Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Fancy a Game of Au Pair Roulette?

I'm a thoughtful type, but most of the thinking gets stored on post-it pads that get turned into to do lists and disappear under scratched out lines, or they melt into my eyelids as I drift off into sleep each night, never to reach conscious fruition.
Three weeks on from my last post and I realise that I've been away from the computer not due to "can't cope, can't write" but "can cope and am too busy to write".
Busy controlling the barely concealed chaos I've been living in for the last few years.

As a full time working mum I've written before about living my life by remote control. In emotional terms that means putting a huge amount of faith in the girls that come to join my family and help me out by looking after my kids pre and post school each day. It's a lottery because you can trust your wonderful agency who provides the girls, and you can give them all they need, but you can't legislate for who they are, what they want and whether the chemistry is there.
I've been very lucky over the years and have put in a lot of time trying to integrate anyone who looks after my precious boys into our family. Just like Martine and other au pairs from my childhood, who held a very special place in my heart and still do.

This year for many reasons the game roulette seemed to symbolise this area of my life. My kids were happy, well fed and looked after, but I didn't realise (or wouldn't let myself see) until a change came, that that's where it ended.

Then a month ago a bright energy entered my house, and family, and through her enthusiasm, conscientious nature and essentially who she is, I'm drawer by drawer, cupboard by cupboard, room by room, sorting out the chaos I thought was just part of life.
Sorting the things that people don't see. The things that would help those friends who say "I don't know how you do it" that I make a hash of it just like we all do sometimes.

So as I head towards a ridiculously busy 6 weeks with visits from my darling sister and family, batmitzvahs, weddings, home alone time while D travels with work, appointments, work and life itself, I feel like I can do it without too many knots in my tummy.

Each morning I am getting great pleasure in getting things out of my very neat, very ordered, bathroom cupboard.
Each evening I am grinning as I open my computer in my new office/spare room, and look at the empty cupboards thinking what I can put where in this slow, calm, happy organisation of my life.

page by page
drawer by drawer
room by room
minute by minute

I'm trying to live and smile
I'm trying to enjoy small triumphs
I'm trying to grin and eat those little doughnuts along the path towards the big creamy cake of hope and ambition that I sometimes allow myself to dream of.


  1. It always feels so good to add organization to one's life. Now if only we could keep it taht way...

  2. Oh man!! I need that feeling! Props to you for finding it!!