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This is life

The Shoemaker's Daughter. A memoir of days, both past and present, by Rhonda Mason.

Last night, I actually slept.

My first night of sleep in four days.

Perhaps my body is finally fighting off this dreaded virus.

Please, God, let it be so…

* * *

Everyone is up.

Rick, Angus, Pete, and Bear are already downstairs.

I’m tidying the bedrooms upstairs while Jamie is getting dressed (still). Meanwhile, Lewis lies contentedly on our bed, staring at his tiny left fist.

Jamie finishes getting dressed, so I ask him to come and chat with Lewis. He happily obliges.

He lies down next to Lewis on our bed, and for the next ten minutes, he sings him songs, makes funny noises, and tells Lewis made-up stories. Lewis thinks that Jamie is absolutely hilarious. He laughs and laughs and laughs.

Later, Angus comes upstairs and takes Jamie’s place. Lewis gazes at him with adoring eyes.

Boys.

They are literally the sweetest little beings.

And I am blessed beyond measure to have six to call my own.

* * *

While Rick takes Bear up to Forest Way to pick up groceries for our breakfast, I take Lewis upstairs to put him down for a nap—leaving Angus, Pete, and Jamie downstairs to play by themselves.

I check on them after Lewis falls asleep, and they are perfectly content and happy.

No arguments. No whinging.

Jamie sees me and tells me again that he wants to go outside. I ask him if he can possibly wait for another ten to fifteen minutes while I take a quick shower. He is not keen on the idea but, nonetheless, acquiesces.

I return upstairs to wash my hair, thankful for such wonderful boys.

* * *

Rick and Bear return from their shopping expedition with all the ingredients for a sumptious breakfast: Crunchy Nuts cornflakes, croissants with butter and jam, scrambled eggs, chorizo sausages, and grilled tomatos.

The boys pick and choose what they want. I opt for the entire package, as does Rick.

There is also apple juice for the boys and cups of tea for us.

There is no doubt about it: these Saturday morning feasts have surely become my favourite family ritual.

* * *

Whilst sweeping up the floor after breakfast, I suddenly feel light-headed and fatigued.

I tell Rick I need to lie down on the couch for ten minutes. I end up napping for almost two hours.

I surface briefly—long enough to suggest that Rick takes the four big boys off to the lagoon, as I know that Pete is desperate to take his bike out for a ride.

I am disappointed because I was hoping we could all go out together, but I can tell that my body is not up for it. This virus has run me down severely over the last week.

Rick and the boys end up going to Bilarong Reserve, and they have an incredible time together.

“I’m having a blast,” Rick messages me at one point. I am overjoyed for him.

* * *

While Rick and the boys are out, Lewis naps.

I end up pottering around the house, soaking up the peace and quiet.

I heat up my mum’s potato and chicken wings from last night and treat myself to a hot lunch.

I avoid work.

I attempt to read.

I switch off.

I relax.

I succumb to rest.

* * *

In the evening, when everyone is home, I load up the DVD player with The Gods Must Be Crazy 2.

I tell the boys, “It’s a very funny movie.”

Two seconds into it, Gus and Pete both make the comment, “It’s not funny.”

Meanwhile, Rick whips up chicken burgers for everybody with the crumbed tenderloins that he bought in the morning. We all eat in the play room together.

An hour and a half later, all the boys agree with my original verdict.

* * *

After the boys are alseep, we get started on our second dinner.

Rick chops up the frozen beef mince with a knife.

I put the macaroni pasta on to boil.

Rick slices up the wombok.

I strain the macaroni, then start work on the stock: first the Chinese chicken powder, then the beef mince, some pepper, and then the wombok.

We add the macaroni last of all, then serve up.

It is absolutely delicious and so very comforting for my throat and tummy.

We watch two episodes of Friends while we eat (The One with the Girl Who Hits Joey and The One with the Cop).

We laugh, we eat, and we laugh some more.

And much later, of course, we feed Lewis…

* * *

Today is the tenth.

Only five more days till Cameron’s anniversary…

Nine years.

How can that be?

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