Friday, April 20, 2007

Give and take

This is what I have been given so far this week:
*countless kisses from my sons
*hugs (similar)
*a headache over my right eye
*a moment in the dark when my bed-ready baby, placed small hands against my cheeks, moved back slightly in my arms and gazed at me. Content enough with what she found, she moved again, forward this time, to rest her lips on mine.
*a packet of Viennese whirled biscuits. Later found by my four-year-old. Some he ate, some he crumbled up and showered in
*consideration by a stranger, kind enough to send round two gas bottles the same day I asked. Allowing me to light the oven and the children to eat hot food again. I am slightly scared of the oven. Recently, when I clicked the clicker, it did not light. I did not realise. Some minutes passed. I opened the door. I clicked again. A blue flame shot out. I burnt my eyebrow. My friends who were with me, sitting at my kitchen table, drinking my tea, laughed. I did not think that was nice. Of the oven. Nor of my friends.
*a barbecued salmon sandwich on a sunshiny evening as children played on grass
*a deal of worry when my six-year-old screamed out with night terrors.
*three broken nights courtesy of the children, (one each.) Sleep, I believe to be greatly over-rated.
*other people's time as they pause to glance across and into mine
*25 (not including my mother)pieces of advice, some of it good
*someone's patience who listened to me rant
*a glass of red wine
*a phone call from a world distant friend
*a party invitation for my eldest son
*a coffee and a cheese scone
*the benefit of the doubt by a nice woman
This is what I have given so far this week:
*not enough


Jan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Wifey, you have given things to your husband and children that you aren't even aware of as gifts. Your posts are a gift to many of us each day. Don't underestimate your contributions to your part of the world.

mountainear said...

What did you want to receive if that lovely list is 'not enough'? Seem pretty good and well balanced to me.

Anonymous said...

What did you not give this week? You did not give yourself enough credit!

Herbalgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

ditto sunshine!

Gorilla Bananas said...

You seem to be very fond of lists, Mrs Wife. I never both with them. I just pay a parrot to memorize everything I need to know. I hope you are luckier, next week, in the fulfilment of your sexual needs.

Jan said...

Hello Wife In The North:
That baby moment you described was beautiful, unforgettable...
And JUST wait til it happens again, decades later, when YOUR babe, this babe, is grownup.... and its HIS babe who suddenly places small hands on your cheeks, moves slightly in your arms...

The Draughtsman said...

The world is full of compassion and we are all part of it. It manifests itself in all the little things you listed. Not earth shaking stuff but the very foundation of what we are.You give a lot to far more people than you will ever realise. Never undersell yourself.

Anonymous said...

It definitely was not nice of the oven, nor of your friend to laugh. Many years ago, the same thing happened to me as a young wife, before I had children. My husband took me in his arms and comforted me, as he brushed away my singed eyebrows and bangs -- which you Brits seem to call "fringe." I still remember how shaken I felt as I sobbed on his chest.

As he retells the story through the years, he does laugh at how surprised and frightened I was, but I could never have forgiven him for laughing then, so I'm sure he did not.

To those who write mean things to "Wife," just please go away and read someone else's blog and leave this one to readers who love her and her view of her life and experiences. I experienced many of the feelings she describes four decades ago when I was house-bound with three little ones. It was a wonderfully rich and human time, but also terrifying and difficult from day to day. She has the honesty to capture it fully, and reading her daily is a treat for me.

Stay at home dad said...

Come on, you'd laugh!

You're doing just fine, of course you are...

Cathy said...

You have been given more good things than bad. Concentrate on the good parts of every day and never forget how much you must have given to your children, for them to give you so much love in return.

I Beatrice said...

To Mutterings and Meanderings (from the Birdsong page): I met the newest representative of your local'Pour-cee' (can't quite get my tongue round that one) family once as a matter of fact.

I was sitting in the garden of our local stately home, Ham House, in Richmond Surrey (see my blog; 'Macauley's House' in I Beatrice). My husband was with me, and I had left him sitting at the table while I went to have a look at the shop.
When I returned ten minutes later, he had an attractive young woman sharing the table with him. She rose to her feet on my arrival and said her name was Jane Northumberland.

I knew at once who she was - having seen her Alnwick Garden transformation programme on the television. My husband however, hadn't had a clue - though he said he had wondered a little, when she just happened to remark that they needed 'about 80 gardeners to keep their place tidy'.

She was down at Ham in connection with a gardening competition run by Channel 4 - of which she was one of the judges. She was to fly back to Alnwick later that day.

She was very pleasant, very ordinary - and the thought did flit across my mind at one point: how ought one to address a duchess? I ignored it though, and treated her just as I would anyone else. Every democratic principle in me having risen up against the idea of 'Your Gracing' her, or anything of that sort.

My points being:(and they're laboured ones, I see that!):
1) Yes, the Percys of Northumberland are still very much there! (We have their other place, Syon House in Isleworth, down in these parts); and:
2) How, I wonder, would any other of your readers have responded to the appearance of an entirely unexpected duchess....?

Just a thought. Sorry it's such a very long one, Wife!

Anonymous said...

kaycie - share the love ! group hug ! feel the vibes !!

Anonymous said...

I agree with sunsine, you didn't give yourself enough credit this week.

Next week open that wallet and flex that gold/platinum/iridium/ palladium/plutonium piece of plastic card to the max !!

Anonymous said...

To any American readers, a quick top tip on how to make some easy money.

Print some bumper stickers for readers of this blog..:-

'What Would Rilly Do'

actualry said...

Tough post, it made me think. Gifts from babies are precious indeed (i.e. wonderful but rare). Face it, though (that is, I, with children now grown, must face it), babies are all about needing it all and then some more, and Wife in the North, if I may call you that, you're the one picking up the slack. You get back the occasional payoff (baby memorizing your face) and give it generously to us, your readers, but the ledger is way out of balance, not just today, but for years to come. I wish for the rest of You, the Not Wife in the North, more benefit of the doubt in days to come.

Anonymous said...

I think she happily answers to jane.

Anonymous said...

So what is it you're missing? I'm going with gorilla bananas, even though I don't love the nic.

Anonymous said...

Hello wifey,

It sounds OK - remember a glass can be half full or half empty - allI got this week was

1. Some chewing gum
2. A rubber
3. a Bill for services rendered.

so it could be worse.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, there's vitriol in some of the comments on this site.

Why do people who don't like what they read, continue to read stuff that upsets them?

Wife in the North, Strife in the North, they're both entertaining in their own way.

"Relax, nobody dies," as they used to say in BBC training courses.

Unknown said...

Who is Bill, Mutley? Was he good, was he worth it?

Hey Wifey, unconditional love is a bitch, ain't it? None of your list would have been there if it had not been for you!

Anonymous said...

Minx -- unconditional love IS a bitch when it's all outgoing and not much incoming (except an occasional hug from a baby or child). But when it's incoming, it is indeed the stuff dreams are made of! I waited 60 years for it, and have been gifted 60 times over. Life can be so sweet---

Note -- does anyone else get a real kick out of trying to pronounce the "word verification" letters?

Anonymous said...

I think many of you read the post too literally (and some have misread it completely). I'm sure Wife knows she gives quite a bit (that's evident in her other posts). I took her last sentence as a simple declaration of gratitude; that she feels blessed with how much she's been given. And that perhaps some of the things she's been given (her baby's kiss for example) are gifts incapable of recompense.

Of course, it's also possible that's she just had a lazy week, but I prefer my interpretation. :)

Anonymous said...

sunshine - no, I think that is just you - the rest of us make do with waiting for the synchronicity of a really apposite word appearing.

No such luck this time - just a reference to a social disease for complementary therapists...


Anonymous said...

Perhaps in addition to adding an 'Alan Johnston' button to your blog, you could also [as light-hearted counterpoint] add a 'days since shagging' has been mentioned on the blog.

It would remind us readers that 'hope springs eternal'...

Daisy Turnip said...

Just the one glass of wine? I'm impressed! Or is it a little like being in wine confession ie you've had 3 bottles but only confess to a single glass?

So when are you due at the dentist?

Anonymous said...

to Daisy Turnip -- I don't recall Wifey mentioning the size of the wineglass-----I saw one in a catalog the other day that holds an entire bottle of wine!

Anonymous said...

when is your book coming out?

Unknown said...

sunshine-I can hardly decipher the word verification symbols let alone pronounce them!