It’s been a long time since I just sat down and wrote you a letter. I have missed you. I have missed this. I know I say this every time I go to write, but it’s no less true each time.
I’m sitting in bed beside my littlest. She is a joy and a delight, a sparkling, bouncing ball of energy as most 8 year olds are. She is currently listening to an audiobook while drawing copious pictures of kawaii food. So much of parenting her is like tending to a younger version of me, except she is most definitely and firmly her own self.
I talked to an old friend tonight. He’s been suffering from all this life happening. So much life. We met when we were baby-faced and fresh in our early 20s. I had such strong beliefs then of how it all was, and how it would all be. So Pollyanna! So relentlessly optimistic! So insistent that if you just DECIDE to be happy, you can!
And almost 20 years on, I don’t know if I feel the same way. So much of life has happened since then. So much entirely out of my own control. All I know is that life is tumbling me around, wearing off my hard edges, smoothing and polishing me into a glossy river rock. And all I know is not much, except that I hope I am becoming softer, wider, more open in the process.
All I know is that when the hard shit happens, some part of me feels so very grateful to experience it. Part of me thinks: “Oh, good! I am going to be able to understand other people SO much more because of this! I will understand other people who have suffered from this too!” Part of me also rages against the shitness of it too, of course.
My kids have finished school for the year. We pulled them out early this year for… REASONS. So many reasons.
The last six months or so has… wildly stressful. The small alternative school we send our kids to began coming apart at the seams. Each new day felt like another piece of shitty information being discovered. There’s been police involved, and lawyers, and a mass exit of staff. My eldest kid had 8… 9? teachers this year. I can’t explain to you the levels of fuckery and dysfunction. I feel like any wartorn parent who has been through a Small Alternative school Drama (which I now call a SAD) would likely understand. Ain’t no drama like a small alternative school drama!
The warning signs of a depressive episode were starting in my brain last week. I cried for 24 hours and wore sunglasses everywhere to cover my tears. I turned up to my pilates lesson crying, and told my instructor I was “just having a Sad Girl Wednesday.” I just couldn’t cope with one more moment of school-related distress. My husband completely understood, and my kids were so understanding. I’m so grateful we’ve finally made the decision to reclaim our peace as a family. I don’t know why we stayed for so long. Well, I do… there were many reasons why we thought it was the best thing to do. And now it’s so very clear it’s not anymore.
My kids are starting at a new school next year. We’re sticking with a smaller independent school, but one that’s a bit more mainstream. As an alternative school devotee for the last decade (Steiner, Montessori & homeschooling), I’m anxious that doing something more mainstream may not work out… but where we’re at has Definitely Not Worked Out either, so we can only try something new!
No matter what, I’ve got two really beautiful humans as my kids. I’m ridic proud of their creativity, humour, empathy and brilliance. Just who they are is precious.
I need to write again. Here, peace and clarity and contentment can be found.
Here, the story emerges from the tangled twine, weaves itself into a tapestry.
Thank you for being here, watching it unfold.
I love you,