Morning tea and AFP

Today was the morning tea for my birthday at work. I supplied nibbles, brought in napkins and a couple of colleagues also kindly made cakes for me. I was in a quandary as to who to invite and who not to. That ever British thing of not wanting to offend anyone, but I can’t feed everyone though, so some people have not been included on the list.

I’ll wring my hands over it later.

At my request, Happy Birthday was not sung. There was lots of food, my motto ‘Never knowingly under catered’ you’ll not be going hungry at anything I organise. We had as usual a few people say they would come, but couldn’t get there due to last minute diary changes, but not even had we started clearing up the seagulls descended for the leftovers. The lady who helped me with the food made panna cottas, I put a notice on the intranet asking if you had one, could you please wash up the glass and return it to me? Guess how many have been eaten, enjoyed and not washed? Yup, lots.

In the middle of it all, the weekend hit me. A lot of people were asking me what I was doing for my birthday in a short space of time; I did try not to say the reason why we had to move things around, but then other people were there who did know and were asking how Peanut was. It’s not easy saying the same thing over and over again; I’ve still got the tape of his seizure running behind my eyes every time I close them, so it’s no surprise when the tears began, they wouldn’t stop.

We’ve started doing more research on seizures, not for any other reason other than we have to do something as otherwise we’re feeling a bit useless. The out-patients appointments haven’t come through yet, but Peanut saw our GP yesterday afternoon and was his usual chatty, happy self. Opening his mouth wide unprompted when she wanted to look in his eyes with her torch, not that he’s had lots of sore throats and earaches or anything. When Hubs was washing him in the shower last night, he overstretched and said ‘Ow!’ Peanut said ‘We need to get an ambulance!’ Given that we’ve had two trips in three months for our family, it’s not surprising that when someone is hurt he thought that is what we do.

Peanut slept through again last night, the pair of us getting up to peep at him whenever we woke up. At 5:45 when he woke up, he came in to our bed we all laid there dozing till 6am and the alarm went off and then we all got up. Our routine will change, but slowly. I don’t want him to figure out what we’re doing by making too many changes all at once.

Last night I sat on the couch while Hubs watched the cricket. I am enjoying the T20 festivities, but they’re beginning to wear a bit thin now, (similar to the AFL season with matches nearly every night of the week as TV coverage wins over everything); the cricket is on practically every night in the house, and we’re not at the World Cup yet. On my couch I finished reading Amanda Palmer’s Art of Asking, I don’t know how many pages I underlined, wrote notes on and folded corners over. The book is looking very well-loved after only one reading. I have a feeling it will be a book that I dip in and out of often. I read out a page to Hubs too, laughing so hard I could barely get the words out. Other pages made me weep, some I just gave over to primal guttural sobs so raw was the writing, so loudly did it resonate. If I had read this as a teenager, my life would have been completely different. When can you begin to make changes? When do you start to say ‘I need this?’ or ‘I want that’. I hope I’m not too late to make changes, to begin to ask for things that I want and need as person.

All my life I’ve done as I was told. Gone where I’ve been led. Only in the past ten years as my first marriage unravelled and broke down, then began to rebuild myself again did I find a little glimpse of who I was. Friday night I’m going to see Amanda Palmer at the Thornbury Ballroom, she’s going to do a book signing after the show. I’ve been thinking about what I want to say to her. Given what has happened this week, it’s changed. Now I’ve finished her book, it’s changed again. I came late to the AFP phenomenon. I’d not heard of her before a few years ago, I honestly can’t remember when I was aware of her, she just wandered into my life and is now a firm fixture here. It’s like she’s a girlfriend I’ve known for years.

I need to say thank you to her. I need to tell her that she saw me, even though she doesn’t know me, that she saw through the façade, looked me square in the eye and saw me. I wrote yesterday that everything has changed, nothing would be the same. I know that something huge has shifted inside of me and I’m still processing it.

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