I've discovered I don't much like winter in an tragically-underheated house. It seems to make me gloomy, all this being cold and not being warm. So I figure I have three options: 1. Move to a tropical climate; 2. Move to a house with major central heating, or 3. Get better heating for my house. With our finances, No.3 is the definite front runner, but none of it is the insta-fix I'm after. I want to blink and be warm, constantly warm, like I have my own sun patrolling my bones.
I've discovered I don't need to ask my son every school holidays if he'd rather go back to school. I've been checking in every holidays…um, and whenever he talks about his old school friends… and other times too. I think I have worried, sometimes, that he might prefer to be at school but didn't know how to tell me. I have thought, perhaps, that he mightn't be completely happy to be here.
Today I said, “If you want to go back, you can tell me. Please don't worry that you'll hurt my feelings.”
He said, “Mum, that never occurred to me until you brought it up. You don't ever need to ask me that again. If I ever want to go back, I'll tell you.” (And he's only ten, my little old man.)
“But do you want to?”
Turns out he is, in fact, happy. Happy to homeschool, happy to be here, wanting absolutely to be here. Pretty uncomplicated.
My daughter I don't ever need to ask. She has said repeatedly, “I will never ever go back to school. Never. Ever.”
I've discovered the beauty of sitting at the computer listening to long forgotten music that my husband has just loaded into iTunes. I remember I used to always write to music. I'd get a stack of cds ready for a writing session, then just fall into the sound. What I listened to would inform my words. It felt like my own personal cloud. It feels like that right now.
I've discovered I'm writing again, regularly creating. The kids pick up on that. They write when I write, draw when I draw, and when I leave off to make a meal or clean something, they keep at it. My son finds the piano and improvises. My daughter does page after page of cartoon cats.
When I'm feeling low they feel it, when I am fired up and creating, they feel it. They are formed by osmosis and by their sweet hearts.
Today my daughter was sad in bed, finding it hard to sleep and weeping over a worry. She thought I might be cross, to be called back to her room for the third time tonight. But I said, “No. I'm not cross. I actually have to tell you a secret.”
“Well, I've been feeling sad too, today, and I'm not sure why. I was wondering if you could look after me, this time. I wonder if you could tell me it's all going to be okay.”
She smiled. “It's all going to be okay, Mummy.”
“How do you know?” (This being the question she always asks me)
“I just do.”
She wrapped me up in a hug. And I discovered, in that moment, that I was finally, actually, warm. All the way through to my unpatrolled bones.