I’ve been cool as a cucumber all week. I’ve had one child or another, or two, home sick every day. I’ve been going to the gym at night, doing uni readings at the doctor’s waiting room, and generally just rolling with it. Tomorrow I have the extended family coming over for lunch, as I do every August. I started because my family is big and my parents are old. They can’t host a full family gathering anymore. So they host smaller ones, and I host this one. And now I’m getting stressed.
When I started we weren’t really used to having parties. I’d go a bit mad. I’d yell at everyone while I’d spend two days cooking and cleaning. For the first one we didn’t have enough chairs, and I had to borrow from the neighbours. Another time I didn’t have enough cutlery and some of my guests ate with plastic baby spoons. One day it was very hot and my partner said we couldn’t sit everyone out in the blazing sun so my daughter smothered them in sunscreen and everyone wore a hat - mostly a hat from our dressup box. No-one complained. Everyone was happy. I need to remember that no-one is coming to inspect my house, and just as well.
I’ve had the kind of day where I’ve boiled the kettle a few times to make a cup of tea but haven’t actually got to make the tea. So now I’m just having a coffee. I’ve taken Clancy to the doctor’s this morning and spent an hour waiting for her prescription to be filled. I’ve shopped for groceries and bought some plates from an op-shop. I’ve made three desserts with three different children, because Clancy tells me it isn’t nice to be told she can help by staying out of the way. I’ve abandoned any hope of reading uni notes or going to the gym this weekend. I’ve combed three children and myself for nits because we don’t want our guests leaving with any unwanted party favours. I’ve upset the child who is giving up furniture for the 40 hour famine (and she gave up food for 20) by expecting her to sit down while I comb hair. I’ve brought in the washing but haven’t put it away. And I’ve just remembered that I haven’t bought my sister a gift for her birthday.
I’ve always told the children they can watch the M rated Harry Potter movies when they on tv as PG, and that’s happening tonight.
I’ll be going a bit crazy in the morning.
Having the whole family over also makes me a bit sad. It was at my place that we were last all together before my sister died. It was clear that she was dying, and she didn’t stay long. I was shocked to see her. She walked into my house like she was walking out of Auschwitz. She had Christmas presents for my girls because she knew she wouldn’t be here for Christmas and she was right. We took lots of photos.
This is what I’ll be reminding myself in the morning as I’m running around. The important thing is being together. Best to just keep rolling with it.