Den första frosten

 

 

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I am two mothers

I am the mother who cuddles in the bed with her sweet little boy nestled in her and her husband’s arms, and everything will be okay, despite the boy needing constant attention all day.

Every day could be the last with this boy, because of a congenital issue, but the mother doesn’t think about that. She smiles with her soul when her boy smiles at her. She is filled with sunlight every day, in spite of living inside a damp, gray traumatic cloud, in spite of her aches and pains, because all those exist in a completely different realm than her and her boy. The two of them are beyond all earthly challenges – they know each other through and through, and they live. Everything is so easy, even when things are hard, because no matter what they always understand each other, and nobody can help not loving this sweet boy. And if they do, they do not exist to this mother. They are so small, beneath even noticing.

I am also the mother who lies next to a weeping child, a daughter who wants to wash away the brown color of her skin. Who wants blonde hair and to be like everyone else. I am the mother who constantly worries.

This mother can’t ever let up her grip on her anxieties. She no longer lives in the privileged world, where everyone treats her child like the norm. Where her boy is a part of something, despite his  (seen in the rearview mirror ) minor disabilities. Not only did he grow up and grow out of his disability – he now exists outside the mother’s influence, and is doing just fine. But this daughter – she reaches out her tentacles of anxiety and grabs a hold of the mother’s soul, and the mother knows that she would do anything for this girl.

She will do everything.

She will go out in the world and roar at anyone who tries to do any harm to this girl. The world has already harmed her – don’t they see that? Can’t they open their eyes, the same way the mother opened hers and see – see that daughters like these are treated differently. Not only by their mothers, because yes – this mother treats all her children differently. They all need her differently. But the daughter is constantly living in a completely different world from her friends, her teachers, her relatives – almost everyone she meets. Nobody sees that. Only the mother. And she wipes the tears, comforts the daughter, and inside her the rage is burning, the feeling of being helpless. The feeling of watching her child grow up without being able to make people see what they do to her with their innocent questions, and they’re not so innocent comments.

”Where are you from?”

”Why is your skin brown?”

”Is he your real brother?”

”Why did your parents give you up for adoption?”

”Brown is the color of poo”

The mother wants to go out into the world and cram the knowledge that she has learned into everyone’s mouths , esophagus’s and stomachs, until they gag and get filled with it and stop making her daughter feel like an Other.

And start letting her feel like she is a person. Just as everyone should be treated.

Sometimes this mother forgets that another mother also exists. Years have passed and the first mother, the one with the child who was an extension of herself, a wish too perfect to even contemplate wishing – that mother sometimes looks up.

Suddenly she is there in the room with the other mother, and the other mother remembers.

She remembers that she was once like that. She was once able to sleep at night. She had moments of happiness, of not constantly worrying. Of existing in the moment. She remembers having a small daughter, who smiled back at her so that her chubby beautiful cheeks pinched together, and those dark brown eyes looking at her like the mother was the center of the universe. The mother wanted to give this child everything that that other child got, but she couldn’t. She can’t. She can’t remake society, but she does her best to do her small part despite knowing it will never be enough. She roars, and she informs, and she points things out, and little by little, she tries to re-create the world for her child, and she does this knowing that no matter how much of a tiger mom she is – that will never be enough. There will always be people out there who hurt her child, unwittingly or with intent.

I am two mothers, and sometimes these two mothers meet. And the privileged mother knows how privileged she is, because no matter how much she would want things to be otherwise – that other mother needs to exist too. In this time and place, she needs  to exist, but in the future she builds for her children? She hopes against hope, that there will sometimes come a day when there will be no need any longer for tigers who roar.

 

 

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A full life

Less than two weeks ago, my grandmother died, and now her apartment is emptied, her few belongings placed wherever they are needed and the funeral services have been held.

It was one of the most beautiful funerals I’ve ever been to.

It is awful beyond words to be at a funeral of a child, or of anyone who have left us long before their time. But when the person you grieve is someone who has led a long life, and a happy one at that – there is not much to be sad about, other than that you don’t get to spend any more time with that person. As the pastor said – they are at peace now, it is us that are left behind that are sad.

Anyone would be fortunate to leave the earth this way – surrounded by children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren, all who will miss her, but who are also happy for all the wonderful memories that they made together during those many years.

Thank you for all the pancakes and songs and bedtime stories, grandmother Eva!

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The fruits of my labor

”So what you really love is watching things grow?” My therapist used a dry, rational tone, not minding that I was weeping, dry-heaving and sweating all over my body.

”Yes” I said, and then I realized I meant it. Yes – I love watching things grow. I love tending them. I love the process, seeing things become something out of nothing. Something out of pain or suffering even. That gives me purpose. That gives me a reason to be.

I love gardening because of this.

I love having kids because of this.

I love having pets, and not just any pets – pets that need a loving home, that need the love and patience that we can give them.

And I love finally getting to see the fruits of my labor.

Like this little bunny here – he was so afraid and traumatized when we got him this summer, but now he is the happiest bunny in the world!

”Your daughter has so much emotional intelligence.”

”He is such a special teenager.”

”Nobody is more helpful than he is.”

This is why I became a parent. The foundation was given to me by a loving family who let me be myself and let me grow up seeing all the ways a single person can make a difference. How one person can become a positive influence on the world simply by becoming one who enjoys the whole process of watching things grow, even if it entails having seeds that don’t germinate metaphorically or concretely, rabbits and hamsters that die, children that throw tantrums and say they hate you, even hit you and threaten to kill you.

One day it was my turn to be the next generation, the supposed adult.

I read so many books when we had our first child, and among them  ”7 habits of highly successful families” by Stephen R. Covey. Although I didn’t agree with everything the author said, one thing stuck in my mind – successful families are those that have a long-term goal in mind. The author had somehow managed to formulate something that had been on my mind since I was little – that we need to look to the future as well as to the present when our kids are small in order to get where we want to be.

I had a long talk with Niklas and we formulated our goals for our family, and despite them not being realized every step of the way, they have been there in the back of our minds all the time as a beacon. And now it feels as if we already have almost reached our destination.

Suddenly we have kids who enjoy playing outside. Who enjoy board games. Who can solve problems by talking. Who can stand being bullied in school, but still don’t let that define themselves as persons.  Who dares be different and be themselves.

We can almost see the adult versions of them already. They’re not perfect – but neither of us are perfect, and that is how things should be. But all the hard work that especially I have put in seems to actually pay out dividends.

So is it worth it, to have sleep disorders, all kinds of stress-related symptoms and not have any money saved up for my retirement or even a tiny career to talk about? Is it worth all the agony, all the endless days where the only thing I could even think about was to remember to breathe?

Absolutely.

Because I love watching things grow, and I can finally see the fruits of my labor. And sometimes the harder you have had to work for something – the more precious it seems.

 

 

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Saturday walk

 

 

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Autumn sunsets

This is my favorite part of autumn – all the lovely sunsets.

 

 

 

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Some days still feel like summer

 

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Autumn thoughts

Little by little our house feels more like our house. Every time I think we’re finished, I come up with something that need tweaking. This time it was our system for the mugs that we use everyday. We only needed some hooks and a practical place to put them, and voila – all five mugs ready to use right next to the fridge.

So much harvesting to do these days!

We freeze the chilies and eat the tomatoes. I’ve been moving chili plants into the smaller greenhouse all afternoon, where they will be much happier and warmer during the nights.

My daughter keeps bringing home pretty leaves!

We got  almost the whole house cleaned yesterday – thanks, Mom! It feels great, although the bunny is now busy running around like a maniac sniffing at everything.

Trying to get some writing done, but it’s not easy during the weekends when the kids are home. But we’ve been chasing Pokemon instead! It is so much fun, and we all get much needed exercise.

Maybe it’s not too bad autumn is already here.

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So much to do (and bunnies!)

Every day I think to myself – today is the day I blog about the cruise, and the Ancient Fires-night, and the garden and my new DIY-project – and everyday there just doesn’t seem to be that particular time and space that I need for the blog.

Mainly because I’m so busy doing stuff, like a course about Writing the Other, texts for my new writing group, translating my WIP (work in progress) and just trying to get healthy. One week on a cruise ship followed by school starting and troubles with my eyesight have definitely taken a toll! Which is also why I try not to force myself to the computer at other times of the day than those when I’m supposed to be writing.

Also, bunny…!

It’s a bit distracting to have a little buddy who wants you to pet him all the time, or when he doesn’t he runs through the house with glee!

 

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Feeling and seeing blue

Sometimes I wish life was easier. But then again – if I didn’t have hardships every now and then (or constantly since I became an adult), I wouldn’t perhaps have as deep an understanding for what my kids go through. Because they do have hardships. They can’t conform. They stick out here where we live for many reasons.

At the moment I’m struggling with my eyesight and doctors and staff everywhere who keep focusing on the fact that I am over 40, and disregard anything I say regarding my symptoms as a cause of that.

Times my husband has had people tell him that he is over 40, and that he should just ”get on with it” – 0.

Times I’ve had people tell me I’m over 40, so I should just get used to my body not being in top form – too many to count. Every time I’ve seen a doctor, a specialist, an optician. Random people.

Times my husband has had his symptoms acknowledged because of a list I’ve sent with him – every time he goes to hospital. Including a time when he lost consciousness and I sent him to the E.R. with a description of his seizure.

Times people listen to me when I have a list of my own symptoms – a few. My husband actually remembers this one time at a private clinic in Copenhagen, and then there was this one gynecologist who were really great at actually listening to what I said.

No wonder people keep saying that women get worse health care than men. Because there is an inherent bias that women complain too much. Women exaggerate. Women should just get on with their lives, and stop bothering people. And that bias is inherent in both men and women. It is the system, i.e. the culture, that is wrong.

At the moment I am so relieved I have stopped seeing blue halos around objects. I went for an eye exam, and apparently I had an unusual reaction to the eye drops that they used. Which also explains why I haven’t had any inclination for gardening or outdoors activities lately – I only a few days realized that that is because my eyes are so light sensitive.  Mostly I’m just so angry with people telling me that I should just get used to all the odd symptoms I’m having, all the time.

I used to think that doctors didn’t take me seriously because I was a young girl. Well, now that I’m over 40 they still don’t take me seriously! Now with the added ”Well, you are over 40…”.

It’s only been a few weeks and I’m already missing taking photographs and seeing proper colours, but today I went out and took a few pictures just to get back a bit of that relaxing feeling that I used to get when seeing our garden through a camera lens.

I usually relax when I make my pretty pictures, but not this time – now I only get angry at not seeing properly, and not getting the proper care!

Well, the great thing is I know that when I look at the pictures later on I will have forgotten all about my state of mind, and only see a beautiful Agapanthus (I’m so happy we finally have one, and that it is thriving in our care!).

Which is also a great life lesson to learn – forgetfulness has its place in life as well, and is not always a curse.

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