Something happened today which just... I don't know... made things better.
Not that things are REALLY bad, or anything, life has been tough, but as a family we stick together and it works - but yeah, I've been struggling to keep my chin up lately and then this thing happened today.
Today has been busy for a Friday. The boys had their first day of holidays today. It was also the first of July, so this meant I would be spending a fair amount of time on the phone this morning organising our tax rebates and Family Allowance supplement payments.
So, the Grumpy Old Man left for his course this morning, and I wrapped a present Blue needed to take to a birthday party, then tried to impress upon the boys that I needed quiet to make these very important phone calls...
Oh my! It took over 40 minutes to even get the Family Assistance office to pick up and put me in a queue! Got through to them and updated our details. Then rang the Australian Taxation Office and lodged the Education Tax Rebate through their automated system (which is great!). Then called the photographers who did my graduation photographs and paid for the 5 prints I'm keeping from them...
Then a friend turned up to pick up Blue and take him to the party with her son.
Next it was filling in a form to return the rest of the photos to the photographers, packing 8 cloth nappies into a 3Kg postal bag to send to another friend, and locating the receipt booklet for the Leukemia foundation that I also had to return.
Just before 1pm Viking, Buddha, Little Lama and I set off for the local shopping centre. We had lunch, mailed some stuff, and bought a few groceries before getting back home in time for my friend to drop Blue back home.
On spec said friend and I decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and take all the kids to the park. This was lovely. We had a good chat and the kids ran off a lot of energy and got some vitamin D, and then we headed home. Within minutes of getting home the Grumpy Old Man arrived home as well...
He seemed unusually cheerful.
After our friend left he pulled me aside and told me this:
"Today I realised that even though you all drive me crazy a lot of the time, each one of you is beautiful, smart, clever, funny and wonderful AND you are all MINE!"
As he explained to Viking a few minutes later - when "the nosey one" wanted to know what we were talking about - when the Grumpy Old Man and I met he wasn't terribly keen on pursuing the whole domesticated man scenario. He was 38 (going on 68), and a happy bachelor. He didn't want children, but I - well I pretty much bullied him into having not one, but four children.
I have often asked him how he feels about being a father and he's never been able to say, he's been quite ambivalent, actually, but today he feels blessed because we're HIS family and he loves us...
I've been waiting almost 14 years to hear this. It was worth the wait.