Besides being in love, like and lust I had a fabulous weekend!
On Friday afternoon we had our year end staff function. Usually I love me a good party but I was not really in the mood but I dressed, smiled, took pictures, and stayed a reasonable amount of time but left in time to still join Noid and the many, many, many children at Dougie’s cricket match.
After cricket, the kids all had a swim with Noid. I loved listening to their loud laughter in the pool. Is most delightful and just fills every happy space. The kids were however not happy little campers when I told them to get out to go pool so we can go fetch Douglas and Jenna’s bag at home. Later that evening they all humoured me and watched “Martian child” with us on the bed which I had not seen. It was so very sweet and touching.
Saturday morning was quite relaxing. The kids played in the pool, play station, drawing pictures and generally just keeping busy while Noid and Kevin went shopping for Thanksgiving… and to fetch Noid’s eldest son Nic. Later Jenna, Douglas and I went to drop Victoria at a party and went for ice cream.
The boys came back and we were very proud to see Nic driving!! Sjoe… it does make one feel old when the kid is allowed to drive!!! Ha ha ha. We spent the afternoon playing “Sing Star” and laughed allot. It was so fun! In the evening we joined Book club at an “Afrikaners is plesierig” event.
It does make me laugh because me being Afrikaans loved the music but Noid kept looking at me like I am demented!! The kids played on the jungle gym, ate pizza and we all loved the chocolate cake with caramel that Kevin baked for pudding. We got home quite late and the little kids went to sleep… that would include me btw… the ‘boys’ stayed up with Noid… and from the pictures I gather it involved bonding for everyone!
Sunday… thanksgiving day! Allot of running around to get things ready for the big celebration. Mid morning Noid decides the outside room has to be tidied this minute which involved all the bigger kids helping and the little kids swimming. Hectic morning!!
Some people cancelled so in the end we had 30 people coming although Mel and family couldn’t stay long. It turned out to be a wonderful day…. Lotsa swimming, braaing (bbq), drinking, laughing, joking – Graca wine add comes to mind.
I made name tags which was handed out… you then had to find the person the name tag belonged to. I thought this worked well to get people off their chairs and interacting as not everyone knew each other. I also set up a wire tree with tags and ribbon. Everyone, including the kids had to write something they are thankful for. As you were not required to write your name it was fun reading it afterwards not knowing who said what. One of my favourite tags (clearly written by a child) read: “I am thankful for imagination”. Isn’t that lovely?
The highlight of the Thanksgiving experience every year is sitting in “The Circle of Trust” and sharing what you are thankful for. I am always amazed and the depth, level of emotion and willingness of everyone to open their hearts… oh and off course the sharing of jokes with Aragorn being thankful for fast cars, loud guitars and blonde strippers with big boobs! LOL I am hugely privileged that people come and are willing to let others into their lives with their words. I will try and recount as best I can what was said, forgive me if I forget something!!
Noid spoke about family and friends, his success at work and that I complete him. He said that he would not be where he is, or accomplished what he has was it not for me. He also thanked book club at helping him heal. He was beautiful to me. Truly.
Mouse, Roach and Emma was thankful for their baby that is on her way, for the progress made over the past year… Smurf mentioned inner strength that really stuck a cord with me… Frans was thankful for finding work back in South Africa, his wife – QB for her kids and chats (with me!) on the balcony. She spoke about people being part of your life for a reason.. I sommer loved her allot in that moment because I know she does not share easily…. Mom thanked God for her many, many, many children and her husband and was tearful as I thought she would be… She spoke about being thankful and mentioned everyone by name. So special.
Nic was just shining in beauty speaking about his Dad, his siblings, his grandparents and school. I felt really proud of him… Kevin thanked Noid for all he had done by which time both Noid and Kevin was crying but we must not mention this apparently…. Kevin mentioned having made bad choices and how Noid and I had helped him back up… I was incredibly proud of him and I know Noid was also… especially when he got up to hug him. Love them. Tadpole was happy to be with us as it was her first time meeting us and naturally thankful for Aragorn… and me I am thankful that he has her also… Aragorn I already shared was funny but serious speaking about what Noid has done for Liam, that he is glad everyone has something to be thankful for… Liam made a funny speech and I think was a bit overwhelmed by the time I got to his turn… later he spoke to me privately and shared his thoughts… special boy he is…
Maia thanked Noid for what he has done for me, the changes with me, she spoke beautifully about Liam… thanked me for being there when her dad died… and her girls… heartfelt and full of grace as she always is… Astrid spoke about not being able to walk and now once again being able. Her words were powerful and made you think. Lisalot had also not met us before and I think being with us reminded her of home (Germany) and that she missed them. Noid Mom thanked for the good work she was here in South Africa doing in volunteering…. The Father also mentioned family and friends, thanked me for giving Noid a ‘home’… how he is grateful for life itself… I felt like I could see the sunshine in him. Powerful and beautiful… Jenna was thankful for her Mommy, Daddy and ice cream! Douglas for everything! Heather was thankful for animals and Ruth for the love of God… Victoria was thankful for her Mom and Dad… and animals.. and pudding!
I took up far more time that I had intended. I also cried more than I thought I might… I thanked Noid’s parents for their love and support and acceptance… I told them I had waited my entire life for them which is so true, I spoke about book club and how I appreciate the deep truthful sharing of our journey’s, how I love them and appreciate all they have done for me… I spoke about my work, my boss that is a good man… my friend on the balcony (QB) and sharing my laughter and tears, I thanked Dylan for getting me to take that initial step of taking charge of my life at the time of my divorce, his friendship means allot to me and I love him…
I spoke about each of my children and told them that I loved them, I spoke about Nic, Douglas and Jenna and what they mean to me, about Maia and Melany and their never giving up on me and never judging – unconditional love with full acceptance even if they don’t approve of what I am doing. Finally I spoke to Noid who by this time looked like he needed a tissue and I wish I had followed my heart and hugged him but I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep talking if I did… I told everyone how we met and how I felt when I saw him the first time (“Oh! There you are!!” A recognition of me in him.)… I told him that he is my favourite person in the entire world and if our relationship lasted a year or forever, I would love him all the days of my life. I am hugely thankful.
Sharing at Thanksgiving has always been an emotional experience for me, but this year was somehow different. There was a much deeper sense of togetherness, love, understanding, encouragement and gratitude. It was real. Raw. Emotional. There were many hugs, kisses and just loving glances afterwards between everyone…. Many people thanked for me facilitating, stopping time and acknowledging what good things we all have in life… for starting this tradition which is not celebrated in our country. Noid’s dad smiled at me and I felt like a little kid looking at the dad knowing I did good. Not a feeling I am very familiar with. It makes me tearful just thinking about it. Thank you Dad.
So many emotions I felt, but NOTHING touched on Nic coming to me and hugging me and his dad and him telling me that he loves me and that I am responsible for having given him back his dad. He said since I have come into their life they have a closer relationship. I cannot tell you how deeply that touched me. What a special young man he is. We all hugged and held on tight. I told them that I loved them both and …. ‘thank you’…. eventually I let go and told Nic to be with his Dad… and as I walked away I heard Noid say in tears “I’m sorry I have not always been there…” I heard Nic’s voice break and tell his Dad that he loves him.
I can’t wait for the rest of our life….