#EmailFromMyBrother - Catching up, the one that might make you cry a bit

We're getting there, this was sent to me on the 24th of January

Hi Fay,

How's it going?  Two things happened this week that's surprised me.  They're both to do with feelings and stuff things like that, so don't get too weirded out because that's not what I'm usually into (unless those feelings are my normal ones like puzzlement, annoyance and hungry).

The first thing that happened this week was Eva went back to school on Tuesday.  It was kind of odd trying to get back into the old slick school day routine but I had both kids fed, dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed, faces wiped and sun screen applied all by ten past eight.  Eva's bags contained all her new books, her swimming stuff (towel and togs - they call swimming costumes togs here), her packed lunch and her water bottle.  I even had her sun hat (they can't play outside in summer without a sun hat).  We were all a green light for a go, go, go ... so we went.  It was kind of quiet when we arrived at the school and my suspicions were confirmed that it wasn't the first day of the new term when the caretaker told me that it wasn't the first day of the new term.  It was tomorrow.  I told him I'd looked on the school website but it didn't tell me the start date so I guessed at the day straight after the Monday public holiday because that would logical and a lot of other schools went back that day.  He kind of looked at me strangely (eyes unfocused with a nodding grin) and that night Juliette pointed out that the website did have the new start date on it's "Welcome" page (in big letters).  This explained the odd look from the caretaker.  I however countered that it didn't have that information three weeks ago when last I checked.  Because it totally didn't.  They must have updated that info in the last week or something which makes me both puzzled and annoyed.  Why do schools get to pick their own start and finish dates here?  Why aren't they synched?  It's all mixed up like a tin of alphabetti spaghetti.  Mmmm, alphabetti spaghetti.  I'm feeling hungry now.

So I felt kind of foolish for the rest of the day but this is a feeling I'm used to, so no problem.  Now, the weird feeling thing was I'd been looking forward to getting Eva back to school for six weeks and here she was on the day I was supposed to be getting rid of her now coming back home.  The weird thing was I wasn't disappointed, I was kind of glad to have her home for an extra day.  I don't know if I was happy because I really love my daughter or that I could kind of dig the fact that if I was in her shoes how many times as a kid did I fantasize about going back to school after the summer holidays only to find that the school was closed and I'd got an extra day off!?   I was making a kids fantasy come true!  Or we can go with me loving my daughter thing, what ever.

The second thing that happened was Sam had a bad accident.  As you know I let him climb into his car seat but this morning he climbed up and decided he wanted to drive the car.  So this meant he looked like he was getting into his seat but instead bolted for it and scrambled into the front.  We needed to get Eva to school so there was a bit of a time element to his shenanigans so I asked him to get into his car seat by the time I counted to three otherwise I'd have to pick him up and strap him in.  One, two, three came and went so I walked around to the drivers side to open the door and pull him out.  He on the other hand had decided to clamber into the back to vault back into his car seat ... and that's when he fell out of the car and face planted onto the gravel drive.  I knew it was bad when he lifted his head to cry and there was lots and lots of blood down his face. He'd managed to gash an inch long deep cut into his scalp and boy, do those type of cuts bleed.  By the time I'd got him into the house we were both covered in blood like we'd been filming a scene from Alien.

So Eva was great because she tried her best to keep her little brother happy while I tried to apply pressure onto his gaping scalp wound.  I got the blood to stop, cleaned it enough to put a temporary plaster on, change his and my T-shirts, washed the blood off us both and got Eva to school on time.  So I'm coping with this disaster feeling like a super dad for getting Eva to school while carrying Sam through the school grounds with his hair spiked up with dried blood.  Yeah, I'm a super dad, look at me .... no,  look away from the boy, look at the girl, she's on time godammit!

The thing was we were due to go to his granny's for the day and when we got there and got the cut properly cleaned up it was apparent it needed stitching.  So a call to the doctors and an hour later I was hugging Sam while he had a stitch put in without anesthetic.  I was totally ready to high five his Rambo attitude but he was more interested in the lollipop he got out of it at the end from the nurse.  I stayed with him and his granny until after lunch to make sure he didn't rip his bandage off/drop into a coma/head butt a wall and then I set off home alone as planned.  Here's the feeling thing.  When I came home (alone) I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if I was coming home alone because something much worse had happened to Sam.  I then had to clean up the blood in the entrance way to the house which just heightened that feeling of loss.

Of course I cheered up mightily that afternoon when I picked Eva up from school.  Firstly, it occurs to me that if you were to clad all the parents waiting for their kids to come out of a primary school in orange jump suits the general scene (bar the mix of genders) would resemble a prison exercise yard from a movie.  People in little groups having nervous chats, people stood alone scoping out the other people and that little corner of people with neo-nazi tattoos pumping iron.  Secondly, for a fraction of a second after Eva asked where Sam was, I did contemplate telling her he'd had to have his face amputated because of the fall and when he comes home he's going to have a different face.  He's going to have the face of a rabbit because we couldn't afford a human face.  I didn't do that of course because I suspect that would've got her hopes up.

Love Mark xxx

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