A certain romance

In which I begin a post with the idea that I will at least part way through discover that I do have something to say after all. I've resisted the guilt around the primary school PTA, helped by the fact that it clashes with martial arts (my son and husband, not me, but that leaves the girl in need of an adult caregiver for the evening). I am about a zillion things annoyed by the kindy fundraising, but I'm either lacking courage or lacking callousness in my decision not to complain to the kindy staff (who are great teachers) or the kidsfirst administration given they are in earthquake recovery mode over the hill where the admin is based. If you organise a fundraising meeting and no one turns up, that is an important vote. It is not a sign that you should organise a fundraiser and ask people to volunteer lots of things and say that parents will need to do the next one. If private childcare centres can run without fundraising, then so can kidsfirst kindies which change their provision terms without any community consultation. I didn't go to the rugby league AGM either, but that was easy because so many sporty people in one room is far too frightening for me.

According to the radio this morning, Greymouth is filling up with people for the Royal Commission on the Pike River deaths. Maybe they had gone home again by afternoon, because I could get a park easily enough by the library. I did see two flash suits walking around town though, which is two more than usual.

Remember Peak Oil? PEAK OIL?? Over the last few years since I began this roller coaster lark known as parenting, I've gotten interested in a pile of greenie things. Cloth nappies and wooden hairbrushes (NOT joking, it was useless and still had to be replaced though, just more expensive than a plastic one) and mooncups and washable sanitary pads which I absolutely refuse to call mama pads because you know you do bleed before you have babies unless you are extraordinarily unlucky and making foods from scratch and gardening and permaculture and reducing consumption and then once we got back to New Zealand I was reading blogs about BEING READY. I read Sharon Astyk who I kept thinking was called Sharo Nasty K like an evil version of that expensive breakfast cereal. Sustainable energy and lots of tinned food stashed away and knowing how to knit my own socks and all that. I quite liked it all, particularly at an intellectual level, though when they talked about storing things for emergency possibilities like old fabric in case the shops run out of clothes, I knew that I couldn't believe all their religion or else my already bad hoarding tendencies would make our house unliveable in for the here and now.

Then we had Pike River which was the saddest thing I thought I could get my head around even though I'd been reading about wars and Rwanda and other bad stuff which was somewhere else. Then we had the second Christchurch earthquake and we had to go over there and be grown ups while they made my daughter go limp and got ready to cut her open. That night, as we lay attempting sleep through countless earthquakes and I kept my pj bottoms on even though it was too hot in case we had to evacuate in the small hours, I thought:

This is grown up stuff. No choice this time.

You might think I'd had a few opportunities to be a grown up, but none felt as serious as this.

A couple of nights ago, I woke up and remembered that I had decided I had grown up recently. Then I had to concentrate hard to remember why.

I see why they say 'lest we forget' on war memorials. The human instinct is not for memory of the hardest stuff. Not for the winners anyway, those who still have homes, who stand like I do on earth that has hardly rocked this year, who go to work even as the papers fill with the news that fewer and fewer people have work.

Once I was working on moving our dried foods into glass. Bad stuff plastic. PBAs I think is the term for the worst of it. Now I think plastic is great stuff. I've got our glass goods kept as far away from the plastic and cardboard stored stuff as possible so that one doesn't wreck the other in an earthquake. I've talked liquefaction with the resident science geek and apparently our place should be alright, though the neighbours may not fare so well. I've been upping my efforts in the garden so we can eat greens even if the supermarket prices go crazy this winter. We've been looking after the chooks.

There was a certain romance to the peak oil preparation idea. We were the purists, while the baddies out there in mainstream culture defecated on our beautiful landscape in their huge cars and expensively packaged approximations of food.

There is not a certain romance to the Christchurch earthquake, or to preparations for one here in Wetville, where we'd been told for years that we were overdue a biggie.

There is not a certain romance to having 29 men buried in our hills. There is no romance to leaving for work in the morning and not coming home again.


Ange said…
You're absolutely right - I don't know how to say what I'd like to say, but the gist of it is that you're absolutely right.
nova_j said…
oh i am so in denial it truly isn't funny.. i am just hoping that nothing disastrous happens before we are in our (unpurchased) new home, and i've had time to establish a nice garden & orchard. fingers crossed.

i'm so pleased to see B looking so happy & healthy!! i'm sure your ministrations must do her a world of good! :) i too know from personal experience that sometimes, as horrible as it is for us mummies, having Them knock your baby out & cut them open is the best possible thing..

(and i am completely with you on Kiwisaver!!! the idea of having to apply for a temporary break from payments gives me the heebies, and is exactly why i'm NOT signing the kids up either!!)

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