Monday, September 20, 2010

Singing In The Rain

I should be miserable.

It's raining...
...and it's not the rain I like, which is the take-the-skin-off-your-back rain with hair on it's chest and fire in it's belly.  The kind that sounds like there's a small army of steel toed tap-dancers on acid doing an electric boogaloo on your roof.

But no, it's that half-hearted, snivelly sort of drizzle that can't quite decide if it's going to fade dully into fog or just find a quiet corner in a field and die of boredom.

So there's crap rain going on.

Then there's the coffee jar.
I keep an old coffee jar for chucking in those annoying copper coins that rattle around your purse and make it hard to find the real money.
This morning I upended that coffee jar, took the contents into the bank, and changed it to cash to help us buy bread and milk for the rest of the month.
Even the church-mice shed a tear.

So I should be wailing and gnashing my teeth all the way to the loan shark to sell him a kidney.

But I feel unaccountably happy and serene.
I don't normally question feeling happy...I just enjoy it, but this just didn't add up.
I wondered if my anti-depressants had been souped up by a renegade pharmacist, hell-bent on making the world a happier place.
I wondered if I had become so jaded by life that I had succumbed to some giant happy delusion just to help me cope.
I questioned if I had finally overdosed on tea, leading to a delightful loss of grip on reality.

But it's none of that.
As I drove into town this morning I thought of the marriage vows Bob's Dad and I took over 14 years ago, and remembered how we promised to be there for each other for better or for worse.

Well, I guess this is a "worse" bit (autism, miscarriage, depression etc. notwithstanding *cough*...okay, so there may have been some other difficult times as well), and we're still a strong couple.
I can't believe I'm saying this with a straight face, but love really is all that matters.

After all these years of trying hard to be grumpy old cynic, it took a recession and a few of life's hard knocks to bring out the romantic in me.
Who'd have thunk it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Family And Other Animals

You would think that my life is complicated enough.
My three kids attend three different schools.
After school there is horse-riding, boxing, scouts, homework club and guitar lessons to shoe-horn in our week.
I have an autie kid who likes to twang our nerves to breaking point by playing chicken with traffic and dismembering electrical appliances.
He is also an occasional drowner of fish (yes, you read that correctly).

Time management is something other people do.

It is quite nice if we find time to eat and wash occasionally.

But some people thrive on adversity.
Those "some people" being my kids.
I'd rather be burrowed under the duvet watching 30 Rock and drinking tea.  Adversity is wildly over-rated.
But my kids are an odd breed who believe that we should fling our doors open to the animal kingdom and invite them ALL to move in with us.

To date we have the following creatures co-habiting with us;
Two dogs, one hamster, one budgie, six hens, one  nervous goldfish and a cat.
If not for the forceful, and frequent, use of the word "NO!" they would also have added sea turtles, a corn snake, geckos and many, many felines to our numbers.

Now, I grew up on a farm, where animals are meant to do something.
So far, all our menagerie does is cost money and produce a frightening amount of poo.
The hens lay eggs when they feel like it, but mostly they seem to pass the day trying to commit suicide (hens are particularly stupid) and painting their nails.

If nothing else, though, my kids are learning Darwinism first hand.
A food chain has been clearly established, with the cat remaining indoors to avoid becoming a tasty doggie treat, while she terrorises the fish, the bird and the hamster by fixing them with a steely glare and whispering "soon you will be mine".

Although, in our home Survival of the Fittest has been amended to Survival of the Luckiest, as Bob is prone to opening the bird cage and the budgie has (literally) been rescued from the jaws of death on a few occasions.

I suppose Darwin couldn't get everything right.

Having pets is a great way to teach our kids to be responsible, as they learn to care for other vulnerable creatures.

I wonder if I stuck a few feathers in my hair and started squawking (more than usual) , if they would groom, feed and cosset me?
On the other hand I may be fed to the cat, or flushed down a toilet so maybe I'll stay as I am.