I have so much to catch up on here in Blogsville! Why is it that for 48 weeks of the year you could be the winner of ‘Australia’s Most Boring’ then for four weeks you live like the winner of Big Brother. You attend every event known to man and see more people in a week than you have in the last 10 years? It’s been such a big month. Weddings, elections, friends, family, birthdays, uni assignments and of course work.
Despite all of this excitement, I wanted to write about the two things that made me feel human this week. Sometimes things happen around us that make us sit back, shut up and leave us speechless.
After school each day the teachers wait with the children at the pick-up area. Most teachers hate this part, and admittedly some days I do stand there thinking ‘Hurry up and get your children, the quicker you come the quicker I can get my own boys’. This week I stood at pick up with tears in my eyes, hidden under my sunglasses of course. I watched as child after child ran excitedly towards their mums and dads with those big open armed hugs that only kids can give. It was like they hadn’t seen each other for years. The parents walked in one by one, some in work uniforms after a crappy day at work. Some feeling tired, some feeling completely ‘over it’. It would not have mattered if they had left the house fighting each other in the morning, all was forgotten by home time and their mums and dads were their heroes. One particular boy had been struggling with his behaviour all day. It was fair to say he was being a little…(insert word here). By home time I was glad he was going home to someone else’s house. Moments later I looked up and saw his mum beaming from ear to ear as he ran towards her. Just goes to show even the naughty ones have a mum who thinks the world of them. Might just remember this next time I get a tricky one.
(NB: not all teachers leave on the bell, remember I’m doing casual work. Just had to add that in, as my teacher friends would kill me for feeding the great debate on teacher working hours)
Secondly, A few weeks ago I was stunned by the death of Charlotte Dawson. I felt so strongly about the issues surrounding her death that when I sat down to write about them I couldn’t. It was in the too hard basket. Where do you start? Suicide will always evoke extreme emotions, be it anger, guilt, sadness or disbelief. I guess at the end of the day, I didn’t because whenever a celebrity is pushed into the spotlight, I am left feeling like we should be telling the stories of the people behind the lights, the everyday strugglers, the ones whose stories are never told.
This week upon returning to work the staff were informed of the tragic passing of one of our young mums. She was 34 years old and had taken her own life in the most devastating way. She left behind a husband, a darling 5 year old daughter and a beautiful 7 year old son. It is now known that she suffered from severe depression. I write this with just love and pure sympathy – absolutely no judgement. Judgement from others will not help her beautiful children as they try to live life without their mum. I looked at her little girl yesterday as she sat listening to me read her a story. Inside I was a weak mess but she smiled back at me waiting to hear more. I wondered what was going on in this little mind, and thought how most adults in the same situation would have lay on the floor kicking and screaming. Sometimes children are there to be the teachers. This five year old showed more courage, dignity and strength than most people I have ever encountered. At the end of the day she came to collect her sticker and her face lit up with excitement, just one week after losing the most important woman in her life, even if she hadn’t yet realised it was forever. She placed the sticker on her hand then skipped out of the room.
As a mum I was rocked to the core by this story. There have been moments where I myself have questioned if I was the best mum for my boys, luckily as with most people who doubt themselves, these thoughts were fleeting and I have a fabulous network of loved ones around for when days get tough. I guess the lesson learned here is that sometimes there is nothing that can keep people with us. But just in case there is a small chance, it costs nothing to ask ‘Are you okay?’