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S02, Episode 4: Holiday
And then it started to snow.
Big fat flakes floating around us in the cold, starry night. Snow in late April. Nary a flake all winter but this night is the night it snows with all its might.
The night the lock on the front door has decided to seize. It's 10 pm. Oh. Buggering. Shit.
'Mummy it's lobley!' Daisy is making snow angels.
'Oh darling no...!'
'It's getting cold, open the door, Mum.'
'I'm trying, Lily!' Gritting my teeth I try a variety of positions on the lock and door.
Graceful to the end, leg up on the jab pulling and twisting and OW!
I end up on my arse.
Fuck, fuckity, fuck!!
OK. I had thought that a clearish, cold night would be a perfect chance to go stargazing. Educational and fun. In my mind, we'd pop to the beach, admire the twinkling heavens and return to hot chocolate and cosy beds. Tomorrow wake with inspired ideas about the planets, constellations and new homeschool projects. The kids would happily make star maps and planetariums. And I would have peace to catch up on a backlog of work. Win-win.
The door had other ideas. It became plain that however hard I swore at it - open it would not.
Cleverly I had left my phone inside so that limited our odds of some help. Which left the neighbours. It was pretty late and I had one child soaked from rolling in the snow and the other being especially critical. Apparently, my parenting skill was not up to standard.
Knocking on the neighbour’s door and explaining the predicament was greeted with a warm welcome. We piled in and began to thaw out. The children were enthralled with the crow. Who was less than enamoured with visitors. Uttering shrill caws every time the girls move, spoke or breathed. It is hard to make phone calls with shrieking children and crows but in the end, no one could help. Locksmiths don't work in the snow...
The only solution was to break the window. Oh, goody. My landlord was going to love this! Not unreasonably, my neighbour was reluctant to aid a break-in. After serious negotiation with Lily who was desperate to do the deed. I managed to convince her to stay with the crow and her sister.
Borrowing a hammer I smashed my own front window.
A day later Ross offered me to move in with him.
No, not forever! This is only chapter two. He was going away on a snowboarding holiday and suggested we used his place.
After I had explained the fact that once I had broken in the door had opened perfectly, he took sympathy on me. The cold snap we were having also added to my sob story and his flat had working heating.
Leaving a list of things for my landlord to fix, replace and improve, the girls and I decamped.
The prospect of staying at Ross's elicited an excessive level of excitement. They could have baths and showers without frostbite. He had a huge TV with lots of fun console games. There was heating and a giant double bed for them to bounce themselves silly on. Their delight did little to improve the sensation that I wasn't exactly doing a great job.
Yes, I was feeling sorry for myself. The house I'd chosen to start a new chapter in our lives was frankly, crap. The motivational drive I normally had for my work, ideas and creativity was seriously lacking. I was tired almost all the time and homeschooling was taking a toll.
Ross was patient, understanding and brilliant throughout it all. He had taken us into his family, we had been to events with his work colleagues and his friends. We had fun on outdoor adventures. We even chilled out well together. We worked.
The biggest problem is I don't want to be saved or always leaning on his support. I want to be seen as the strong, got-her-shit-together gal that I am.
Even I am having to admit that perhaps I haven't got all my shit together. Or more accurately some of that shit isn't all in the crapper.
It won't surprise you to learn that after my marriage broke down, I promised myself I wouldn't rely on the unreliable. I would be self-sufficient as an example of capable womanhood to my girls. After all, wouldn't it be easier to do it all without factoring in another human?
Especially a human who had no faith in my abilities and belittled my strengths at every turn. I would show him. Only I wouldn't, would I? Because and let's be honest here: someone who already thinks that of you will NOT change their opinion. And certainly not when they aren't even present to witness the events. I spent many years monster gratifying and it’s a habit I need to unlearn.
So if I'm not proving myself to my ex and I'm resisting the support on offer what the bloody hell am I doing?
Well, I'm drinking a large glass of wine and enjoying the first hot bath I have had in months. As the warmth and wine work their magic I allow a small 5 mins where I stop worrying. Just for a moment the past, the future, the rights, and the wrongs all melt away. At this moment, it’s all ok.
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