A Very A-muse-ing Sunday Afternoon

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That was a fantastic weekend.  I have been reminded that I am surrounded by glorious goddesses, genuine activists, humble geniuses, and generally just good human beings.  It’s nice to have a long run of being pleasantly surprised by the people with whom you choose to spend time.  It has gotten me feeling proper chuffed with life and ready for our big jump over to Japan to enjoy blooms and bullet trains and laughing until I actually cry because my son and his friend Ben are the absolute worst and so incredibly funny it hurts.  Ben introduced me to the bee keeper poem, and enjoys Tim Minchin as much as we do.  He’s also the kid who looks me square in the eye and says:  “You know Dee, you and your kids go together like a Teslas and vanity plates”. Dry and hilarious kids both of them.  We are going to have a lot of fun.


April usually uspets me.  So far though, it is panning out to be a pretty pleasant point in the time space continuum.


Yesterday, Steph had to be dropped off for some filming with her quirky crew, but not before we all went out for breakfast at one of the family’s favourite cafes.  We had Alex with us, and both my biggest and smallest boys, and of course my Phoulmate Phteven (soulmate Stephen in actual English language not our family vernacular).  Stephanie (our only daughter) and Alex (her guest) were excellent sports and smiled a mile wide most of the morning.  Steph looks more like me with every month that passes.  Alex’s mom Julie pauses to point out that Steph is a bona fide Mini Dee several times during any conversation between us. Julie is great.  Alex is great.  Steph is great.


The girls are at an age where emo and complaining demons take over their pubescent bodies quite a lot.  But today they were rays of sunshine, and even went out to relive simpler times by playing on the playground alongside our nearly five-year-old James. The sunshine shone from the sunshine above and everything that morning was bathed in warmth and Love.


We then piled back into LOLGAS to drop the girls off at a friend’s house so they could work on their Drama group assignment.  While the girls giggled and channeled their inner thespians a few blocks away, I piled back into my big, safe, warm bed with Daniel to continue watching Umbrella Academy for the third time from start to finish.  Our tabby kitten Henry placed himself between us and roared his signature lawn mower purr as we relaxed and relished our mother son ritual.  The whole morning I was thinking about the goddess Pauline, one of the most incredible mother’s and women I am lucky to know, and how she handles her three handfuls.  All her girls are incredible, warm, funny and full of chutzpah.  She’s never one to judge and always able to offer gentle words and genuine support, through ups and downs and in-betweens.  We’re both busy world travelers, and the glue that holds together a huge amount of scaffolding around our babies and our nuclear and extended families.  She makes it look easy.  I make it look and feel impossible as I don’t often lean into the logical path, I prefer to use a machete to cut through red tape and smash through ceilings and doors with a shining bubble of emotion emanating from me and knocking people over with intensity as I bash through any given day.


A bit later the West is Best family Instagram chat started to buzz.  I’d forgotten to collect Steph at 12, as I often forget to do things.  So my comfy grey sweatpants and G&R t-shirt and me piled back into the car to collect my gorgeous girl.  We went to buy paints and brushes after a quick trip to Naturally Organic.


Running errands on weekends with my miracles is one of my absolute favourite things.  It is not often that people need to ask what I’m thinking.  I volunteer thoughts and feelings without being asked, and my kids know that they are Loved and know that I struggle with boundaries and regulating. Steph and I bopped to music and make meme-tastic references to just about everything as we went about our business. We stopped at Spotlight to get her art supplies and I squeezed her tight around the shoulders and said: “Well my bourgie baby girl, I hope you appreciate us buying supplies for your latest endeavours.” And Steph smiled back, knowing full well, she’s more than a little indulged, but will laser focus on this new venture.


That’s how we got on the topic of being a muse, a maker, a doer, a thinker, and lots of different kinds of friend to lots of different kinds of people.


Steph’s daddy has a brain the size of a galaxy and is objective, logical and fair, almost to a fault.  And her mother (me) is a frenetic flake, bursting with Love, energy, and often exerting the gravitational pull of the sun itself.  “Do you know what a muse is Steph?”  I asked my blonde baby.  She looked back at me with hazel eyes and thought for a moment and shrugged.


“Is it like a teacher?”  She asked wrinkling her freckled nose a little bit.


“Kinda.  But a muse is someone who inspires creativity.  Sometimes, people do not know that they are a muse, and often, a muse can hurt people and that hurt inspires music, art, drama, and all sorts of creative pursuits.” I was digging for words to explain my understanding of it as the words continued to tumbled off my tongue, as they do.


“OH!”  Exclaimed my girl as though a light had just gone off in her brain.  “You’re definitely a muse then.”  She said nodding.  “And you hurt people all the time without meaning to.”


Maybe I do.


“Do you think I should get cards printed up and that could be my job title?”  I asked in a joking tone. “Could have a list of service and charge people to throw them well and truly out of their comfort zones or drag them kicking and screaming toward their dreams.”  I suggested. “And for an extra fee I guess I could break people’s hearts a little bit to help them make amazing music or poetry. As long as none of it requires any actual commitment or planning, I think I could have a thriving business being a mercenary muse.”  And the thought of that, even in jest, made me quite sad.


Our life is one where speaking the truth and being accountable is valued above and beyond many other measures.  Having a somewhat cheeky but realistic conversation with my daughter, and discussing the cavernous difference between her father’s cool logic and calm and calculated genius, and my indomitable, effervescent, and incredibly energetic bashing around like a bull in a china shop approach to life made me wonder.  Our family is often, if not always, the loudest, laughiest, and giggliest group at any supermarket or station as we venture through life.  We are replete with inside jokes and brim with joy as we try to make our daily chores and errands a little less benign by conjuring laughter in the most-simple of situations.  The kids we’ve raised are beyond amusing.  They are insightful, sardonic, sensitive and seriously smart.


It’s now Monday and I treated myself to the chance to spend a few minutes writing when there are serious matters that require attention. I will go pick up our middle child for our mommy son time in a little while, then I will collect my daughter and bring her and her gym buddy to training.  Then.  Tomorrow I fly to Japan with Daniel and his friend Ben for a little over a week of adventures as the cherry blossoms bloom.


The boys and I will spend a couple of hours every day settled in, so I can work and they can do some school work.  We will use our video and audio gear to capture and share our adventures, and I will work harder than I have for a long time to be more reliable and available to the team back in Auckland.


If I am meant to be a muse, to one or many people, I think I’d prefer to be a little less mad and a little more meaningful.


Thanks for reading.