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Actions speak louder than words so instead of adding my two cents to the E2 forum I’m going to write a daylog. I’m not criticizing the forum. I think the forum is a great idea but I’m tired of hearing about how people aren’t noding because there are those of us who are consistently noding and I’m one of them. I took a nap the other day. My youngest daughter was home with me and normally I wouldn’t have made her lie down but she’s had a stuffy nose so I sent her to her room for some quiet time. I was tired so I laid down on my own bed. Sometime I want to write about places I go when I’m sad. I believe that people should have places of refuge and sanctuary and for me, my bedroom is one of the places I can go when I'm hurt and aching. 

Fibers and fabrics are important to me and my bed reflects that. I have really, really, really nice sheets. Some of them are old and worn. Some of them are new and crisp but all of them are near and dear to me because of the memories they hold. I was thinking about that when I was lying under my covers this past Thursday. I have a ticking stripe quilt because I love stripes. I love bright cheerful colors and I have a great painting that picks up some of the colors in the stripes of my quilt. How long I lay there I couldn't say, ten minutes would be my guess. Long enough that I arrived at that peaceful slumberous stage. My eyes were heavy, the sheets were paradoxically warm and cool, I was almost asleep when I heard a noise in the hall.

My daughter came into my room. She pulled the covers back and asked if she could snuggle with me. I said yes because I love holding her and I know the day when she does not want to be held is not far off. Jane is my baby. She'll always be my baby and right now her skin is so soft and silky smooth that I had to kiss her little five year old shoulder. My youngest daughter doesn’t get many things from me. She's much more like her father. She’s quiet. She's contemplative and creative. She has a generousity of spirit and one of the things her teacher said is she's a very good friend. I watched as she drifted off to sleep.

Her lashes are so long it’s hard to tell whether her eyes are open or closed and you may not agree but I think her eyes are beautiful. I have green eyes. Her father has green eyes, both of our mothers have green eyes but both of my daughters have eyes that are a little more than blue but not quite green. It’s interesting to watch eyes without artifice. My daughter Jane has eyes that go all around. They take in everything. She’s watchful, perceptive and so empathetic it just about breaks your heart. When she was lying in bed next to me she put her hand up and said “I love you,” in her small sweet voice. Her voice is soft. Everything about her is delicate, feminine and soft. She’s a very soft, very soothing person to be around. Even at age five.

My seven year old daughter Jill is vibrant. She’s the attention seeking drama queen. I can’t help but love her for that even as I get frustrated and angry with the tantrums because she gets that from me. She's always going a hundred miles an hour and she sees life as one big, grand adventure. When you see life as bold and beautiful it is hard to understand why so many people are just sitting there doing nothing. Something is better than nothing which is why I loathe the quiet zombie-like stillness of electronic media. As much as I like Everything2 and realize that computers are now a part of almost everyone’s daily life I mourn for the times of real human interaction because I know the computer is just another way to escape.

I want bright, happy times ahead of my children. I worry about the things they’re exposed to. I worry about the condition of the planet they’re going to be inheriting and I worry that they won’t be well equipped to handle some of the things life throws at them. I’m sure most parents worry about what kind of a parent they are. I hate working because I know that means I’m not around for the meals my children eat. I don’t like working because I come home tired and crabby. It’s so hard to balance things and balance has never been a strong suit of mine but it is something I’m working on.

Balance, harmony, peacerespect and love. That's what I want for everyone including my children. I love my children. I want the time we have to be fundamentally good for them and I want them to love me just as much as I love them only I forget that their capacity for love is so much greater than mine because children forgive in a way that adults don’t. You can scream at a child. You can take away their toys, you can be unfair and  unreasonable and your children will still come up and give you hugs while they’re telling you how much they love you. Their capacity to forgive is one of the things I think people forget about children. We remember how they were disrespectful, rude or disobedient but we forget how they can love and forgive.

Friday was the first day that both of my children were in school for the entire day. I had to work in the afternoon but I had the entire day to myself and I got a ton of things accomplished. I cleaned the bedrooms. I did all the laundry. I went through and put summer things away. Friday was a time to clean, Thursday was a time to dream. Last Friday was a time to cry. Today is a time to write and all of those things mean I don’t have as much time to think about a time to fail or what might happen when I get an unexpected phone call. I must not have realized how much all of this was bothering me but I feel marginally better having written this which is really only for me to remember because I don’t want to forget how small my daughter’s body was when she was five. I want to remember her sleeping face on my pillow and her tiny body snuggled up next to me. This is the only way I have to capture that moment and that memory.

Up until now I’ve written things I want other people to read. This is for me. Because I never want to forget how much I love my children and the simple innocent time we slept together just because we were tired on a cold and windy day. Some day maybe my children will read this and laugh at the sappy sentimentality but for better or worse, I am their mother and if absence makes the heart grow fonder, age makes you realize your children won’t always be five and seven so you have to make the most of the days you’ve been given. I want to live life to the fullest. I want to share it with people I love and I have to thank all the people who have encouraged and supported me in times of trouble. Tomorrow is another fresh start. I intend to make the best of it.

Woke early and went downstairs.

A couple of emails from the people who run the swimming club. I run their website, just keeping the notices ticking over, telling the members and their parents what's going on. It's not a high-powered thing, but I was the only person who responded when they asked for help in maintaining the site.

Having done the updating, I went into the kitchen to clear up after last night. We had some people round and there were a few bottles of champagne to wash out and tidy away, as well as a lot of detritus from a fun evening.

Next I spent a while sending emails out to people. My mother has given me a painting done by her brother in law, Don Breckon. It's not a very commercial piece. Don paints trains — or rather he did. He says the inspiration does not fire him up any more, so he thinks about painting, rather than actually doing it.

The painting is in dull greens and browns. It's called, Condemned Engine and has sat on my parents' wall for 20 years or more. My mum bought it from Don when he was struggling, just after he had given up teaching in art college to begin a new life as a painter. Since then, we have seen his paintings go for quite large sums, but I suspect this one is not worth more than a thousand or two, and then it would have to go to the right collector.

However, when I shine a spotlight on the painting, it comes alive with other colours, showing the skill Don has and why his paintings have become so popular.

Eventually, the rest of the family emerges and we share a little family time.

Then AspieBoy has to go off to his tutor. Around my area we still have the 11-plus exam, and this year he has to take exams to see if he is smart enough to get into the local grammar schools.

He is, but he's a bit ditzy. So we employ a tutor to help him deal with exam technique. This is the final mock exam before the real ones start in earnest. Turns out that he got stuck on a question. Instead of passing on and answering other questions, he just worried way at this one question, so got a poor mark. Thank goodness for mock exams.

When he came back from that, we went around to a friend who is celebrating his birthday, and enjoyed a barbeque and drinks with friends. We caught up with people and found out what they have been doing over the summer. There was champagne and speeches and gifts.

AspieBoy had to go to a party where he and some friends went swimming for a couple of hours. That was great, as he was exhausted by the time we got him home.

Sunday was a lovely day. it was Aspieboy's birthday. He is now 11 years old, and he slept in, not waking until 7:30, thanks to the excitement of the previous day.

In other news, I reached 50 years old on Saturday. Nothing much has changed.

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