Monday and the time is around 11am. I am seated on our new chocolate brown leather lounge suite enjoying what I feel is a much deserved cup of tea. I have managed to do a fair bit of housework and our beautiful new house feels calm and restful.
I scan around the room. I still can’t believe we are finally in. Three years it has taken us to finally get to this point. The financial crisis had been good to us – we had bought the builder’s display home, with all its extras, for a steel – but it had still been a long, emotionally fraught road until we moved in. The reflection of the ripples of the lap pool dance on the ceiling. I take a deep breath and exhale slowly.
Dee and I had discussed me giving up formal employment for a year before it happened, but, finally, here I am taking the year off I had been promising myself. After the past two years – losing mom, becoming a recovering alcoholic and discovering JC has autism – I am actually looking forward to 2012, my year of peace.
I am wondering if I should make some chocolate muffins or read a book after lunch when the phone rings.
“Hi mum.” It’s Jay. “Hi my love, how are you?” I love hearing her voice. During all the grief and drama that had surrounded our family in the past two years, she and I had fallen out miserably. At 16 she had become the overly feral rebellious teenager and I had reacted by becoming the equally feral mother, though of course I could not see it at the time. For the full two years we had fought, going from being best friends to being mortal enemies. Whilst her confidence of where she fit in the world had become shaken, mine as a mother had plummeted. But that was behind us now. We were firmly on the mend. Still a bit shaky at times, perhaps, but definitely on the mend.
Jay had decided a year ago she didn’t want to move into the new house with us. At the age of 18, we could not stop her from moving in with her boyfriend and with nearly two years sobriety under my belt, I knew better than to fight what I could not control. Releasing my foot off the pedal of control had been a good move in the direction of our mother/daughter relationship, plus we really liked Em, he was really good to her.
“I’m good, mum. What are you doing?”
“Just finished tidying up the house. We still on for tomorrow?”
Since moving into our house and out of our old area a month ago, Jay and I had settled into meeting up every Tuesday and Friday. She still needed her mamma!
“Mummy, I have something to tell you.”
Of course, I know instantly what is coming, but nevertheless, I say a mini prayer of please don’t let it be what I think it is. “Oh, really,” I say in a very upbeat voice, “what is that?” I pray she has won the lottery for some reason.
I take a deep breath. What is the appropriate response in this instance? Yelling “You stupid girl, what were you thinking?” seems firstly, to be stating the obvious – she is stupid and was clearly not thinking, and secondly a slow learning process has taught me yelling does not work with Jay – her sensitive soul just did not respond well to yelling.
“Are you okay?” I finally say.
She starts crying.”Oh, mummy, I am so sorry to disappoint you.”
“Oh baby girl, you have not disappointed me.” I pause. “What are you going to do?” Yes, I am asking that question.
“Em asked me if I wanted to keep the baby. Mum, I can’t get rid of it.”
Am I selfish for breathing a sigh of relief?
“It’s okay, angel, we will get through this. You know dad and I will support you no matter what.”
“I have to have an ultrasound tomorrow mum. I had severe pain yesterday and the doctor wants to check it isn’t ectopic. Will you come with me mum?”
I can tell from the sound in her voice that good old Mother Nature has already stepped in – despite being only 19, Jay is frightened of losing the baby.
“Of course, I’ll be there.
Yep, there it goes. That year of peace has just flown out of the window.