It’s time to reflect on the past year and the importance of keeping life in perspective.
As I lay on the cold tiles of my child’s bedroom floor patting her back to sleep in the middle of the night, again, I realised that my late teens were not wasted falling asleep drunk on the laundry floor with a mop as a pillow. They were training for motherhood.
The mop has been replaced by a soft toy for a pillow, probably an aptly named ‘Pillow Pet’, and much like a mop handle, I sleep with a unicorn horn sticking in my eye and tail fluff tickling my nose. The tiles are still as cold but the difference is that it’s worth every uncomfortable moment.
Sure, I may not be thinking exactly that as I try wearily for the fourth time to sneak back to my own warm and soft bed, only to hear a little quivering voice call out, “Cuddle me mummy!”
I sigh and return obediently because simply put, she is my owner as much as I am hers. I will be faithful to the end because she is my everything, and I am lucky to have her.
This year we have heard much of the heartache and tragedy of parents losing children, from downed planes stealing three little humans from their mum and dad, to a mother losing her son at the hands of his father, a family of a cricketer losing their talented and kind son in a freak accident, and only this week, devastatingly in the Sydney siege, two Australian families will have empty seats at the Christmas table. I can’t help but think of them, and weep at this time of year.
These are just some of the sad stories of 2014. Breaking our hearts while simultaneously making us reach for our own children to clutch them tighter and pray the same never touches our lives. Often we joke of our worst nightmare being an empty wine bottle, or cold coffee, or both, and I know that they are nothing more than fun jokes to get us through ordinary days, but a mother or father without their child, especially at Christmas, is my worst nightmare and heartbreakingly this year they seem to be everywhere.
I don’t mean to spread sadness at the happiest time of the year, but much like the end of year reflections and achievements you will soon start to read and see on the television, I encourage you to remember the sad so you can appreciate the good in your own lives. Even if the good is the fact that you slept more nights on the cold tile floor in 2014 than you did in your toasty warm bed. I know some mothers and fathers who at this very moment are longing for that luxury.
I’d like to take a moment here and express gratitude that I have a husband and daughter who are happy and whole. I am so thankful for the facets of love that I would not know or understand without them. They inspire and challenge me every day to be a better version of myself.
To hear their laughter in secret camaraderie from underneath a blanket as they play hide and seek in the morning on a weekend, yelling out for me to come find them after a cold night spent on the tiles – this is what I truly want for Christmas.