Meet Jan Brady

My beautiful little Indi has always struggled a bit with being one of the two middle children.  Not the oldest, not the baby, I think she thinks she is somehow not as special.

But oh my, how special she is.  She was the most stunning baby, emerging after just over an hour, with a tuft of beautiful brown hair that stuck straight up in the air.  The midwife attached her straight my breast within minutes of birth, and she took to it like a duck to water, none of that angst and attachment problems.  She was, of course, completely oblivious to the issues her sister Dakota, then 15 months old was having with her arrival.  Every time she came into the room with her dad to visit us, she would peer into the cot, see that this newcomer was indeed still there, and throw herself dramatically to the ground.  Thankfully they became very good friends!

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After a blissful babyhood, she became very good at letting us know she was about.  One of my most distinct memories (if not my fondest) was her method of waking me up when she was about 2.  She would get herself out of bed, go and get a yoghurt and a spoon, and then she would come up to the bedroom, and I would still be asleep, so she would slam the metal spoon into which ever temple was presented at the time.  I would open my eyes in a panic just as the yoghurt hit me in the face too, and a little girl with a big voice said “OPEN IT”.  It took me quite a while to convince her that mummy didn’t really like to start the day that way!

Out of all of my children, Indi values alone time with me the most.  She enjoys the company of her sisters, and doesn’t like to play alone, but this aside, I think she would have been quite suited to being any only child!  Her need to try and grasp time with me is sometimes at odds with her kindness, and her sense of fairness, and justice.  When Tana was telling her all about her birthday day with me, I could see Indi in the rear vision mirror welling up a bit, and I could see her internal struggle.  It was Tana’s birthday, so of course she should get a special day, but gosh, how she wished it had been her.  Indi’s birthday falls in the summer school holidays, so I told her quickly that I would keep her out of school for a day soon, and we would celebrate 10 and a half.  The look on her face was a picture.

Every year we watch The Bachelor together.  Always snuggled up in bed, usually with a snack :)  Don’t flame me, it’s a SHOCKER, but we watch it for the laughs.  Indi can’t for the life of her understand why so many women would compete for a mere MAN, and she curls her lip at some of the carry on and says that these women should have more respect for themselves.  Oh, I have taught  you well my darling.  But that doesn’t stop us speculating about who will win a rose, and ultimately. the heart of the bach.  It is definitely our thing to do together, and Indi does not allow any of the other children in the room when we are watching together, she vigorously defends her time.  So, I saw that internal struggle again the other day when Tana asked when The Bachelor was coming back on.  Indi’s facial expression changed about 10 times in a minute….thinking that it was only fair that Tana got to join the fun too, but oh, she was so looking forward to that time with me.  I’m going to have to tell Tana soon that she won’t be watching The Bachelor.

I always look to Indi for how I am going, with this whole living fully when I’m dying, making memories for the kids, as much as I can for as long as I can thing.  And lately, especially in her case, I don’t feel like I am doing so well.  She needs me so much, and I know will find it so hard to let go, and it makes it hard for me to think about letting go, so I struggle not to pull away and go back to that “you have to learn to be without me, I have to teach you while I am still here” business that I got so caught up in a few months ago.  She makes a big effort to wake up a bit early before school, and she appears at the side of my bed (though not as violently as she used to!) and she’s all sleepy and dishevelled and bed haired, and she says “spoon?”  I flick back the covers and she smiles a big, sleepy smile and molds her body into mine, and she fits every bit as perfectly against me as she did when her spine laid against mine, her heart somewhere near my heart, more than ten and a half years ago.  She’s always been a perfect fit, because she’s mine.

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When she slips into my arms, in the warmth of our family bed, and she sighs a deep sigh of one completely contented…those are some of the times that I feel it the most, the pain of my mortality.  Most mama’s feel sad as their children age and don’t want to do these things any more, and they feel a pang.  In Indi’s case, I know that death will take my arms from her long before she is ready.  It will take ME from her long before she is ready.  Why?

Indi has been asking for the last few days for more from me.  She wants to cook, she wants to colour, she wants more movies, and more snuggle time.  I’ve been saying no a lot again lately, or “in a minute”, and she looks stricken.  I needed an attitude adjustment again, Indi showed me that.

So, yesterday when I picked them up, I said to her that we should colour as soon as we got home (we’ve taken up that adult colouring business).  Indi’s face lit up a tad, and she said “do we have to clean up first?”, and I said nup, straight into it, the clean up can wait.  She raced inside like a bull at a gate, and set up the colouring books and texta’s before I had the chance to get the bags out of the car.  And she was MOST delighted when Dakota and Tana decided to watch tv, and she realised she had her mum to herself.  She made us a cordial each, and we sat down to the books, and she sighed and said “this is nice, isn’t it mummy?”  Yes, my beautiful girl, it’s the best thing ever.  Let’s do it again tomorrow.  I need to stop being afraid of making beautiful memories, thanks for showing me the way when I forget baby.

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3 Comments on “Meet Jan Brady

  1. Your post made me laugh out loud.
    loved the yoghurt story
    Shes gorgeous im glad she gave you the adjustment you needed

  2. I’ve just discovered your blog, and wanted to say thank you… This post is beautiful. Some nice reminders in there about mindfulness, and stopping to be in the moment that really matters. X

  3. “Fits every bit as perfectly….” That would have to be the best description of motherhood I have ever read. Thanks for your blog, you are an inspiration, your writing is amazing.

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