You might think you don’t, but that is just plain crazy thinking. Independence is commendable to a point, and in certain situations, but nothing can pick you up or calm you down like good friends.
It’s not even one friend, I have different friends who are invaluable for different things. Some are amazing cooks, a skill I’ve never really got to grips with. I can’t even plan a weekly shop. If I shop hungry then I buy what I want to eat that minute, something I can scarf down in the car, then realise I’ve been pushing a shopping trolley. No germs there for my battered immune system to worry about….much. Happily crisps and chocolate would seem to be excellent immune boosters. If I shop when I’m not hungry I get too bored to carry on after 10 minutes and leave with 4 tins of beans, a multi pack of Frazzles and an enormous box of cornflakes. I look at properly loaded trolleys, ingredients from which wholesome and nutritious meals are made, and wonder WhereTF people learn to do that. Son 2 has even decided he now likes chicken, since the kind my friend cooks isn’t dry. Thank you C, make your bloody own dinner. There are friends who drag you out when you’re in a funk, ones who let you ramble on in self pity when I’m quite sure they’re hoping you just shut up sometime soon, but they never say that. Friends who know just what to send to make you smile. Friends who are family too, who are looking after you even though they’re going through the shite with you. Those are the ones who usually get the worst of it, when your stress levels are up and your guard is down and you just explode before you actually, well…explode. But, small disclaimer, sometimes I’m yelling at you Pat because you need yelling at, don’t go discounting every rant as chemo related. It’s not. Years ago you had some sort of mad moment where you thought asking me if I’d forgotten to take my tablet (I was on anti-depressants then), whilst I was in full flight was reasonable. If you’ve forgotten how that went our neighbours probably haven’t. I can’t remember what it was you’d done, but it was definitely something.
I’ve got brilliant friends. We don’t all see each other that often but they’re always there on social media when I need them, or escape weekends when we manage to pin down a time when none of us are taxi-ing children to very important things they must go to or their lives will be ruined forever. Working our lives round children’s social lives is not easy. When did that happen? I don’t remember mum and dad having to plan 14 weeks in advance to find a weekend I wasn’t doing something. I’m going to regret writing that that when mum reminds me of the gazillion things I expected to be taken to and picked up from. Still, they chose to live on a farm 5 miles from anybloodything.
However, yesterday was one of those rare days when it all came together. Remember the regatta I was freaking out about? It was brilliant. The sun shone, people in boats did all sorts of clever and amazing boaty things. I’m still baffled how anyone can manoeuvre those long, skinny, boats. Turn them round with great huge oars, in a river full of other long pointy boats, and line up in a holding pattern like planes circling Heathrow on a busy day. Slowly moving towards the start line and not causing a massive crash. Then they row backwards as fast as they can and don’t smash into things, or each other, it’s all very impressive. Son 1’s race did not go how he wanted, we all thought he was amazing but he didn’t win so he was furious with himself. It’s what he does, he’ll keep trying, and being furious, until he wins. Life is easier when you accept that that’s just how he is. Telling him you’re impressed at anyone who doesn’t fall off such a narrow boat goes down like a cup of cold sick, just so you know…..
#2 son is a little younger, and not so competitive yet. That’ll probably change, and then I’ll need twice as much wine. If they’re ever racing each other I might have to torpedo both boats.
Even then other friends popped up to help, to take children on fast and scary rides that I am too much of a woos to go on. Pat did take them on The Cage, whilst impressed I was also worried. Pat doesn’t do spinning, the teacups leave him green and heaving. He can do rollercoasters with ease (Ugh!), but not spinning. He remembered the dogs needed letting out as soon as the ride finished, so he could go home and avoid any further spinning. It was the first public outing of my wig too. I thought that maybe it deserved a day out, and a regatta seemed a fitting launch (see what I did there?). Pat had been telling me not to worry, he’d seen something where a test with a leaf-blower had shown how securely a wig stays in place. He watches some odd stuff. Thing is a leaf blower does not spin a person round, bounce them up and down and jolt them from side to side like the Waltzers does. You can’t jam your head back either, because The Wig starts to move, and the more you scream (in terror that your hair is about to fly across the park and traumatise whoever it lands on) the faster the Waltzer boys spin you. There was no putting my hands in the air, my hands were firmly clamped to my head.
I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. Proper belly laughing until you are in fear of pelvic floor failure, which somehow makes you laugh even more. The boys were laughing just as hard, it’s been too long since I’ve seen them do that. £3 per ride seemed bloody expensive, it was actually very good vfm.
Afterwards hunger set in and the old people’s ears had had enough of the fairground music, we all came back home to check on Pat and the dogs.
My wig looks like one of those long haired guinea-pigs with the tufty hair. We’re keeping it away from the dogs until I work out how to groom it.
At least the washing up wasn’t too much this morning…
Session #5 this Wednesday. We’re almost there folks.
Thank you my wonderful friends.