Over the past 8 months we’ve been living with Daughter 2 in her house in Surrey. Last November she had a child care crisis and we were worried about the effect on the grandchildren, so we offered to move her to her new house, move in with her and look after them until the wedding, when her husband would move in. Then there would be two adults in the house again and childcare would get a whole lot easier.
There were a lot of other things going on as well. She got married last Saturday, but first, there were 2 new bedrooms to be built in the garage for her two new stepchildren. So lots of building work this year, not to mention endless cups of tea. We were very blessed to have a real-life ‘Bob the builder’ who was a pleasure to have around.
Then D2 announced that she and her fiance had decided to hold the wedding reception in the garden … we took a look at the weedy patch outside and silently wondered ‘why’? … but trying to get it under control kept us out of mischief, especially as we aren’t gardeners. And thereby hangs another tale.
The best way to communicate with her was by text – she could pick it up when she wasn’t in surgery. Occasionally the kids would have a crisis. So here’s how the texts went on my phone …
Grandson: Dear mummy can you tell me where the phone is? (lots of blue emoticon faces. The phone is an ancient, cracked one but he’s allowed to play Candy Crush on it … provided he’s ready for school/breakfasted/teeth cleaned/hair brushed/done his homework/done his music practice. To ensure this we took to hiding the phone so he would have to ask for it …)
D2: is it behind the printer in the bureau? that’s the last place I remember hiding it …
(the answer however arrives after he has left for school.)
I send a photo of lampshades in Wilco: D2 is looking for them for the new bedrooms. Am told when she gets back from work that she’s leaving it to the stepkids to choose.
Fathers’ Day: they all go to Daventry for a barge day with the fiance, and I get back to the house on my own from seeing an old friend. ‘I could only get into the house by breathing in’, says my text. The sections of the arbour D2 had ordered for the garden had been stacked inside the tiny front porch and it was a squeeze getting the front door open and edging my way into the house.
Then I discovered the goldfish have died again … we kept buying them, and putting them into the little pond we’d made out of a big belfast sink in the back garden. We’d put aereating plants and a tiny water fountain and all sorts in the water, but despite our increasingly desperate efforts, the wretched goldfish just kept dying. Why??? says my text … followed by discussion on possible causes. Maybe she didn’t leave the water sitting outside long enough to get rid of the chlorine before topping up the pond?? On the other hand I’d bought some stuff to make the water safe for fish. Still haven’t solved that mystery.
Then the bedrooms are sufficiently ready for Hub and I to put up the curtain rails and new curtains. I send a pic to D2, but things are tempered by the news that Bob the builder’s wife is having to go into hospital for all sorts of tests, and he’s just told me the news is not good.
Although he had to take a lot of time off work to be with his wife, who has a hospital phobia, and the work was late being finished, he would turn up at odd times in order to get done, including working most of one evening to finish the shower so that the lino could go down.
There’s more. Much more. Our lives have been made up of such trivia, but the trivia were about real people, and relationships, and family. The little things that make the world go round.