn't even realise I had been so far away from them.
I was so far away from them.
At first, Rocco was confused with my outpouring of love and attention and energy. His behaviour had gotten out of control and it was up to me to fix it. I stroked his hair and looked him in the eyes. Read him books ... cleaned up his bedroom and re-arranged it and made his bed "so nice mum!"
During one big, long, uninterrupted cuddle at nightime he looked up at me in the darkness and simply said, "Best friends." I cried hard, later. Because we are not best friends, we are mother and son and I have been distracted and struggling for his entire life.
The way I can describe it is, the more Dave went along in remission from his cancer, the less well I got. I started blogging to document building my family ... I built it, and then I crumbled. Oh, Life ... darn you and your cheeky surprises!
Every single time I ever hear a baby cry I twitch and want to run over to the baby and say STOP CRYING BABY. Maybe one day, a baby crying won't make me feel like this. That day is not today. But in the meantime, I can be the mother I really want to be ... instead of a distracted, anxious woman just going through the motions and doing the bare minimum for her children.
(I'm still never having a craft box and nobody can make me.)
Max kept asking me am I ok? I said of course I am mate. I promise. He developed conjunctivitis and walked around with the reddest eyes in the world. He woke up every morning and came straight to me, sensing something that he couldn't name. I couldn't name it either, I just reassured him that I was ok. He is nine - for the first six years of his life I was an awesome mother. I want to get back to that.
I am getting back to that.
Yesterday I took him and his friend Zac down to Sydney for the opening of the revamped Sydney Tower Eye. If Centrepoint can revamp itself? So can I.
We watched Australia's first ever 4D movie, complete with a fine water mist spray during the ocean scenes. The views were spectacular. Especially this one:
The boys ran off .. I finally found them in the gift shop. Thrusting furry bottle openers in their hands, I told them they were holding actual kangaroo scrotums. The shopkeeper laughed. The boys spied a klassy stubbie and moaned, "Ohhhh yuck that's disgusting!"
I marvelled at the energy of two young boys, cruising the big smoke. They had a ball ... at one point, climbing up onto this thing and I thought, wow, how great to have a climbing wall right in the middle of Sydney. Until I stepped back.
They ran and hopped and jumped down the street. Annoying the hell out of all the city slickers: hell with you, city slickers. You have no idea what it's taken to get to this point.
We drove home and picked Rocco up. I said yes to lollies, movies, a school-night sleepover, and ice cream.
It was only annoying a few times.
I'm getting better.