Last week was one of those weeks. I woke up on Tuesday yearning for home and it continued all week long.
The kids were also suffering from homesickness for the duration. There were tears for their friends and family back home. My sister Tine is really quite foul and the number of times they fondly recounted jokes to me that Tine had told them that involved balls, chocolate coated balls, boobs, bums, arseholes, boobs or farts was so concerning that I was momentarily glad they were in a different country to her. They are really missing Strach and Robert and even though the States is not their true home they are craving that as well. There were broken hearted sobs over whether Kevin and Rosie would forget them. I reassured them that it was just a normal phase and part and parcel of travelling. That their friends were missing them too but that they would be there for them when they got back. That Kevin and Rosie would never forget them and that as soon as we got home they would cover them with doggy kisses and they could cuddle them for as long as they wanted to. That we would be back to the States for Christmas and that they were just having a yukky week. I also felt like telling them that I would seriously curtail their time alone with Tine when we got back but I kept that thought to myself.
What I did not say to them was this, “I fucking miss home as well. I am so tired of being perky and happy even when I have no idea of where the fucking bus is taking me. I miss my cottage and I missed lemon season. As for the dogs, I miss them so much it hurts, I miss their smell and Kevin’s very soft white ruff and Rosie’s squirmy wiry body. You know what Archie and Rissie? I am homesick as well and I would love to stand in the middle of the room wailing at the world but I fucking can’t. So why don’t the two of you just buck up a little bit and realise that right now, this week, this time, you could make an effort to cheer me up instead of telling me everything that is wrong with you.”
Bad fucking Mummy moment. Luckily I only thought it. I did not say it.
I had only just been working on a piece of writing that involved Tenterfield and in looking at some old Tenterfield photos my heart hurt. My windmills, my misty mornings, my roads, my leaves, my cottage, my dogs, my home. It made me both sad and happy that I could miss a place so much. I knew I was just having one of those weeks and I wished I could curl up under my covers for a while and just feel sorry for myself. But as a single mother on the road with two astute and sometimes demanding nine-year old children I don’t have that luxury. If I had a partner I could say something like, “You know what, I destroyed my body for these two, I am having a shit of a day, I am going to go hide in the bedroom and I am going to fucking eat a whole packet of sour snakes, a bag of corn chips and a jar of salsa and I am going to watch 12 hours of Walking Dead straight and maybe enjoy a bottle of two. Can you entertain them for a little while?” Then the next day I would be fine.
I did not have that luxury though and so it was a matter of the three of us soldiering on. All a little miserable and me putting on a brave face but really resenting the universe for the fact that I had to do that. Then Donald Trump got in. I never actually thought that there was a chance he would get in and for someone who has nil interest in politics or current affairs I would never have predicted that it would upset me so much. I could not understand any woman voting for him, nor could I understand anyone who was Black, Hispanic, Latino, Jewish or Muslim voting for him, so I figured that Hillary safely had 75% of the votes. How wrong could someone be? I feel like we stepped back 50 years or even more with that vote. The mere thought of Washington D.C. – that amazing city I fell in love with, having any thing to do with the Mandarin Mussolini makes me sad. What the hell is he going to do, coat the White House in gold plating and call it Trump House? When he meets with Theresa May to discuss UK/USA relations is the poor woman going to be inadvertently covering her groin in case he lunges to grab her pussy? Should people that Trump works with, lock away their daughters, because if he has no shame in calling his own daughter a piece of arse then what in god’s name would he be inclined to do to daughters who are not his own. I think the next four years will be fascinating to watch. Will he build his wall? Will he round up all the illegal immigrants and ship them out of America? Will he return industries to states that have not had them for years? Will he replace Obamacare with a much improved, much more affordable health care system? Will he single-handedly destroy ISIS? I doubt it. Wonder who he will blame then when his supporters start baying for his blood rather than for all of those who he encouraged them to hate and fear?
Enough about Trump. If that man getting in wasn’t bad enough, then the world lost Leonard Cohen. I felt like part of my soul had been trampled on and thrown away. I grew up with Leonard Cohen, when I think of Leonard Cohen I think of my Dad and my family. I got married to the sounds of Leonard Cohen and I will probably be buried to him as well. It did not make any sense to me why in the week the world gained Trump we lost this amazing man. It made me sadder than any words could say.
Everything was compounding but I knew it was just a shitty week that I had to get through. On the way home from town one day I decided to have a full on, but very mature tantrum by getting furious at the kids for whingeing all day and reducing me to tears. I had said my piece and then I planned to ignore them all the way home. I was doing really well until Archie walked into a concrete pillar of some description and bruised his leg. He was crying so much that I was not allowed to ignore him anymore without being a complete arsehole. So I was angry then that I was not allowed to be angry, but I could not fucking tell them as much because he had hurt his fucking leg. Everything was so fucking unfair.
Both of the kids dropped their iPads this week. Archie had already dropped his about a month ago, but this drop meant that there were little pieces of glass that were falling out. When he was skipping around the house, saying, “Not a problem beautiful mummy” as he tried to cheerfully look for some sticky tape I realised how stupid I must look like on the bus when I am trying to looking like nothing is wrong. With his skipping and “Not a problem beautiful mummy” I knew his ipad was bad. Fair enough it was, but it still appears to work if you just watch the shards of glass. Then Rissie dropped hers. There was no skipping and “beautiful mummy” for my drama queen. Instead she sat on the floor, wailing as if she was a possessed fucking banshee from the scariest fairy tale you have ever read. Both children and the way they dealt with their “iPad tragedies” completely took away my right to react which is probably a good thing as I was only inclined to say something along the lines of, “for fuck’s sake can’t you take care of your possessions a little bit better, as if I have enough money to replace iPads?” Luckily their extreme reactions on either end of the spectrum meant I was too gobsmacked to say anything that I would have said instinctively. It also gave me time to remember the cracked screen of my phone. I kept quiet about that one as I am not fucking stupid.
Saturday I woke with back pain like I have not had for a very long time. The only thing to do when I have pain like that is dose up on pain killers and stay in bed until it goes away, which I did and then it takes me a day to recover from the pain. The kids were happy though as they had their fucking cracked iPads and Archie had taped up all the glass. It is getting hotter and the rains are gone which means we are walking into town in the middle of the day which I would never be stupid enough to do in Australia. One day working home from town Archie had a little meltdown as he was really hot and his feet were itchy. I looked at my backpack containing the groceries and the two bags of shopping I was carrying and imagined drop kicking him into a fucking volcano. The neighbours continue to walk around naked. The other night he walked down to the pool in his y-fronts obviously to test out if the new lighting worked (it does) and he stripped off and went for a swim. I mean seriously, invest in a fucking pair of board shorts.
Lastly I got my period. I must stress that that last factor had absolutely nothing to do with anything else that happened this week.
So it was just one of those weeks. I knew it would end and it did. The three of us were tired and cranky and a little bit home-sick. This afternoon though as we were walking home from Spanish Class and the kids were enjoying a cheap ice-block and practicing the lingo on each other I thought to myself, life could be a lot worse. We only have just over 3 weeks to go in Costa Rica and the fact we have had this experience at all is just incredible. I have always said that I would rather ride the roller coaster than the carousel and to get those highs occasionally you got to have the lows. The lows never last forever and they make those highs all the more sweet.