Things around here have been more than slightly mental than usual since our return from The Cottage. And when I say "mental", I mean it in the truest sense of motherhood. As in, not cerebral. As in, INSANE.
As you may recall, I returned to a fair degree of chaos here on the home-front on that fateful day after the long weekend. The garden was as good as dead. The house was a tip. There was mould growing in the uncleaned filter of my (life-giving!) coffee maker, thanks to a certain husband (who, of course, has since been forgiven... sort of). Christ, even the goddamn CAT had CONJUNCTIVITIS by the time I got home. Which, I suppose, just goes to show you how truly indispensable I am as a human being. Or, at least THAT'S the spin that I've tried to put on the whole thing...
Trying to whip the household back into shape and return my girlies' lives to some semblance of manageable normalcy has been more than a slight challenge these past two weeks.. One of the reasons being that while we were away, the wonderful young woman whom I hired last spring to come in two afternoons a week and play with the girlies while I got some WORK DONE, sent me an e-mail saying that she had decided to accept a position teaching at an international school in Japan. And that she would be departing within days.
Now, I will give you that when I found this lovely young woman to babysit my children, one of my very first thoughts was, "Wow! Is this chick overqualified for the job or what??!" She was perfect. TOO perfect, as it turns out.
I sent her an email back, congratulating her, praising her to the skies, and thanking her for the wonderful few weeks that we were able to enjoy with her...
And then I panicked. HOW was I going to get everything that needed to be done DONE, alone with the kiddiwinks at home all day??!
Well, I let work slide, that's how. No matter what, I wasn't going to steal from my girlies' precious few weeks of summer holidays. They needed my full attention and opportunities to enjoy themselves, and so everything else sort of had to fall by the wayside.
And it's been hard, people. The Goddess has been stretched out thinly these past few weeks, trying to "cover all the bases" at the same time... The Nerves have been worn down to their exquisitely sensitive nubs as a result.
But, today, everything changed for the better.
Because today, one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world gave me a tremendous gift...
The gift of his lovely, kind, intelligent, responsible sixteen year old daughter, on a plane from BC, to be a "mother's helper" for us for the remainder of summer holidays.
This girl is nothing short of an indescribable wonder. She is the "big sister" that my eldest daughter has always wanted. She is the adored object of my six-year-old's affections. She mesmerises Wee Three, and never tires of PLAYING. She also has a wicked sense of humour, and an instinctive sense of "what needs to be done" in every situation. To quote my favourite character from children's literature, Eloise, this young woman is my "Mostly Companion", which to my mind, is some of the highest praise that one human being can give another.
Whenever she is with our family, we all just "click", and everything turns 'round right.
She came and stayed with us last year for two wonderful weeks, and during that time, not only did she amuse the children beyond any of our wildest dreams, she helped me to systematically work my way around our then-cluttered house, and organize almost all of the chaos. Our biggest accomplishment was The Playroom... by the time we were done, there was a place for everything, everything was in its place, and many, many enormous clear plastic bags were crammed full of stuff and on their way to a local women's shelter.
Oh, she's good, all right.
With her extra pair of capable hands to help, I plan to take the girlies on some wonderful adventures over the next few weeks... to the zoo, and museums, and parks. We'll bake and swim and picnic... and thoroughly enjoy what's left of summer. And in between it all, I'll be able to get all of the other things I do... all the "less important" stuff that certainly BECOMES important if I don't get it all done... DONE.
And we'll all be in a much happier place, just because She's here.
Are we the luckiest family in the world, or WHAT?!