Hat-less

A few months ago, I shaved my head for #ShaveForACure. I raised quite a bit of money… but more than that, I raised awareness of blood-related cancers in the hundreds of kids I teach on a weekly basis.

Today, for the first time since I had my head shaved in front of them all, I’m hat-less.

Here goes!


Have a great day, dear reader!

–KRidwyn

hard to get moving

It’s been hard to get moving this morning.

I *have* been – it was an unexpected wake-up call at 5.30 instead of the usual 6 that did it, and I’ve done all that I normally would have done for this time on a Monday morning – but it’s been hard.

I’ve been down. Melancholy.

I think it’s the five deaths during last Friday night’s floods. The aftermath and the cleanup that’s going to be happening now that a new week has begun. The settling back into disrupted routine for most…and the knowledge that, for some, that routine has been destroyed forever.

I am so incredibly grateful that my husband and three young cherubs made it home safe last week. Life is a treasure, and I think that often I have not treasured it enough. It’s fragile. And fleeting.

We should make the most of it.

So that’s my intention. Starting now. To treasure life, and those that my Lord has put into my life. To remember those five people who lost their lives, and their families who are mourning right now, but not to be debilitated by my own grief, about what might easily have happened to my own family.

I would normally finish with ‘have a great day, dear reader’. I just want to point out that this is what I truly wish, for each and every one of you who is – or ever might be – reading this sentence right now. My hope for you is that your day (or night, whenever you are reading this) is a good one. One which you can look back on, and smile, and think, “I’m happy with how that day went.” I truly appreciate your taking your precious time and using it to read my words. I hope that they have blessed you in some way.

So – have a great day, dear reader. ūüôā

— KRidwyn

Weather event

helpless – a poem

I sit
In silence.

There should be noise.
There should be people.

“Weather event,” they say.
“Too dangerous,” they say.

 

I hug my knees tight against my chest. I dare not swallow, straining instead to hear the sounds I seek. My throat is tight. Every part of my body is tense. I am a taut coil of stillness.

And silence.

Ready to explode.

But waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting.

 

News reports gleefully show photos. Videos.

Wind. And rain.

And water, water, water, water, water.

Reporters with fake concern spout statistics.

More questions than answers fill my computer screen, my news feeds; friends and followers all seeking information when there’s none to give. More questions. Few answers. I turn off the TV. ¬†The batteries die in my devices, one by one.
Worry consumes me.

Parents, like me,
sit
and wait
Watching
Listening to the silence
Worrying

Worrying

Worrying
And worrying
And worrying.

There should be noise here. There should be people.

But I sit
In silence

And worry.

How long, Lord? How long?

 

Aftermath – a poem

The surf roars this morning.

It’s showing off. Reminding the world of the power of nature.

The power to disrupt lives.

To take lives.

The kids arrived home from school gone 10 o’clock last night. Every road had been cut. But they were safe.

Not every child could say that.

 

Parents

sitting vigils over empty houses

had cried with relief

Loved ones home, safe.

But not every parent made it home safe last night.

 

Morning sun brings answers

There is dryness. Warmth. Work to do, repairs to make.

But not everyone will see the sun today. Not everyone will help with the work.

 

And the distant surf is roaring this morning. Boasting of the power of nature

to disrupt lives.

To take lives.

I can hear it.

Amidst the noise, the surf.

Roaring.

Just a little sad…

My autistic son is now 6. And he’s the same precious blessing he’s been every day of his life. Since the age of 3, he’s had almost-weekly speech therapy, meaning that now, a few years on, he’s finally talking above an almost inaudible mumble; he’s quite happy to initiate conversations with people that he knows – he still won’t with strangers, but that’s fine with me! – and he’s also starting to work slowly through words, to get the pronunciation of these words correct.

This morning, talking about school today, he finally changed from saying “Morning Teeth” and “Morning Teef”. He said “Morning Tea” for the first time. It’s lovely to know that he’s growing up. That there’s now one less thing in this life that people will tease him about.

But knowing that he’ll never say it again? That’s also just a little bit sad.

Just thought I’d share that with you today, dear reader. Have a lovely day.

— KRidwyn

Wednesday’s words

So I thought I might try something new – just do some random scribbling every Wednesday. Playing with words. Playing with the feelings that words create. And not worrying if they form sentences, or rhyme, or make a whole lot of sense. Just cos!!! So here goes…

 

Whoops.

I knew it the instant I’d done it, that I’d overdone it this time. Strained my voice just that *little* too much. I could physically *feel* my throat start its aching. And it’s the type of¬†ache in the throat where you just know. Know exactly what’s coming next. Know because you’ve been there before.

Ache. Soreness. Discomfort. The beginnings of pain.

Loss. The temptation to whisper, knowing that whispering will just make matters worse.

Knowing that it will prolong the recovery time.

Knowing, and feeling helpless.

Powerless.

Useless.

I like to think that I have a large, intense personality, barely contained within my small physical frame. The surprising amount of volume that I can muster, from said physical frame, forms a huge part of this personality. the kind of volume that has been developed with decades of singing, decades of teaching.

My volume, and my ability to use it when needed, gives me confidence. Strength.

The ability to communicate, to have input into the lives of those around me just by opening my mouth, gives me… well… power.

Without it, I feel less.

Inadequate. Stripped.

Defenseless.

 

Moral of story: STOP!!!!!

Next time, preferably, *before* you get to that ‘whoops’ moment, Ceridwyn!!!

 

 

Grieving

Emotional alert. As in, for me. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Okay…
So I tweeted last night that yesterday had been a teary day. And it was. Perhaps blogging about my reaction to the thought of my boy never learning to read opened the floodgates or something, but once it started, boy!!! It’s been hard to stop! I broke down in Mr 3’s Speech Therapy session; I bawled after my afternoon Skype to Hervey Bay; I snivelled through the rest of the evening; and although I went to bed *fairly* early (soon after 10) I was up again at 2 this morning, getting editorials finished and ad mockups created and responding to emails and so on and so forth. So yes, today was also a teary one- but at least I’m recognizing that lack of decent sleep has something to do with it, today!
So anyway, I think I’ve figured out the reason for my tears. I’m grieving.

I’m grieving for the life I had hoped that Mr 3 would have. I guess as parents we all have dreams for our kids… I had just never realised that what I had dreamt for him was unrealistic. That his life will be different to what I had imagined. So I’m mourning that loss. Reason number one.
I’m saddened that it is just me who mourns this. Because *he* will never know any different; he will never realize “what he’s missing” – if, indeed, the life I had envisaged ended up being ‘better’ than the one that he *will* have.
Reason number two.
Reason number three: embarrassment. How arrogant of me! As a Christian, I believe that God’s plans are perfect, for each of our lives, so the life He has planned for my little man is far better than anything I could ever come up with! So how arrogant is that, to have been thinking that the life he will have is somehow ‘less’ than what I had hoped / planned for!
Reason number four: embarrassed tears were engulfed by tears of shame. The reality of ‘this is how it is’ saddens me. Because the truth has hit (again) that no, he will *not* be going to Pre-Prep next year. And quite likely, he will *not* be going to Prep the following year. Which means more time at home with me… a good thing… and yet… I know that this means he’ll be more reliant on me for longer than I had anticipated. And again, I’m grieving. And this is where, truth be told, I am gutted. I’m gutted to realize that this is not the situation I want. I love my boy to bits, but I don’t actually *want* him to be dependent on me for so much, for so long! I’m a selfish creature; I can’t see how I will cope! I’m already exhausted from managing just the ECDP and the Speech Therapist into my crowded life; I know I should probably be adding in a weekly OT session, and be looking at Psych. appointments too… but I can’t see how it all can fit in to our lives. Seriously! And that shatters me, to think that I’d rather have him ‘be a “normal” child’ so that life would be easier on me. I tell you what – the self-reflections of my studies are *nothing* compared to what’s been in my head the past two days…

Viewpoints – part 2

My post yesterday was about how Mr 3, my autistic son, sees the world differently. I shared a few examples – making a seesaw out of train tracks, playing both controls of a two-player playstation game, because his big sister was at school, and using the ‘word’ instead of the ‘picture’ to match cards in a Speech Therapy ‘game’.

I had a bit of response to this post – I apparently was nominated for ‘The Sunshine Award‘ (not that I know how this all works! But I’m extremely flattered, nonetheless! Thanks, butimbeautiful!); and on twitter I caused @jobeaz to *sniff* at what she thought was a ‘beautiful post’ and @gigglesigh to make the comment ‘different minds open your eyes to new things… new experiences’.

Her tweet made me stop and think. Yes, that’s so true. And I replied to this effect, hinting that I hadn’t always felt this way.

And then I thought that I’d like to explore this idea further in a blog post. So here ’tis.

I have always been a perfectionist. I’m smart, okay. Smart enough to realise that that last sentence sounds remarkably conceited, and I’ve just lost all but maybe two of my readers. But I’ll continue anyway, because I want to nut this out in my own head, and sometimes that’s easiest when I’m typing. So anyway…

Yes, I’m a perfectionist. I’m bossy. I know that I can get things done, and they’ll probably get done pretty well – if they get done *my* way. And Ghylene’s tweet made me realise that, you know what? I’m actually not entirely comfortable with “new things… new experiences”. I want things to be the best they can be, because I’m a perfectionist, and for that to happen, I need to be in control of it. Yes, I’m probably one of the biggest control freaks that you have ever met. Yes, I like ‘new things… new experiences’… but only on *my* terms.

So to *suddenly* (haha) have an autistic son has really thrown my world out-of-kilter. Suddenly I’m not in control – and, worse still, I’m aware of this fact. Suddenly I have a little body in my life who does things unexpectedly; and although the things that he does may often be those that society deems as ‘not appropriate’ (i.e. banshee screams accompanying tantrums where he loses any semblance of self-control) – reacting to these things as I would react to any other ‘normal’ child, by assuming that they are engaging in intentional misbehaviour, is also wrong. Because his reactions, although these may be ‘abnormal’ by ¬† my / our / society’s standards? These reactions *are* normal for him. And that has been a difficult adjustment for my 37 year old brain to make.

A few months ago, when Mr 3 was officially diagnosed and I was on the biggest emotional roller coaster I’d ever been on, I was overwhelmed with the support I received from many, many, many, online friends. One such, sent me a link to a blog post written by another mum whose son had recently been diagnosed with autism. She wrote about how her life had substantially changed, overnight, without warning. She described it as planning a holiday to one country, (I think it was Greece?) but had ended up in another (Italy? from memory…). And how it took a huge amount of adjustment, but then she was able to reflect on the beauty that lay in the new path she’d found herself on.

I think that slowly, I’m starting to appreciate some aspects of my new path. It’s taking a while. I cry – like when Miss 7 identifies a storybook character as autistic – from the very first page – and she’s right (Wrong Way, a book about three duckings and their mother who tries to cope) – like when Mr 3 finally says ‘Bye, bye, Mummy”, in context, and gets it sounding almost recognisable, and I realise that he is just so darn far behind his peers because he’s almost 3 1/2 and children who’ve just turned 2 can speak more intelligibly – like right now, when I’m writing, thinking of my beautiful little boy and how I love him so much and want to protect him from all the crap that life can dish out…

Anyway, I just wanted to get that out there. I’m a perfectionist, and a control freak, and I need to change all that. Hopefully, ¬†prayerfully, day by day, I am…

On this day…

The time on my computer reads 1.00am. It is Wednesday the 25th of April, 2012. On this day, back in 1915, the ANZAC legend was created.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N87UwyRI1tk&w=480&h=360]
The clip above was from the Peter Weir movie, Gallipoli. (Unfortunately it was a bit buggy to embed properly, so I apologise if it doesn’t play for you. The link is at the bottom.) Below is a written account.

The original plan / what was MEANT to happen:

The ANZAC landing area was a broad, six kilometre stretch of beach from about a mile north of Gaba Tepe to a point near Fisherman’s Hut, north of Anzac Cove. It was officially designated “Z Beach”. (The five landing beaches at Helles were designated “S”, “V”, “W”, “X” and “Y Beach”). To attain surprise the landing would commence following moonset, about one hour before dawn.

The landing would begin with the arrival of a “covering” force to swiftly capture the area surrounding the landing zone and make it secure for the main force. The¬†Australian 3rd Brigade¬†was selected as the covering force. Three¬†battalions¬†were to seize the third ridge line as well as Gaba Tepe while the fourth battalion remained in reserve. Following the covering force, the Australian 2nd Brigade would land and move to the north, climbing to the summit of the main range at Hill 971 and protecting the left flank of the landing. The original plan called for the capture of Mal Tepe, halfway across the peninsula, on the first day but only if the landing was successful would this objective be pursued by the main force; the Australian 1st Brigade and the two brigades of the New Zealand and Australian Division.

The first wave of the covering force would come ashore from the cutters of three battleships which were to approach within five kilometres of the shore. The remaining waves of the covering force would be landed from seven destroyers which were to approach close in to the beach. The main force would land from transports.

What actually happened:

As the armada of Allied ships draw nearer, by 2.00 am it was spotted by various Ottoman observers who passed the information on to Maidos HQ. The 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry Regiment was ordered to be on the alert prepare for action to repel any troops landing on the shores.

The first troops to land were two companies of each of the¬†9th,¬†10th¬†and¬†11th Battalions¬†of the¬†Australian 3rd Brigade. The companies embarked from three¬†battleships.¬†Each battleship dispatched four steamboats towing three row boats (launches and pinnaces)‚ÄĒa total of 48 boats.

The moon set at 3am and the battleships released the tows at 3.30am. Given the night was pitch dark, the tows headed due east and so relied on the battleships having been in the correct position when they were released. The journey of the tows became a shambles and numerous theories have been proposed to explain what went amiss. The southern-most tow kept a good course and was aimed correctly just north of Gaba Tepe but its commander found the neighbouring tows were heading northwards, leaving him isolated. He altered course to bring his tow closer and this may have caused a ripple effect as the other tows responded with a similar correction. As the shore was sighted, the headland of Ari Burnu became visible and some tows mistook this for Gaba Tepe and hence veered even further north.

For whatever reason, these first boats which were meant to land on a six kilometre front between Hell Spit and Gaba Tepe ended up concentrated about Ari Burnu, almost two and a half kilometres north of their intended landing area‚ÄĒin fact, in the landing area of the 2nd Brigade which was to follow. The area about Ari Burnu was defended by a single company of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment,¬†Ottoman 9th Division. The Australians began to come ashore at 4.30am. The first man to land was Cpl. Joseph Stratford #1179. 9th Btn. According to eyewitness reports, when he was waist deep in water, he disposed of most of his heavy equipment and charged towards the enemy, which cut him down in a hail of bullets.

The first troops to land were met by sporadic rifle and machine gun fire but casualties were relatively light. The 11th Battalion, which had landed just north of Ari Burnu, suffered the worst. The main enemy was confusion. The erratic course of the tows meant that the units had become intermingled. Officers were unsure where their units were or indeed where they themselves were; some thought that they had landed at Gaba Tepe. The geography was utterly unfamiliar and no objective could be identified.

Most of the troops of the 9th and 10th Battalions began to climb the first hill that confronted them, which unfortunately turned out to be the dead-end Plugge’s Plateau.

The time on my computer now reads 1.30am. It is Wednesday the 25th of April, 2012. On this day, back in 1915, the ANZAC legend was created. At this time on that fateful day, the men would have been looking out at the shoreline, using the last of the moonlight to memorise the distant shoreline. Fearing the moon setting, and impatient as well, so that the landing could be over. How many of them knew the circumstances that were turning against them? How many had any idea of just how bad it would be?

I am a proud Australian. Today is a very special day for me. I shall be posting this at 4.30am, the time that Corporal Joseph Stratford, the first Australian to land, was cut down while still waist deep in water, having not even made it to the sand. The first to die of 4,931 Australian casualties. It is my hope today that you, dear readers, may pause with me, and remember those who gave their lives for the liberties we enjoy today.

Lest We Forget.

Video courtesy Peter Weir’s 1991 film “Gallipoli”, uploaded to YouTube at¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N87UwyRI1tk¬†by fronteitaliana

‘Written account’ abbreviated from¬†http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_at_Anzac_Cove

CC Image courtesy louisemakesstuff at http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisemakesstuff/1185971424/

peevish.

Late, very late, Sunday night, I found a property I wanted. Not that I want to move, but sometimes I just run a few searches through realestate.com to see what’s out there for sale.

So I found, amongst others, an island for sale near Hervey Bay, a shack on large acreage which had (no joke) curtains instead of doors to the two bedrooms and a HUGE mural landscape painted on the wall, and… a property I instantly fell in love with. As in, one I decided that i WANTED. Badly.

Monday morning, I find out that no, this property is not for sale at 310K. That was a typo. Instead, it’s 590K. Which puts a whole new spin on things. So now I’m left with the knowledge that I still REALLY want the property, but can absolutely NOT afford it in any way, shape or form. (Let’s be realistic here… even 310K was pushing it! I’d need my best manipulative skills to convince Hubby of that one. At 590K, I don’t even stand the minutest of a chance.)

So. I’m peeved. Just thought I’d share.

(Anyone got a spare half a million they don’t mind lending me? LOL)

It’s a fine line between furious and depressed, don’t you think?

And I’m walking that line right now. It’s pretty insane the rollercoaster ride of emotions I’ve been on over the last day.

I am now the proud (I think!) owner of a 13inch Macbook Pro. I am also the owner of a two week old, top of the range, Telstra Ultimate Mobile Broadband USB modem.

And who would have thunk it – the two ain’t compatible. And it’s taken over TWELVE (insert the worst expletive you can think of) HOURS of sitting on the phone to close to ten ‘consultants’ between the two companies. Plus the hour I spent sitting in the Caloundra Telstra shop today, getting their version of Tech Support. BTW there is absolutely no comparison between f2f and phone support. I was my usual polite self, but Nicole from 133933 must obviously have felt that hanging up on me was an appropriate way to treat a customer. I happen to disagree.

So now I’m on the downward slope. Heading towards depression. The best Telstra can do is offer me Tech Support with someone ‘who knows Macs’. Thursday of next week. The best Mac can offer is an appointment at their Chermside Genius Bar; Wednesday of next week.

Yay.

I wonder if I’ll ever actually blog from my own computer ever again?

blah.

Sorry for venting. And thanks for reading. I appreciate thinking that someone out there may actually care about the crappiness that I find myself in.