Thursday, February 28, 2008

tantrums, tears and trims

I had my hair cut today. Quite a substantial haircut actually, with an alarming amount on the floor afterwards. Ordinarily this could be cause for panic, or gut-wrenching regret, but I'm okay. Really. Hair is hair. It grows back. Could it be I'm getting old and these things have fallen away? The outward artifice? Probably not, but it's nice to think so. And it's nice to run my hand through my cropped off hair and think how nice, to be comfortable in my own skin.

But today was not all good. It involved crying, by myself and others, and I wish I could say there will be no more. But three is apparently a very bad age to be, because you want to do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it. And not everybody agrees. Tres frustrating, for all concerned.

But I soon learned, your love burned brighter than the stars in my eyes. Now I know how and when, I know where and why.

So sings Missy Higgins in her beautiful version of the Split Enz song Stuff and Nonsense, one of many on the She Will Have Her Way album that lives permanently in my car's CD player. Such a beautiful song, such a beautiful album. Never ceases to amaze me, the Finn brothers' way with words. A portrait of the lovely Neil, my pin-up boy from way back, won the Packing Room Prize at the Archibalds today. When I saw it I felt like I was 14 again, dancing around the loungeroom to Mean To Me and pledging my eternal love to Finn the Younger. I still would (pledge eternal love that is, and dance around the loungeroom given half a chance).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

And that is me

Some days, when you least expect it, you find a quiet strength within yourself that you didn't know you had.
On Monday, I left my three-year-old daughter at preschool for the very first time. She was screaming, crying, inconsolable, and I spent the entire day with my stomach in a knot, wandering around the house like a zombie. I felt like Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice.
The next day I did it again, and there was no screaming, but lots and lots of tears from both of us.
Today I spoke to friends, a passing acquaintance and some family members who I somehow didn't think would have an opinion, and by telling them how I felt it just crept up on me, that quiet inner strength, the knowledge that what I think is right is actually really right, the only right, the only truth and there can be no other way.
So this Monday, instead of feeling that knot in my stomach grow even tighter, instead of doubting myself and my mothering instincts, I will spend the entire day with a three-year-old girl who will only ever know one mother. And that is me.