Like a dementor, January seems to suck all the happiness out of life in the post Christmas gloom. It's certainly having a bad effect on me: making it even more important to look for reasons to be cheerful.
Of taps and human kindness
The good stuff began last Saturday morning when the long overdue plumber finally arrived to replace a faulty dripping tap. I guess I fully expected that he would look at the plumbing, shake his head, tell me that a lot of work was needed and double the price that I'd been quoted.
It didn't go like that at all, he just got on with it. He also saw Smiley in her wheelchair. And when I returned from toileting her, he said - and I may be paraphrasing slightly here -
"All done, and I've put the door back on the hinges as well."
Remember this is a plumber? I was really delighted: that cabinet door was just another annoyance on my ever-lengthening to do list. He'd also stuck down some trim, and even showed me how I could fix the door problem should it ever happen again. It just shows how you can find kindness in unexpected places.
Aspie boy leaves the house
Later that morning my ex arrived to take aspie boy out for the day. One of my son's New Year's resolutions is to try more things. So with an interest in all things science he agreed to go to the Young Scientists' Exhibition. Sadly he said it was a bit boring and refused to stay very long. But at least he went and didn't just spend yet another day hunched over his laptop.
There's a little girl on Smiley's bus this year who could be her younger sister. She can talk and sing and she thinks that every day is her birthday and every woman is a mummy. "Hello mummy!" she calls when she sees me and then she launches into the happy birthday song...every morning. It always cheers me up.
6000 reasons to be cheerful
I got a letter home from my son's school last week. It was asking every parent to bring their child on a march to oppose cuts to teachers in disadvantaged schools. I felt I had to go, so I took Smiley out of school early, wrapped her up Eskimo-style and made sure she was well-fed and toileted and headed down to aspie boy's school for 2.30pm, expecting to be one of a handful of parents taking part - most marches are not well-supported, you see. How wrong I was! A huge crowd left the school with banners and cameras and kids in buggies and as we marched down Summerhill, more schools joined in and families just left their homes and tagged on as well.
Our final destination was the Department of Education and up to 6000 men, women, children and babies in buggies crammed together and waved their banners, sang songs and listened to speeches. It was like a day in the park. My son was happy with his school friends and even got chatted up by a very friendly girl of perhaps 11 in a leopardskin coat - he had no idea what was happening or what to say! It was fantastic to see such a turnout, to see that people have not given up, and will continue to fight, especially when it's the future of their children that is at stake.
I'm entering this once again into Mummy from the Heart's wonderful reasons to be cheerful linky.