The TMI Files. Dumb Decisions and 20/20 Vision.A couple of years back, going through a bit of a rough time, I was speaking with a friend of 15 years or so, and she commented to me:"Have you ever thought of looking over your shoulder at what you've contributed to the situation?"
As I replied to her, "Only every day."
Needless to say, I've not spoken to her since. It's a shame, because I felt we had a very good friendship, but obviously not as good as I thought.
So we move onwards to today......
Any close personal friend of mine will tell you I am waaaay too analytical, with the emphasis on anal. They will also tell you that I take things too personally at times, but so do we all.
They won't tell you that I have made some incredibly stupid decisions in my life. They are far to wonderful and diplomatic for that, and would only suggest that I've perhaps chosen the more challenging pathways.
That's only one reason why I love them :)
When I look at Magilla, and the upheaval that her existence has ensured for far more people than would be expected from some girl getting knocked up, I am amazed at how it's all worked out.
There has been the canyon in my relationship with my father; the friendships shattered because they could not bear the weight of my choices; the penury; the post-natal depression combining with a breakdown; the isolation, frustration and at times a crippling sense of abandonment from people I had mistakenly thought supported me.
And throughout it all, has been the struggle to raise my daughter as I saw fit. Without interference from all of those well-meaning people who've been there, done that, and therefore know better than you what is best for your child.
The cone of silence that parents labour under is heavy, and it's only through my closest friends that I've realised that the frustration, isolation, guilt and often anger towards your child and your life is normal.
So when I look back at the last few years, I can safely say that getting pregnant, having a child and then raising that child as a single parent is probably the dumbest of some seriously stupid decisions I've ever made.
And you know what?
It's also the best.
For all of the heartache and hardship we've been through (and will no doubt keep on going through), I'd do it all again the same way.
Because nothing beats the love of your child or for your child.
Nothing beats the lots of cuddles but no kisses ("I don't like kisses!")
The screeching of 'brakes' from the back seat as we drive around corners or the assistance in mashing potatoes, which often ensures twice the cleaning and half the food.
The smiles, the tantrums and sulking fits. The silly jokes (she's just discovered 'tricking') and the evolving conversational skills.
Hopefully logic and critical thinking won't be too far behind!
The pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days straight because she is refusing anything else, and ten litres of milk a week.
The black eye from a set-to with the cat with caused much consternation at the shops. No consternation for me, of course, but a little tacker with a shiner gets a lot of sideways looks. Especially when upon being asked about it I rolled my eyes and volunteered the information that the kid had been giving me the gyp lately and it was just one of those things.
That was a most politically incorrect thing to do, but sod it - I'm not interested in checkout chicks implying I beat my child up. Magilla has only ever has the occasional smack on the backside or the back of the hand. Never anywhere else.
In any case, she is so grounded and warm and funny and loving, not to mention fearless and spunk, that nobody would ever consider her a victim of anything except too much leeway.
So, yeah, I know my dad and a few others wouldn't be happy for me to do it over, but I would.
My nana's middle name is Grace, and I have innumerable cousins on that side of the family. Some of whom have the name Grace in there somewhere. Nana thinks that Magilla's middle name is Grace after her.
It's not, although I would never tell Nana that.
Grace is a gift from God. It is something we are given that we do not deserve, which is tempered with the Mercy we are shown whereby we do not receive what we justly merit.
She is my gift.