The smarmy American voice keeps talking at me through the car speakers, 80’s sh*t, electronic keyboard music plays in a ‘Running Man’ style during speech intervals as I drive along to my part-time job, listening to another Personal Development CD.
“Be the lighthouse” the American speaker tells me. “Be the one who lives by their values, roles and goals.” We laugh together at ‘The Lighthouse’ story. The short anecdote which reminds me to be my best self. Disciplined and energetic, positive and a role model, a leader. Someone who knows what they want and where they’re going. “No problem” I tell myself, “I’m naturally positive anyway. I can be a f**king lighthouse. You watch.” I drive silently thinking “Ok I will get in tonight and get the kids sorted out and then I’ll sit down and I’ll research everything on SEO’s and I’ll finish that sketch for the latest customers personalised hand painted family tree. And I’ll sketch out a Pirate ship, or maybe a Viking boat or shall I start on the fairy idea I have for named prints for my shop I’m going to open on Etsy”
I get to work, I work my part time shift at the brewery, then I set off back to go straight to nursery and collect child number 1. She is a cutesy little girl, 3 years old, bright and enthusiastic about everything. Who decided she would dress in her flamenco dancer dress today, a bright red polka dot tassel number…you’ve got to love that independent dressing.
We nip home, we let the dog out for a wee, but the dog wants to get in the car instead and go for a ride! “No, go for a wee…go for a wee.” I say exasperated. The dog is far too excited to do anything sensible as she hasn’t seen me for at least 4 hours. We go to school to pick the boys up.
Child number 2 is a 5 year old boy, he lives life at a pace of 100 mph. Charging around, making anything into a weapon, as a superhero! I only get his costumes in the wash once the summer holidays have finished and he’s out of them and back in his uniform. My washing line looks like some kind of retirement home for Marvel superheroes, who have finally hung out their costumes once and for all, to go fishing somewhere no one gives a toss about anything…much less world domination!
Flamenco girl and I stand and wait for child number 3 to come out, as child number 2 runs round in a circle shooting us. Finally the third and final of my gang comes out of school, he’s a more sedate and sensible, compassionate (potential man of god) gorgeous inside and out 8 year old, who’s concerned with pollution smells and the Buddhist view on killing flies…he’s against it btw. We have to save them and shoo them out the window. (When he’s looking anyway)
Once altogether me and my gang head home. I make dinner. It get’s eaten. “I’ll do some research on SEO now” I say turning the laptop on in a quiet lull as the brood are educated, fed and watered and resting. Oh ho ho ho I forgot…under 8’s don’t rest. Superhero killing machine (potential SAS man) races through the kitchen with the dog and charges outside making machine gun fire noises. Small girl runs past shouting after No.2 “But why won’t you play with me?…Muuuum” Child No.3 comes in consolidating flamenco girl,
“It’s ok I’ll play with you.”
“But I don’t want to play with you.” She retorts.
I close the laptop lid…I can’t be a chuffing lighthouse, I’m too busy mediating difficult and tense potentially explosive tantrum situations. Micro managing 3 very differing personalities, to ensure compromise is met and everyone is happy…well I mean happy enough…well I mean quiet, yes, just quiet is a good result!
“OK. Who needs a bath?” The chaos ensues that is bath and bed time. Eventually they are all in bed…ahhh this is my time. Be the best…be the lighthouse…be productive…plan…prioritise…set goals….Zzzzzzz my lighthouse has gone out! A ship wrecks in the distance, somewhere on the darkened rocks.
I’ll be a lighthouse tomorrow.
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