We moved into this house almost four years ago – three days after bringing home our first child. There was no insulation and possums lived in the roof. My husband caught them with a $25 trap off Ebay.
My mum sometimes shares stories about half a house, bathing babies in copper bathtubs and living next door to a prostitute. They had conversations on the porch. Neither had fancy front loaders or Facebook accounts.
In some cultures women rest up to forty days following child birth. I am thankful for a mother who gave me three that in hindsight feels like thirty. On the day that we moved, I sobbed. I thought I had it hard.
Hard is a baby that doesn’t come home or a husband that doesn’t want to. Hard is a husband that leaves his young wife for the day with three cigarettes and loose change for milk. Or a father who goes to buy cigarettes and never comes back.
Sometimes I want to tell the women of my mother’s generation “I am so sorry for the things you had to endure” but instead I continue tapping a smart phone because that’s what this generation does.
It took me a long time to notice the tree at the front of our house. It’s taken me almost as long to feel at home here. I still think about the twelve months I spent at my mother’s house – my husband, my mother and I forged a strong connection through death and sorrow and babies. I owe it to her to put my phone down more often. I need to stop and smell the flowers.