Monday, 16 August 2010

A truth revealed ... in the middle of the night

We have hunkered down for the night.

I have just entered the moment of sleep when I am dreaming but still aware of the larger sounds surrounding me. A little voice calls out, ripping through my dream. "MUMMY!" A spate of croupy coughing immediately follows. "MUMMY!"

My response is automatic and I am still not completely awake. My covers are quickly flicked off and I jump to the floor like a reluctant superhero. I fumble around in the darkness trying to find the carelessly discarded pants that will save me from a certain death by cold night air. My plight is unsuccessful. Frantically I switch the wardrobe light on and then off in the hope of seeing the pants and not disturbing a sleeping husband. Second failure. Husband offers his services and ambles off to comfort the now distraught daughter.

The pants are found and put on. Who did I think I was anyway? My body finds its position back in bed and my eyes close. LQ will be prying them open sooner than I would like anyway. But sleep does not come. Lights come on and off. Too much noise is being made for a quick comfort and back to sleep ritual. More croupy coughing ensues. I am drawn to her room by pure curiosity.

Not only has LQ coughed herself awake she has also managed to dirty her pants in the process. Dal cleans up. We sit on the edge of LQ's bed, this small family, LQ huddles against Dal's shoulder - her body overcome with waning spates of coughing. As the coughing subsides a synchronised sigh comes slowly from both her parents.

"Where do you think she picks up these illnesses?" A whispered question from Dal that is too complex for me to answer. He continues in a hushed tone, making sure not to wake LQ "Do you think it is from Daycare?"

A surprising little voice whispers back from his shoulder, "Yes".

LQ has entered the phase of knowing everything.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Driving is not for the faint hearted

I am a little nervous about moving to America.

It's not because I will be moving away from my family (although I will miss them incredibly). And it's not because I am afraid I wont make any friends (ppshht... this is me we are talking about - friend maker extraordinaire).

Nope - I am nervous because I am expected to navigate the opposite side of the road in a truck that even Dal hates to park. Ooohh.... my tummy goes all queasy every time I think of that big beast that is waiting for me. Waiting oh so silently, but ever so menacingly.

I think if I were to drive the same size vehicle here in Australia, I would be a little hesitant. But my confidence in my driving skills would take over and I would soon OWN that truck. But my first experience driving in North America leaves me with no confidence at all.

I was given a small hatchback to zip around in by the family I nannied for in Canada. It was the middle of Winter so I was a cautious and very safe driver. My sister and I were invited to have dinner with a few other young adults in the area, so I drove slowly in the dark to the appointed restaurant. It took all my concentration to remember that when I turned right I was to keep to the curb and when I turned left I needed to NOT turn into the oncoming traffic. All very confusing when you are trying to shift gears with the wrong hand. YOU try telling your brain to do the opposite to everything you have learned - I defy you not feel flustered and disorientated.

We had a very nice meal. Thank-you-very-much. We met new people, we laughed, we marveled at how inexpensive the meals were, and we couldn't quite grasp the concept of tipping.

And then my sister and I jumped into the car (not before both going to the wrong sides of the car and having a giggle about it). We were pleased with how well the dinner went and we discussed as I pulled out of the driveway. For a few blissful seconds nothing was wrong.

Then my sister started screaming at me. And because she was screaming, I couldn't understand a word she was saying. I looked at her and started piecing her screams together - my brain slowly forming the sentences that she was making. Quite obviously my cognition of her screams was a little slow for my sisters liking so she reached across to the steering wheel like a crazy woman and started wrenching at the wheel.

I fought with my crazy sister. I started girl slapping her away from me and doing quite a bit of my own screaming. Somehow through all the screaming and grabbing and slapping we managed to end up on the correct side of the road - the side with NO oncoming traffic.

Because we had been turning out from a driveway with no clear wrong and right sides, I had quite automatically turned left and kept to the curb. My sister thought she was going to die despite there being no traffic coming toward us at the time. By the time we corrected our position there were a few cars coming toward us, but they weren't to know that anything had been wrong.

I don't think my sister handled that situation all too well. Who tries to steer a car from the passenger seat while in hysterics anyway??!!

I am only glad my sister wont be there when I swing my "new" big truck into oncoming traffic. And if you happen to be in Mesa for the next 3 months or so, I suggest you give any big white truck you see a fairly wide berth. There's a good chance that after three months of driving, I still wont be sure where I am.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Can we be friends?

I like to think I am an honest girl. I like people to know exactly what kind of person they are dealing with from the start. I don't think I own any pretenses. Some times this means I over share. I think you know what I mean.

I try to reign it in on my blog... writing things down means that I spew it out on the screen and then go back and delete if needed. The luxury of going back and deleting is not afforded when I am having a conversation with a friend or colleague. That is when I tend to over share. If it is pertinent to my story, I will give you a detailed background to my life. My life hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows, so the listener usually receives some tawdry detail along the way.

A few people that I know have commented (positively) on my honesty recently and it got me to thinking. There may be some who do not appreciate the kind of honesty that I offer. I am not an over talker (I don't think. Correct me if I'm wrong). I know when to shut up. So I am not writing about being an over talker. I am writing about someone feeling uncomfortable about the information I have shared with them.

In my own happy world everyone enjoys my company and wants to be my friend. I know that in reality there must be people who don't want to be a part of my life (sad, but true).

So, tell me. If you and I were having a face to face conversation, would you feel uncomfortable if I told you that I once had to run naked down a long street to distract the terrorists long enough for my family to escape from the sewer in which they were being held hostage?

All within the context of our conversation of course. Seriously, where do you draw the line between "yeah, we could be friends" and "oops, she's crazy"?