Reality sometimes requires you to wear your big girl panties …

The one benefit of knowing that Kennith has known me for nearly two decades, is that he knows what he is getting in to.  He really cannot throw his hands in the air, and deny that he knew what he was getting once all the circus make-up is wiped off and I have freed myself from the corseted dress.

He knows me with an acuteness that I can honestly say no one else does, or probably ever will.  He knows what makes me tick, he knows that makes me smile and he knows what makes me cry.  He sees into my soul.

I really do not have to try and market myself or sell myself as something I am not – he knows me too well to be fooled by a lick of mascara and a boob job.

I know Kennith and have no delusions about what life will be like post-17 July 2010.

We literally know each other’s warts, skin tacks, spiky unshaved legs and sometimes-we-forget-to-flush-the-toilet and wet towels being left on the bed – by now we know it all, but we still have decided that right now there is no other place we would rather be.

After the 17 July, we may have some gifts, we will definitely have some great photographs, but we will still be the same people we are now – that will not have changed.

The reason I am jotting this down today, is that today/right now I am feeling at a very low place.

It may be all the stress of planning the wedding, dreading the day on a certain level.  It might be the stress at work, it might be my ambivalence about getting married and what this will actually mean as we forge our road ahead.  It might be the after shock of the pre-nup and that process and all it conjured up in my head.

I am not sure.  My head is literally screaming with a dozen voices and I feel exhausted and want to just seek the darkness and the quiet of my duvet, and let it all just drift away.

The “big” issue we have – well it is big to me – I am sure for Kennith he may have other issues that are equally big – is the issue regarding a fourth child and/or looking at adoption.

I always take cognizance that this is my blog. I get to say things from my point of view, and express reality in my voice and from my perspective.  I never deem to speak on behalf of Kennith – I sometimes say what I think he thinks, but it really is from my perspective.  His real thoughts and his real motivations are left to him to put out there if he wants.

So that being said ….I am not sure if three children is enough for me – Kennith was pretty set that two children was enough for him.  He feels he went along with a third child more for me wanting a third child than him wanting a third child.  I had covered this issue under an earlier post, so I will not go into this again on this one.

In terms of considering a potential of a potential fourth child, I also felt that I really did not want to go through another pregnancy.

They were great, they had their moment, and I would recommend them to others who are keen to explore this alien-possession experience.  But I do not feel my body will make it through another pregnancy unscathed.  I am too old and too exhausted to survive another pregnancy – the last one was a strain of diabolic proportion, with too many “I think I am dying” moments.

I digress … back to my point … I feel strongly that I need/want/have to adopt a child – I can’t explain it in rational terms.  I will post a better explanation another day when maybe I am feeling a bit more composed and slightly more in control – today, not that day so much.

This urge in me is stronger (sorry I realized I sound like Luke Skywalker there) than the urge to pee or eat.  I think the “want to adopt” has always been there, in the back of my mind, and something happened – I don’t know what – that triggered this urge into over drive.

I discussed the idea with Kennith several months ago – by then it had already been feeding and growing in my mind.

Kennith initially thought the idea had merit.  He was not wild about it, but he was willing to let the idea be bounced around a bit – as just an idea.

I am sure he could sense I was “super keen” and probably did not want to come out and sound like the bad papa bear and say “no” straight out.  He probably figured we would talk about it, idea would maybe run out of steam and we would go out for dinner and that would be the end of it.

Unfortunately for me the “idea” became a burning passion and took on a life of it’s own – taking over my life in certain areas.

I spoke to several wonderful people who were either adopting, or had adopted a child, contacted agencies and social workers, and was well on my way in throwing myself into this process.  I was just running with all guns blazing!!

The problem (for me) is that Kennith has had more time to think about it, and he feels now is certain beyond any doubt that he does not want a fourth child.  Whether it be from his loins or through the adoption process.  He feels our life is chaotic enough, and the stress of another child might be more than we can manage, and more than I can manage, knowing how I already struggle … some days.

He has never led me along a false road of delusions and allusions.

He has always been very clear on his thoughts on the matter.  I however have chosen to hear only the “hope”, and have literally put my hands over my ears when ever I have sensed there might be a “no” coming.

I realise that this decision has to be made by both of us – we need to be equally invested and committed to adopting a child.  It cannot be a project that I take on whether he supports it or not – I realise that (I had been toying with just arriving with a child and going “Can Oscar stay..?” but realised that maybe that might not work out as well as it did in the advert I saw.)

I also realise the implications to our entire family of adopting a fourth child.  Kennith is possibly able to look at it’s impact with less emotion and possibly more “future projection” than I am able to – I realise that too.

I can think of twenty seven reasons of what the negatives will be, and such a short list of the positives of taking on a fourth child.   It does not make it any easier to accept, it does not make it any less painful to hear and to bear.

So this week, my “hopes” were dashed, and I am crushed to the bone, at the realization of what Kennith’s decision is on the topic of adopting a fourth child – it is an absolute no-you-cannot-put-your-hands-over-your-ears-and-humm-loudly “no!”

I can’t be angry with him as he never lied or lead me along the “garden path” but I can be devastated, and that is probably the only word I can use to describe how I am feeling right now, and of course I am disappointed with him … I can’t say I am all accepting and grace.

As much as I do want to put this post on my blog, I also do not think I can bear the platitudes of “trust in God and he will make it happen” and “if things are meant to be they will be” and so on,  I really really can’t right now …

And that is how I am this week … sad and a little bit very shattered …

Ssshhh don’t tell Peter, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail …

I tend to retain really useless information – like totally irrelevant stuff.

For some reason when I hear something ridiculous I pack it away in my mind and pull it out later – usually when I have had too much to drink, the timing is totally inappropriate and the audience, well, is less than receptive.

That my friends is the way I roll.

Today I was driving and listening to Cape Talk and they had the Giggling Gourmet – Jenny Morris (http://www.gigglinggourmet.com/) on the show.  Someone called in and said that they had some rabbit and what was the best way to cook it.

A discussion ensued that included white wine, celery, lots of garlic and cooking really slowly.  I almost felt like a bit of rabbit myself at that point – yes, the power of radio!

Giggling Gourmet person asked where caller got said “rabbit” from.  He said from a farmer in Somerset West who farmed rabbits.  I am not sure if “farm rabbits” means that farmer got tired of child’s Hassie # 1 and Hassie # 2 and decided to skin them and sell them, or farmer actually has a large paddock were rabbits roam, until he decides otherwise.

I am not quite sure how it works.  Any-the-how caller had rabbit and I sense it was not hopping happily in the back yard at the time of the call.

Giggling Gourmet person then commented that you (the listeners, that would be me) can buy rabbit at Checkers – she actually managed to punt this at least three time in rapid succession.

Checkers is her sponsor (not as in she has an alcohol problem and she can call them any time when she is having a rough moment, but more like she punts them and they give her money … or they give her money and thus she punts them.  I am not sure of exactly what the arrangement is, but I guess it is something like that.)

She mentioned a few times that if you want rabbit then you should go along to Checkers and buy them there.

I thought – good to know!!  (not so much, but I was interested now to pop to Checkers and peruse their meat section – if only to see the sign that says “rabbit” – would it be before or after “lamb” and “chicken” –  Rabbit must be a difficult animal to market to the public who is thinking white and fluffy and twitching pink nose.  But they do manage to sell lamb – and that animal is pretty sweet, so I guess an ad agency out there needs to just get on board with the rabbit and we will start seeing Rabbit boerewors, Rabbit on a stick, you get the idea.)

Then she said something quite interesting – “Checkers sells rabbits with their heads on…”

Mmmmmm … another interesting tit-bit of information gathered on my drive …

Even I can recognize radio static …. and for the record if you have ever listened to 567 Cape Talk you will know radio static is a permanent feature of their transmission, but I digress.

She says – and here is the interesting part : “The reason that they sell rabbit with their heads on, is so that people can not sell you cats …..”

You can recognize when a cooking show takes an awkward turn, I would say this would be one of those moments.

I now know that rabbits look much like cats when skinned (odds are taste the same) and the only differentiation is the size of their ears …  and who says you do not learn interesting facts when reading blogs?

Now off you go and work that in to conversation today – I am going to casually raise it as lunch chatter at Sunday lunch …

Of days that are just too long …

So yesterday I go along to do the final fitting of the dress – it really is a “rok” so I do want to warn you.  Subtle and reserved is not a word one would use to describe this particular dress.

I am nervous now that I am drawing even more attention to myself … this entire wedding makes me feel very nervous, knowing people are going to be looking at me is a real issue … I appreciate the irony in it all, I really do.

I really do like the dress, but I did think yesterday that maybe I have gone a little overboard with this entire thing … it’s that post purchase dissidence thing that everyone talks about.

For a few moments I stood there and thought, can I just give all of this shite back, phone the marriage officer, tell him we were joking, cancel the flowers, phone the venue and say “listen about the seventeenth..” but could I keep the ring?  It suddenly feels all a bit exhausting and my excitement has waned.

I was standing there in big huge dress, silky shoes and some bling, and I am just thinking, maybe we should have kept this to a bring-and-braai wedding and scaled this all back a little bit.  Or maybe getting married is not that great an idea … run bride run ….

But here we are less than 17 days away, but I guess all grooms and brides get that moment where they think, you know, let’s just slow this bus down and think it over.  Like my friend Basil says, let’s all just calm the FEK down.

No doubt it will pass and I will be in the swing of it again, as I argue about the “right” cake and stress about the flower petals.

Earlier this week we went along to sign the pre-nup.  There really is something quite disturbing about the entire process.  It is all dealt with by lawyers and their minions and seems very pedestrian to them, while rather life changing to you.

They print out these pages that sort out issues about who will get granny’s silver service if you divorce, but it does not seem to discuss who will pay for the kid’s education and where they will live.

It also does not mention that I am in my full rights to stab Kennith in the groin with a blunt potato peeler if he has a mid-life crisis, buys a stupidly expensive bright small convertible car and suddenly had an enthusiastic interest in girls with names like Candy and Mindy, who have abnormally large breasts!

But possibly that was covered in the annexure, which I did not read as all the black print started to swim before my eyes.  I actually felt very overwhelmed by the entire experience, and did not enjoy it, no not one bit (thanks Cat in the Hat.)

We also made out our wills in the event that we get eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex while on honeymoon.

Equally disturbing, trying to decide who will get the toilet brush and have to endure Georgia’s Barbie stories, but there are decisions to be made, and sometimes, you need to sort of sit there act there like an adult (even if just remotely) and make decisions.

I really did not feel warm and fuzzy while signing and initialing all the forms.  To be honest I started to feel a little nauseous and well, less than excited by this entire thing.  Maybe I am just having a bad week and lawyers with abnormally large board room tables make me nervous.

My head really is not in a good place right now, and it has been a bit of an emotionally exhausting/draining week for several reasons – most of my own engineering.  The ante-nuptial paperwork crap did not help.

Standing there and seeing myself in the mirror in dress garb and thinking that maybe I do look a bit like a troll did not really help either.  Funny how one day you think you look like a fairy princess and the next you look like Billy Goat Gruff!!

On the up side, I thought yesterday was Monday – and while out with running guy realized it was Wednesday.  He reminded me that Steers has Wacky Wednesday, which would solve my “what to eat” problem.

He was right, I ran off there and ordered a Wacky Wednesday meal from Steers – fully kitted out in my sweaty running gear, and ate it totally guilt free.  I did order a Tab to balance it all out – the ying and yang and all that.

What if it happened differently ….?

So Connor and I are chatting in the car this morning on the way to school (holiday programme).  I was telling him how he shares a birthday with a friend of Georgia’s.

I explained that they did not share a birth day, but they shared a date of birth and what the difference is.  He is 8, the friend is turning 5 this year.

I commented that every day a baby is born and isn’t that a lovely thing to think about, to which he replied that every day someone also dies… true … maybe not quite something you want your eight year old to be thinking about too hard, but there we go, can’t argue with the ying and yang of that argument.

Then Connor asks all bright eyed and innocently: ” If Adam and Eve were the first people here, how come there are caveman bones – were they cavemen, because I don’t think they were?”  (got to love a child whose brain just runs in seven directions at once.)

I asked Connor to consider that what if the bible story is well, just a story, and maybe what is important is the message that the story is telling us.  Maybe to consider that as an option here.

I also said that it is always good to ask questions about something, no matter how convincing and accepted the original story is.  Think about the other evidence you are presented with, and think about how that story aligns with the evidence or the other facts that you now know.

I asked Connor: “If the bible tells you that Adam and Eve were the first people on earth, and you see evidence that there were cavemen that existed – and for all purposes Adam and Eve were not caveman what does that make you think?”

Connor sat there and thought about it, and said: “But they found spears in old dinosaur remains, so there must have been people before Adam and Eve.”

Me: “Sure, there could have been.  So do you think that maybe the bible story was just a story to try to tell you a message, and maybe the evidence shows that in reality something else happened?  What do you think about that?”

Connor: “I think there were cavemen before Adam and Eve…”

Me: “I am glad you question things and don’t accept what people tell you.  Try and always remember that what people tell you are their opinions, and even a story that is told to you over and over again, does not make it a fact.  There is nothing wrong with looking at something and thinking about it differently.”

Connor just smiling his toothy smile.

Me: “I really am proud of you that you can listen to a story and then think that maybe there are the other possibilities. I am not saying that when someone tells you something you should think they are lying or telling you an untruth – but try to always think for yourself ‘what if this happened’ or ‘consider that this other option might be right.’

It is people like you that go on to discover things, because you think about the why and the how.  Keep asking questions … don’t just accept it because people say it must be so because that it the way it has always been.”

I was so dead proud of that boy this morning for having such a quick enquiring mind.

Connor questions things – all the time – often I do tell him just to be quiet and things are just the way they are.  I challenge any parent to be in the mood to answer soul-searching questions twenty-four/seven – some times you do want to say “Just shut-up and go and watch television, and leave me to my wine, why don’t you!!”

He loves Discovery and Animal Planet and soaks that information up like a sponge.  He can recall facts and incidents of shows he watched a year ago, which beats the snot out of watching hours of the Cartoon Channel, much to Georgia’s unhappiness.

What made me proud today is that he questioned something that must be such an ingrained story in his mind, but still he had the open mindedness to just question it.

Sure we are skirting around the discussion of creation versus evolution … and I realise we risk being burnt at a stake on our front yard at the very least … but there we go, the risks we take for our children.