You take the high road and I’ll take the low road…..

Scene One

Ten…

Nine…

Eight….

Seven…

Six…

Five…

Four…

Three…

Two…

One….

That’s it…..All over Red Rover!!!!!!!  Done!!!! Finito!!!!

That was my Facebook page on Friday.  I was sitting in the room beside the examination room (No I’m not a stalker mother.  The subject teacher who was also in there is a good friend of mine) counting down the minutes till the examination’s end time.  And when we hit Zero?????

Zero = Freedom!!!!!!

That’s it!  My daughter’s school life over.  No more driving her down to the school and staying there late nights because she can study better there, no more meltdowns over ‘I’m gonna fail’, no more ‘I need it to be silence!!!  You don’t realise that just walking around the house is distracting!  I don’t fell like ANYONE IS TAKING ME SERIOUSLY!’ outbursts.  No more, no more, no more.  No more of a lot of things!  She was elated!  I felt like the air had just cleared………………………

 

Scene Two

Marking exams.

She did it!!!!  She did it!!!!  She passed.  That one wild girl who gives her mother hell, who breaks all the rules, whose missed soooooo much school.  That one wild girl that I have a very big soft spot for cos she’s not so scary, she’s not so different from my daughter a couple of years ago.  That one wild girl that I have had a vested interest in.  That one wild girl, passed her semester exam!!!!!!!  My heart soared!!!!  I texted the well-being worker so that we could jump up and down in excitement together!!!!

Marking exams continued……

Fail….

Fail…. (Did he study?  This is one of the smart kids)

Fail…. (Questioning myself)

Fail…. (Well, I’ve only seen you for 5 days in the term.  No surprises there.)

Fail…  (Geez man!  What the heck am I doing wrong!  What’s it gonna take?)

Fail…  (Deep depression)

Fail…  (Someone else needs to teach Year 9 Maths next year)

Fail…  (Despair.  I am clearly not a good teacher.  I need to sack myself!)

What the??? PASS!!!!!  The kid with a disability passed.  The kid whose parent I had spoken to days before passed.  Mum held little hope he would pass.  He generally doesn’t pass anything.  HE PASSED!!!!!

 

Scene Three

Hmmmmmm…….. My son’s home.  He must have come during the night.  I didn’t know he was home.  He is 16 and recently moved in with his dad.  I get a phone call.  He’s supposed to be at work.  He had checked the roster but read it wrong.  There’s no food that doesn’t require prep time so I take him to the milk bar for a salad sandwich.  It’s closer to lunchtime anyway.  He’s not in good shape.

“Were you out drinking last night?  Answer me honestly.”

“Yes.”

“Are you hung over?”

“Yes.”

“Shit!  Get two Gatorades as well.  Sip at them.  Don’t skull.  If you’re gonna throw up you’d better do it before you walk into work, not during!”

Back to failure mode!!!!  All these people with their perfect kids who go to church and don’t deal with any of this stuff.  I suck as a mother!  All the couldda, shouldda, wouldda’s of my parenting history start to flash through my mind.

 

Scene Four

Out for a walk on the beach to let the failure complex of the day blow away.  I take a detour and head towards the back of an island, climb down to the reef and as the tide is out, explore the rock pools.  This place is just glorious and I have it all to myself.  I’m at peace with the world again and completely basking in the beauty around me….fascinated.

What struck me about today was the incredible highs and lows.  One minute high, next minute low, then high again, then low….all in one day.  I guess what it brought home was the consistency of life.  If there is a high, there will always be a low coming, but where there is a low, there is always a high waiting…. guaranteed.   It’s a case of, as surely as the sun goes down, it will rise again and visa versa.  There is encouragement and comfort in the consistency of that.

“And it came to pass…..”  A pretty common phrase in the Bible…..repeated over and over.  It’s a phrase that I have learnt to take comfort in.  As surely as something comes, it also passes.  I tell myself often, “And it came to pass”.  Some things come for the express purpose of passing again.  In the black times of my life, I have learnt to tell myself….. “And it came to pass”.  This too shall pass, like every other thing.  So for the dark times, endure it while you must and for the good times, enjoy it while you can.

Mire to Gold

Everything’s gonna be alright

Rockabye, rockbye.

 (Shaun Mullins, Rockabye)

I sat at the table last night at a restaurant in town.  There was my daughter, looking like a super model, surrounded by her amazing friends from school, a birthday cake in front of her with the number 19 on top. Around me were my closest friends and my two sons, aged 16 and 20.  I couldn’t help but bask in the moment.  My daughter is about to sit her final school exams and forge her own life.  My eldest son is already making his way in life and my youngest son is not far off and seems to have his head screwed on right.  They are good people!  They have turned out to be solid, caring, intelligent young people with a sense of purpose in life and goals for their future.  We have almost ‘arrived’.  We’ve done it.  We’ve made it.  I am almost across the finish line of THIS stage of my parenting.

It’s been a torrid ride getting to TODAY.  A psychopathic ex-husband more bent on corrupting his children for kicks than parenting and nurturing….more bent on using them to cause me angst than protecting their hearts from things they should never have to deal with as children.  He was the type of guy who would offer shots to primary school kids.  One has to question WHY!?!?  You can imagine the two extremes of upbringing that these kids have had!  And here we are.  They are good people!  They are amazing people!  And that’s not just me being biased.  Ask the people who know them.  Ask the teachers, ask the friends, ask the customers, ask the family.  They will tell you.

How did this happen?  If anyone should have been messed up, it should have been my kids.  Especially my daughter.  When she was in Grade 3 her father refused to have anything to do with her and quite literally replaced her for a while, with a smaller, younger, less feisty version, whom he intended on adopting.  This little girl called him Daddy at the time.  She would taunt my daughter.  “Daddy loves me more than he loves you.”  For that and plenty of other reasons, she should be completely messed up, and yet there she sat last night with a number 19 in front of her  surrounded by the solid, well-grounded, intelligent, quality young people that have she has chosen to call ‘friends’.  There she sat, ready to kick arse on her exams….ready to pursue her dream to enlist in the army and fulfill her passion to serve her country in the gutsiest way she can come up with, and who am I to stand in the way?

Here we are at TODAY.  Here I am, Mum of three amazing young adults and surrounded by the most amazing group of friends.  Not just friends….they have become family.  How did we get to today?  When did life become so beautiful?  When did mud, mire and blackness turn to gold?  When did horror turn to joy?

If I could have seen today, back ten years ago, I wouldn’t have worried so much, cried so much, feared so much……but then I wouldn’t have prayed so much either, and I’m glad I prayed.

Today is just my day to marvel and be grateful.  Today is my day to see that the light at the end of the tunnel is now shining brightly and there is such thing as a happy ending.  And for me, there is such thing as a more beautiful time in life and new beginnings.