FF – Gloves

horses-in-snow

Rochelle’s own photo this week. And a rushed post from me. It’s nice to have time to write at all!

 

Gloves

“Where’s your gloves, now?” Sadie asked, exasperated.

“Dunno.” There was something in Evan’s voice that said he did.

“That’s four pairs gone!” Sadie yelled. “And it’s minus nine out there!”

Evan pulled his sleeves down over his hands.

“Fine. Let’s go or you’ll miss the bus,” she half pushed him out and down the drive.

On the way back to the house, she detoured into the field to check the trough hadn’t frozen. Beside it, she found a neat pile of mittens and a note in messy letters she knew so well.

“Put on you feet,” she read, “Itz cold.”

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We Don’t Have Holiday Parties…

*** Trigger Warning: This is tongue in cheek. Mostly. But if you comment with a platitude like “This too shall pass” or “Enjoy these times, they go by so fast”, I will find a trigger and pull it. Merry Christmas. ***

 

We don’t have holiday parties, here in the Motherhood…

…Because we’d have to bring the kids along, and that’s not the kind of party we’re talking about here.

… Because at any given time some proportion of us wouldn’t be able to drink because we were pregnant or had decided not to drink while nursing, or just didn’t want a hangover AND a child bursting our eardrums at 4am.

… Because another proportion of us wouldn’t be able to come or would be terribly late or have to leave early, because the baby needed nursing or we’d just given birth and couldn’t really walk

… Because part of the point of a holiday party is to get dressed up and we didn’t have time to shower this morning (yesterday’s was somewhat cursory too) let alone put on a nice dress, brush our hair or dig out the makeup that hadn’t been used as a marker by the preschooler

… Because getting dressed up means finding clothes that aren’t stained with bodily fluids and then keeping them in that state long enough to leave the house

… Because we saw at least part of every hour last night (and every other night since this ‘job’ began) and frankly our idea of a good time is now 150 minutes of unbroken sleep. Or a shower, (see above), or going to the washroom uninterrupted.

… Because do you have any idea how many presents there are to buy and wrap and label and distribute to friends and family members? Ain’t nobody else gonna do that if we’re partying, you know.

… Because then who’d move the ****ing elf?

 

We don’t have holiday parties here in the Motherhood, much like we don’t have holidays or salaries or sick days.

But yes, dear, you go ahead (to the second? third? of the month) and enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it.

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FF … or not

Sebastian turns four tomorrow, so I’ve got cakes to bake and gifts to wrap … and slime to mix (Don’t ask!). My Mum’s visiting, which is fantastic, but of course I had an ambitious idea of all the stuff we can do with her help, like making a papier mache cave for one of his presents.

And then it’s the beginning of November, so obviously I’m recovering from a cold, have a chest infection and laryngitis. Everyone’s helping out, but I’m on an enforced rest programme.

So, I’m taking a pause from a few things, including the pleasures of Friday Fiction. See you again soon!

 

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FF – Story Seeking Title

Today’s post is another heavy one, and once again about motherhood. Maybe it says something about the mood I’m in at the moment (although this story is not specifically autobiographical), maybe it’s just the bleakness I got from Peter Abbey‘s fantastic photograph below. Either way, I couldn’t think of a title, so feel free to wade in on that, or the story itself.

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Lisa rocked backward and forward, like a silent pendulum of motherhood. Ethan whimpered occasionally, his tiny fingers rhythmically scraping the tender skin of her other breast. Pain, loneliness and darkness seemed each to magnify the others into an eternity of agony, emptiness and night.

She could faintly hear another world, where her husband and parents breathed and showered and laughed.

Tears moistened Ethan’s hair. She daren’t move, so they fell freely.

When he finally dropped sleeping from her breast, she stood and touched her wet face to his. “I love you,” she mouthed as she laid him into his crib.

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FF – Mementoes

I’ll save my introduction for after the story, lest it count as a spoiler. Here, I will just say thank you to Rochelle for hosting, Claire Fuller for the photograph, and all the Fictioneers for cutting me a bit of slack at the moment, when I am struggling to read more than one or two submissions each week. My story (and then the intro) follows, and your comments and feedback are always gratefully received.

claire-fuller-8-1

Mementoes

Ella bought her first display cabinet when she was thirty-four. She’d never really been a collector; knickknacks always seemed like an expensive way to fill a house with nothing.

She chose a wooden, rugged-looking one, because Peter would have liked it. Pirate treasure wouldn’t have felt odd there. His treasures – hers now – fitted too: a piece of coral, seven rocks, a couple of dried leaves and a coin among the favourites. And then, in the final spot, the too-small urn where Peter himself could count them all forever. Her little Peter Pan, who would never grow out of boyish things.

 

Extroduction

I’ve touched on this subject before, but this week is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness week, and while Peter in the story is a little older than that technically includes, the grief his mother feels is certainly in the same camp.

I know all about boyish collections – our front window ledge and porch are cluttered with just the sorts of things Peter has left for his mother, and soon I will have a second little collector on my hands. What I can only imagine (and frankly, try not to), is the grief of a mother who has lost her child. The origins of Peter Pan, it has been suggested, are in just this sort of loss, and certainly when I read about a little boy who never grew up, the childish fantasy is edged with the adult fear. There is only one way to avoid aging, and very few of us would choose it for ourselves or our children.

I am thinking and feeling today for the Lost Boys (and Girls), and for the parents they left behind. I know this includes some of the Friday Fictioneers – my heart goes out to you all.

 

 

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Remembering Catherine

Ten years ago, my best friend called me at work to share the news that our mutual friend, Catherine, had died. Catherine was suffering from depression and ultimately it killed her: she killed herself.

This month, in commemoration of her life and our loss, a group of Catherine’s University friends are making an effort of collectively walking 250 miles – roughly the distance from her home town of Bootle to our university town of Cambridge. You can track our progress and read more about the project here. I appreciate many of you sponsored me for a walk last month, but to contribute to the cause for which we are walking, you can sponsor us in aid of mental health charity the MindEd Trust if you wish

It’s a great cause, but my main reason for walking is more selfish. Walking is proven to be good for the mental and physical health, so walking is good for us as well as being good for the cause.

I’m a goal-oriented individual, so I’m naturally inclined to check off as many miles as I can, but with little feet and little brains walking alongside, that’s rarely the way it happens.

Two weekends ago, I went with the family for a long walk in the forest. We enjoyed the changing North American trees, and a low-pressure couple of hours together looking for pine cones and pretty leaf colours. Then I went back to move the car, and walked for a while alone. It was a very different experience; freer and faster, but less social.

Then last weekend, we went again. And this time, one of the youngest members of the sponsored group got his first taste of forest walking. Dominic, who only started walking at all 10 days ago, did 100 steps or so of the 2 miles total. Again, we’d have been quicker and gone further if he’d stayed on Daddy’s back, but while those few metres add nothing to the group’s total, they are some of the most special to me, along with the times we stopped to show Sebastian the difference between evergreen and deciduous trees, or took detours to hunt crickets off the main path.

For the group, this walk is about an old friend, but it is also about mental health – both that of strangers and our own. Sebastian’s been walking for almost 3 years, Dominic for less than three weeks – they are both the strongest and best reasons I can think of for walking a little less far, and getting a whole lot more out of it as a result.

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FF Rerun – Spirit Lamps

An unexpected gift from Rochelle this week, in the form of a rerun. This story includes one of my favourite characters, so I’m very happy to take a week off and bring her back to you.

https://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/friday-fictioneers-spirit-lamps/

 

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