It all started with the rotting bird. Well to be honest, it was a bit past rotting when I found it. I have no idea how a carcass can rot just inches from a persons head whilst they sleep, yet they remain blissfully unaware. But it did. And I was. For a while.

At the moment I have a cleaner coming in for an hour a week. She is supposed to clean the bathrooms, do the vacuuming and mop the floors. I say ‘supposed to’ because whether or not they actually come out clean is debatable. But mum is paying for her as a favour, so I’m not in much of a position to complain. She makes a token effort, so on the surface things look clean. I sure as hell don’t have time to do it.

So I guess that’s how the carcass went unnoticed for so long. One of the cats must have dragged it in and toyed with it for a while before it died, smack bang in the middle of the floor under our bed. On the day it was discovered, the cleaner had the week off so I was doing the vacuuming. I got down to vacuum under the bed properly (it took a bit of strength to push the vacuum cleaner through the inches of dust) and noticed a white writhing mess. God knows what possessed me to do it, but I reached out to see what it was. And touched the maggots.

In a fit of disgust and panic, I sucked up the whole lot, along with the birds head, which vacuumed straight off the body. It was lucky that I remembered to ask Shaun to empty the vacuum a couple of days later. He wasn’t impressed.

He also wasn’t impressed about the flies. I guess I missed a few maggots. And by a few, I mean 50 or so. Thankfully it only took a few days for me to forget the whole debacle, so it took me a while to make the connection between the incident and the large swarm of blowflies that was hanging out on our curtains a week or so later.

They were strange blowflies. You could approach them with a tissue and pluck them straight off the wall. They didn’t even attempt to fly away. That is what triggered the realisation that they were newly hatched babies. And they just kept hatching and hatching.

And hatching.

After a day or so Shaun mentioned them. I pretended I hadn’t noticed them. I couldn’t keep up the charade for long though, because they were hatching overnight and by the time we awoke in the morning they were almost blocking out the light. It was a complete nightmare. I considered moving the bed to see how many were left, but I couldn’t find it in me. I was too emotionally scarred by the whole experience.

Finally they seemed to slow down and we were able to pick them off the walls faster than they could hatch. (I didn’t want to spray because of the babies). So now the house is back to it’s original rotting-bird-and-hatching-fly free state.

And the cleaner is back from holiday so I guess I can go back to being blissfully unaware again.

The leaves are leaving

One thing that I hadn’t considered before I had children was just how differently I would see the world once I did. I see it through the eyes of a child these days. Well, to be fair, I guess I always did to a degree. But now I see it through the eyes of my children. There’s something kinda wonderful about that.

On the one hand I notice all the swear words on the radio, and just how provocatively dressed every woman on every music video seems to be, but on the other, I see everyday things as something exciting. The park is no longer just somewhere to exercise. Now it’s a whole world to be discovered.

Things are simpler now. The world is good. We go for the same walk every day, and every day it is different. One of the most beautiful things about Auckland is how green it is. We live on the edge of 200 acres of parkland. I’ve lived here for most of my life. My parents used to walk through this park with me when I was the age that my kids are now. I feel deeply rooted here. That’s a nice feeling. Stability is one of the biggest gifts you can give a child, along with safety and your love.

So I guess we’ll continue to walk here. And perhaps one day my kids will walk here with their kids.

And look at it. Who wouldn’t?

Autumn in Cornwall Park

That’s life, but it’s sad.

Life moves to the beat of a different drum for me these days. The beat is one hell of a lot faster than it was. There is no jazz-in-the-sun kinda beat for me any more. It’s more of a thrash metal kinda beat. In the life of a mother of new babies, time is measured in the hours between day-sleeps. From that first waking moment of beaming smiles to the last grizzle of the day, I am watching my babies grow into children.

Every day something new happens. Whether it’s more hair or a new noise, what would probably be the most trivial of things to an outsider now has the ability to make me look at life with a feeling of wonderment that I haven’t felt since I was a child myself.

But I’ve had to say goodbye to things and that’s sad. My friendships have changed. While I haven’t lost any, the nature of my relationships with them has turned a corner. I see my best friends (the ones without kids) every couple of months now, rather than every couple of days. While that’s life, it’s sad.

I’ve had to quit things that used to make up such a huge part of my day. This week I am leaving the staff of Sitepoint – a web community that I’ve been part of for many years now. I have realised lately that I just don’t have the time to commit to it that is required, and that’s not fair on the team that I was leading. Time to move over and let someone else take the reigns. That’s life too, but it’s sad.

I haven’t stepped into the ring for a year now. I haven’t wrapped my knuckles or pulled on my gloves. I haven’t felt the rush that comes with kicking the crap out of someone and I miss it terribly. Again – life. But it’s sad.

I haven’t worn killer heels, or power dressed, or pumped weights, or read the weekend paper. I haven’t worn a sleeveless top (which would call for a strapless bra, and they don’t do those in maternity styles!), or read more than one chapter of a book at a time, or seen a movie.

But as much as I miss those things, they don’t compare to the thrill of opening that nursery door every morning and seeing two beaming smiles looking up at me.

So life is different now. Sometime’s it’s sad, but mostly it’s magic.