Wednesday, November 05, 2014


Last night we had to take Chelsea to hospital.  It was a bit of shock as she has been seemingly ultra healthy of late.  For those of you reading that don’t know the story – Chelsea was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in April.  She has been in hospital 4 times since, for at least a week at a time, usually suffering with severe anemia as well as the internal bleeding linked to the Colitis.   It has been an incredibly worrying time as I’m sure many of you can imagine, and that feeling of utter helplessness is something I will never cease to forget.
I have learnt that I have to stay strong, and remain positive.
I have learnt that I have to deal with anything that is thrown my way with a practical mind, a will to learn, and an open heart.
Fortunately a hospital stay wasn’t needed this time around.  We stayed in an observation room until the early hours and Chelsea was released after tests confirmed that it was likely the start of a UC flare up, but that we had caught it in time for medication to *fingers crossed* do it’s job.  More tablets were prescribed and we returned home – extremely tired, but thankful.
This morning I woke with a migraine.  A head-going-to-explode, weird visuals, please-don’t-come-near-me migraine.  Not good when you have 5 people relying on you – the eldest being ill herself, the youngest not really understanding what a poorly mama is.   I came downstairs and sat on the sofa wondering how on earth I was going to get through the next hour, let alone the whole day.  I decided that I would go with the flow and take things moment by moment.    Children were slowly cleaned, dressed, and fed, each movement causing me pain but on completion I had already accomplished far more than anticipated – it was a good feeling – but the head was still oh so painful.  I sat back down on the sofa and wondered where the day would take me – I wished for my bed.
I half lay, half sat, watching my children.
First there was Wii playing.  I watched the older ones nurture the younger, gently explaining how to play the game and what controls should be used.  Hints and tips for high scores were passed down, encouraging words were spoken, and patience was in great supply – even when errors were made.  I was proud.
I watched team work in action.  I saw how each player forgot their solo performance in order to work for the good of all.  I saw leadership qualities in some, and clear and concise instructions being given in a calm and eloquent way.  I witnessed negotiations and listening skills being put to use, the brainstorming of ideas, and strategies put into action with pleasing results.
I smiled as I heard Callum read out loud, clearly, carefully, confidently, despite never ever being ‘taught’ to read.
My heart was joyful as I experienced complete inclusion for all, the young and the old, boys and girls, with friendly rivalry but no disappointment, ridicule or bitterness.

They clearly weren’t *just* playing on the Wii.

Next it was TV time.  We snuggled under blankets and watched  previously recorded programs, namely:
Inside Nature’s Giants – the dissection and exploration of a Cassowary.
The City Beneath the Waves – the discovery of Pavlopetri.
Each led to questions being asked, further investigative research online, group discussion, and location look ups. How many subjects does that cover? Science, History, Geography, Computer skills, Literacy, the list goes on.
Lunch was crafted by the children  – various sandwiches, toast, and cereals were eaten followed by strawberries, bananas and grapes.
Each of the children helped with the tidying whilst I hung out the wet washing on the line – it was a cold but sunny day today and I had to take the opportunity of a dry day – particularly as our dryer has now expired and we won’t be in the position to replace it any time soon.   I’m looking on the bright side – electricity bill saving and thankful it isn’t the washer!  It was lovely feeling the fresh air on my face.  It was almost like a waker-upper.  I needed it but hadn’t realised so. I sat on the wall and chattered to the chickens and ducks, who crowded at my feet and lap in the hope that I may spoil them with a crumb or three.  The geese made their usual ‘we are here’ noises but soon waddled off to the rear field when they realised their threats were not being acted upon.
Our afternoon was spent with heads in books – both fiction and non-fiction – wax crayon leaf rubbing (and other items found around the house), play dough play, lego creation building, button counting, jigsaw puzzling and lots of role playing.  I believe we have had a vets surgery, a supermarket, and a riding stables within our home today – busy busy busy.
So, was it a total wash out of a day due to me being less involved than I usually am?
Clearly not.
It’s ok to sit back and watch.
It’s ok to not have a plan and to to just allow children the freedom to just be.

It’s ok to be on the sidelines and allow the learning to just happen without any orchestration.

Today has been a good day, and there wasn’t a to-do list in sight.

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