I’d been looking so forward to the Easter long weekend. I was tired to my bones and just hanging for four days of doing nothing around the house. I was going to rest, and read, maybe bake something, and just enjoy my children. You see, I have a really annoying habit of forgetting how hardcore my two-year-old twins are.
By Monday night, I was huddled in a corner of the couch, clutching my phone as a symbol of the outside world I longed to rejoin. My children played quietly on the floor, they knew their work here was done. My husband, whom I’d given a leave pass for the weekend, sat silently at the table behind me, like I was some kind of WWII ordinance he’d stumbled upon in a French Field and wasn’t sure if I’d been rendered completely useless or still had a detonation left in me. It had been a very long, long weekend.
So back I went, bright and early on Tuesday morning to work on The Circle. One segment title stood out to me immediately. It was about something called “Grateful in April”.
Of course I’ve heard of “Dry July” and “Feb-fast”, I’ve enjoyed the visual feast of “Movember”, I’ve even celebrated the recent rebirth of “Rocktober”. By the time Marty Sheargold invented “Va-June”, I thought my calendar was pretty full, although there’s not much to “Va-June” beyond the name to be honest. So what’s this “Grateful in April” I wondered wearily, and how much do they want?
I didn’t realise that my old friend Melina Schamroth is the creator of our latest meaningful month, and she actually isn’t raising money for anything. Melina and I became online buddies during the Queensland floods because she is one of those people who lives to give. She is the founder of M.A.D. Woman (Make A Difference Woman – check it out here), through which she creates opportunities for people and businesses to give back to the community while networking. She has a stunning contact list, and in a natural disaster she is a God send in terms of quick, practical connections.
So here she was on The Circle couch, talking about her “Grateful in April” campaign in which she was simply asking that we take the time to consider all the things in our lives for which we are grateful. My heart sank a bit. I thought back to a time, only 3 years ago, when I forced myself to imagine life without children. I’d tried for years to fall pregnant and I decided that before we gave IVF one more go, I needed to really come to terms with the possibility that I may never be someone’s mum. I needed to be OK if it didn’t work. I needed to give it up after this one last try and find a meaningful life without my own kids in it.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw my babies. They were flickering lights on a black and white monitor in the office of a Brisbane Fertility Clinic. I knew I had a long way to go, but I was grateful beyond comprehension. The first time I saw them in the flesh, I cried the ugly, ugly cry!
It’s so hard sometimes, now that they’re here to connect with my longing of three years ago. I’m so grateful to Melina for reminding me how lucky I am to have two healthy, energetic children, and a husband to help me care for them. Long may this MAD Woman reign!
What are you truly grateful for?