Tuesday, June 06, 2006

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.

Why?

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.

Without hesitation.

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.

12 Comments:

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Bill Cooper said...

Hi Nilk
I have 6 little gifts from 20 to 2 years and at times I could have cheerfully throttled all of them but I didn't. They are the reason I used to (and still do) get out of bed. At night now the youngest calls out at 2 in the morning, I go downstairs and all he wants is a cuddle and hug then back to sleep, what more could I want. I wouldn't change a thing, (except for the first wife). I still doubt whether god had anything to do with it.

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

Bill, for years I never said anything remotely religious because I believe it's between myself and God.

In our current day and age, with all of the crap going down, I've decided to be a bit more open about it and if people don't like it, that's their call.

There have been a lot of surprised mates over the years due to that reticence lol.

Please don't feel I'm preaching at you, because I'm not. I'm the only catholic in a family of agnostics and atheists, go figure.

You can never have too many hugs from a 2year old.

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger C.L. said...

Your daughter is a lucky little girl to have you.

 
At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

word - your very lucky

 
At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nilk,

Two year old girls may not like kisses, but tickles still work on my 7 year old.... and when all seems lost, you're right... hugs never fail! (even from a 40 something Dad)

DM

 
At 7:34 AM, Blogger Drive By Fruiting said...

Your blog rocks!

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger Jai Normosone said...

So why the 20/20 hindsight? Just reflecting on where all the naysayers have said you were stupid in your life yet you persevere to prove them wrong?
The PND; the isolation; the lack of $; the breakdown; the abandonment - and still you are there.

You have proven them wrong - yet you have completely missed half of the equation in all of this: You have forgotten that Magilla would not be Magilla if it wasn't for her wonderful mother.
Sure, it is better for others to make note of this instead of yourself so here is the notice :)

Over the years, out of the numbers of children I've helped raise, seen raised by my family and other children that I've met through training and teaching - Magilla really is a shining example of what one woman can do if she doesn't give up. If she doesn't allow herself to be dragged down by the negativity of philanderers who seek to use and abuse. If she stands fast in the face of the adversity that society lays at the feet of single mothers.

Having seen the look of the face of Magilla's mum when she is around, I really cannot imagine what you would have been like before the bub took up residence but I get this real sense of 'completion' between the two of you.

Regardless of what anyone says, that girl getting knocked up has definitely made the world a better place and given two souls more than enough reason to live :)

That fear of abandonment should be long gone now.

 
At 7:23 PM, Blogger Rachy said...

talk about making me want children now, somehow after a long journey within myself I actually believe all of the effort would be worth it, and you have just consolidated that belief by this post...

 
At 7:46 PM, Blogger LYL said...

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.

Well put.

I'm so impressed with your response to the checkout chick!!!!

Good on you for your perseverence...

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

I'm really slack about responding to the blog every day, as you've probably noticed, but working, houseworking et al have been impinging on my time.

Apologies for the tardy and group replies.

Thanks, CL and DM.

Jai, Magilla has nothing resembling fear of abandonment from mummy, you know that. She's just getting used to the changes. She's still amazingly grounded, but it's taken a lot of hard work to ensure that.

I've just made a point of standing my ground where she is concerned against all comers. She's my responsibility, it was (and is) my choice to raise her as I do.

The buck stops here, and I'm damned if I'll abrogate my duty of care so that other people will get off my case. They can FOAD as far as I'm concerned.

Rachy, I can't recommend having children highly enough. With one caveat: be prepared to turn your life upside down.

It ends as we know it, and in this day and age of individualism at all costs, it's a very hard path. It's worth it, but the price is high.

Then again, we don't value that which comes cheap.

LYL, thanks to you, too.

One of my reasons for the TMI Files is precisely because of the cone of silence. That's what I call it, at least. We are all so busy in our own little existences, the networks that should be supporting us are often too weak to do so, and a lot of knowledge that was tranmitted almost osmotically gets lost on the way.

As a society we are all the poorer for it.

We're all too busy being 'successful' to think about why we do things and what the longterm gains are.

When I make decisions about Magilla I do it while thinking about what sort of a person she'll be in x years' time. That is difficult for a lot of people to get their heads around, hence 3.5 years of digs from my father about getting a real job, for example.

These days, however, she's too advanced, so I can't make jokes to checkout chicks like that anymore.

Nor can I threaten to sell her for parts when they throws tantrums in public. That's always a good one, but I think we'll have to wait until she's about 12 or so, and can have a laugh about it herself with me.

Of course, by then she'll probably have already stuck a polaroid of me on ebay herself. Or set me up with someone from rsvp.com. bleh! :)

It's all good, jsut not in the ways we expect.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Jai Normosone said...

Nilk,

Um... I was referring to your fear of abandonment rather than hers. If there is something I know for certain and I'm pretty sure that she would know it as well: if anyone ever picked on her unfairly, her mum would be there to tear someone a new arsehole - and then start to get nasty.... >:)

Of course, her mum should also realise that if someone started to pick a fight with both of you, there are allies in the background that you may not realise that you have. You're far from being alone anymore :)

RSVP.COM??? Oh, come on... isn't that where all the skanky women and limpdicks go? They wouldn't know what to do on that site if they tried to register someone of your intellect and class! (FYI - that is: towards the TOP end of the scale - not down the extreme-bogan end.... :)

As for scaring checkout chicks, the next best way to go would be along the lines of "I'm trying to fatten her up - her younger sister barely kept the rest of us fed for a week! They *were* good sandwiches from the leftovers though...." >:D

 
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