The other week we were at the pub on a Thursday night as we usually are. It’s the locals night at the pub – a chance to catch up with people – you never know who will be in. There’s a raffle (which there may have to be an ICAC investigation into as we always seem to win it), always a few glasses of wine, some hot chips and a quick pizza. The girls take colouring in, or drawing, or play on devices while we catch up with friends.
Someone who is always there is my friend Geoff. At least I think he spells it like that, it could be Jeff? But let’s not get too worried, he calls me Liz, namely because he thinks that Beth must be short for Elizabeth, and so he prefers Liz and calls me such. He also tells me that my hair looked much nicer the way it used to be – rather than when it’s shaved and peroxide platinum blonde, he tells that that every time he sees me too. We have a quick chat, mostly about fishing because I told him about some of the fishing trips I have been on with Rob to NZ and the Tiwi Islands. He is a lovely old man in his eighties I’d say, had a good life, and still enjoying one. As I was walking off from his the other night he grabbed my hand and squeezed it tight. The girls were ahead of me, heading into the kitchen to pick up dinner making noise and laughing, squealing, so much life all around us with people chatting, enjoying themselves and he said “Liz,” (let’s forgive him for that) “you are SO lucky right now. In the best part of your life. Young kids. A great husband. Living here. You are SO LUCKY.” And he squeezed my hand just as my Pa Fred used to do, in the way that only old people can that says so much more than just a squeeze of the hand.
And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all week. He is so true. Life is very busy right now. The days are flying by, over before they even seem to begin, filled with routine and School and exercise and work and meetings and planning and working and tantrums and worries and homework and dinners and washing and sleepless nights. Filled to the very brim. They are the best days. They just are. I am lucky. I am lucky. I am lucky.We are all so lucky.
Today was my Mum’s birthday and she drove down here with her Aunty June who is turning 90 this coming August. The 3 of us had a ladies lunch. We had some bubbles for Mum, some soup for lunch and a good old natter. June lives alone and has done since my Mum’s uncle died some time ago. She doesn’t have kids and she is in good nick. Still has her hair looking fabulous, looking smart in her clothes and of course a lovely coral lip on. Yesterday she had a bad day, she wasn’t feeling well, she was feeling lonely and sorry for herself. She doesn’t really want to be here anymore and she asked Jack (her deceased husband who she still talks to) last night to help her. She doesn’t want to be here anymore, she wants to be with him. And she shed a tear, and we talked about how busy she used to be, how she loved doing so much – packing so much into her life. And now it’s just her. But then she said “but look at today! I’ve had such a lovely day with you both. A drive to the country, lunch out, listening to you talk about all the things you are doing, it’s not so bad after all.”
And she’s right. Even if it’s crazy and busy or hard and sad. It’s not so bad after all is it? You never know what the next day will bring.
I am lucky. I am lucky. I am lucky. We are all so lucky.
These crazy days, of small kids and chaos, I think they are going to be the very best days we’ve known.