After a really fun morning at the Zoo with my youngest, and a productive admin afternoon as he napped, I was feeling pumped and determined to make after school a stress-free time with my older children. I mucked around and sang silly songs as I made afternoon tea and I spoke in ridiculous accents to lighten what can sometimes be a period of hanger-induced moodiness during that first hour after school pick up.
Things were feeling great. Looking good.
Then she emerged from her room saying “Mummy, I think Aston needs to apologise to you for this”. I looked up from trying to straighten a pile of ever-present papers on the bench and saw a taonga dangling from a chain in her hands. My precious greenstone butterfly necklace that I had been given for my 21st birthday by my Pop. Butterfly for the meaning of my name Vanessa.
We were not close, my Pop and I. In fact when he passed away in September 2009, I hadn’t seen him in well over a year. We had fallen out over wedding invitations. The one where I chose to invite him but not his wife to our wedding and he chose not to come. And though I knew that is how it would go, I still did what I believe was the best thing for my family in that situation. And given the history that led to that decision, I have no regrets.
I hadn’t actually worn my pendant in years, but it was surely one of my most treasured possessions. I let Tahlia look at it on Saturday when she had a friend over for a playdate and I let them dress in my clothes and wear some jewellery. I had no idea she had taken it into her room and I had even less of an idea that my five year old son would think it a good idea to swing around and crash it into the wall. And without even realising how important it was to me, as I retrieved it from her hands, my heart felt crushed. I immediately burst into tears and I began to weep. It felt like the one thing I have from him I no longer have now. I can try to superglue it back together, but the truth is, it will never look the same again. It was made especially for me and I have never seen anything like it before or since. Perhaps I should look into finding out if it can be repaired.
The afternoon wore on with frustration because no one would admit who had actually broken it which left me feeling frustrated and sad that despite my obvious sadness and upset, they still were too little to realise how important this was to me and how telling the truth could have alleviated some of that for me. Daddy came home and laid down the hard word and I received the truth and a reluctant apology. He’s also being set back 50 coins on his chore chart/behaviour chart for lying to my face.
How it hurts when items of significance are damaged or taken from us. How it hurts when you didn’t even realise how important they are and all that they symbolise. Maybe this upset me so much because this treasure, now broken, more accurately reflects the relationship between me and my Pop – a reality I wished wasn’t? Who knows. One thing I know for sure is that my jewels and precious pieces will be kept well out of reach for a few years yet. And hopefully my babes don’t have to see me crying again for a good while now. Those were some ugly, ugly tears.