Family Pulse


kids hugging

Knock, knock!

Whose there?


Gonna who?

You’re knock gonna believe who it is…..

Childish word games. I find them ridiculous. Have to play along. The kids love them. And I love the kids, so it’s a real no-brainer.

I really should stop being so judgemental. Letting myself get all worked up over nothing.

That’s another thing – ‘should’. They reckon we should (oh, oh, there it is again!) stop using words like should, could, would, might. Not positive enough. Always leave you wanting, like the word itself.  Better apparently to focus on the words can, will, am. The words we use it seems, according to some, creates our reality. Sets the mood. The intent. I’m not so sure on that. Where’s the proof, you know? I ain’t seen it. Not that I’ve looked awful hard. I mean, where do you start to look for something like that anyways?

I’m a bit of a pessimist I suppose. Life has served me some pretty hard knocks. And I’m still young. Only thirty.  Five kids, the oldest seven, the youngest 6 months. All to different dads. I’d take a liking to some fella and before you knew it we were in the sack. Never thought I needed contraception. After the first time you’d think I would, wouldn’t you! But I found out that I loved the feeling of having a baby growing inside of me. And giving birth was easy too. As for looking after them, well, I love that too. None of the fathers ever wanted to know me after I told them though. Their loss I reckon.  No current partner. Single parent living on the government handout, as they say. All my doing of course so I have no right to complain about it. And I don’t want to anyway. Complain, I mean.

I grew up tough. No idea who my real parents were. Some like to call them birth parents. You know, the ones that made you.  Which to my way of thinking makes them real, doesn’t it? No-one adopted me. Must of been too ugly or something. Nothing wrong with me physically, like a hair lip, or some other weird shit, ‘scuse the language. I went from foster home to foster home till I got sick of it. None of them cared. They just wanted their money and pretended to care when the social workers called around. In between, they treated me like dirt. School was no better. I scraped through and left that too as soon as I could.

I am proud to say, though, that I always looked after myself. You know, kept myself clean and neat, even if most of my clothes were others’ left overs. Made sure I exercised and ate as healthy as I could. That got easier after I was on my own. I have never smoked, taken drugs or boozed. There was too much of that already in my life and I saw real close the misery that it caused. What growing up tough did for me, I guess, was make me real determined to do better for myself. I was not going to let my life be ruined or dictated to by others. More than anything I wanted my own home. I was determined to make it happy and nice. And I have. The kids and I live in a housing trust house with a nice garden. We grow our own vegetables and herbs too. And fruit.

I was pretty good at finding work. Nothing fancy you understand. Waitressing, cleaning, fruit picking, serving in shops, that sort of thing. None of them lasted long ‘cos I moved around a lot. Never got fired though. I worked hard and all my bosses said if I ever wanted to come back they’d take me on again. Then the kids started coming. I kept working as much as I could but it got harder when there was more than two. I couldn’t afford to pay for child care. So I had to stop and stay at home. Stupidly I kept having more. Lord knows why! Well, I do really. As I said before I love the whole feel of it. And I love ‘em all. They’re good kids. I reckon it’s time to stop now though. I’m getting tired and it’s hard work when they’re all so little still.  Anyway, five is a good number. I remember reading somewhere it’s about wild vibrations or some such stuff. Lots of wildness in my life.

One of the things I really like is reading. I only found that out a while back when I was pregnant the last time. Had to rest a lot. My legs swelled up in the hot weather towards the end. They’re OK now again. It was boring just lying down and there’s only so much day time garbage I’m prepared to soak up from the TV. So I started with reading magazines. I could get old ones from the Op Shop for 10 cents. The kids would then take them to school for craft. I quickly found that the magazines that interested me were the more serious ones like those on health and fitness, wellbeing and other stuff. I cut out the articles I really liked and wanted to keep. And when I finished with the magazines, the kids would take them to school for craft work.

The magazines left me feeling like I wanted more. There was not enough information and I had heaps of questions. So for the first time in my life I went to the local library. They have so much interesting stuff there ! And they have a free crèche so baby-sitting is not a problem. The kids get to mix and play with other kids and new toys. They even do kid crafts, book readings, plays and stuff. They love it as much as I do.  For adults there’s free sessions on all sorts of things, not just books, movies and music. I’ve joined a craft and sewing club once a month. And I’ve joined a local walking group. It gets me to exercise and I’m learning so much about the local history too. And then there’s the reading group every other month I’ve just joined. As well as learning how to use the computer. You can use one for free at the library. I wish I’d known about it all before. I’ve even found a local community garden. That is so fun and very practical.

It’s just opened up a whole new world for me. I’m meeting people, making new friends and learning all sorts of things. Stuff that I’m interested in, not stuff that someone else thinks I should know and learn. I am so busy now I sometimes have to juggle the time to make sure all the essentials get done.

The older kids and I started this new game at breakfast. It just started as a bit of fun with the kids bringing home readers from school. They love to learn new words. So I thought we could turn it into a game at home. We take turns in choosing a new word each day. The one that chooses the word has to explain to the others what it means. And then everyone has to use that word as often as they can for the rest of the day. It’s really funny ‘cos the kids make up their own words! And the littlies join in. They don’t really understand the game, but they like it because it makes everyone laugh lots.

I usually try to make my word a proper one. Then I give the real meaning and a made up one. The kids know the made up one is my special meaning just for us.  Like this morning it was my turn. The word I chose was pulse which I explained was your heart working – like a drum beat. They thought that was really cool. I showed them how they could feel it on their wrist, or neck. So they all had to find it on themselves. It got them so excited when they found it. Then I told them my special meaning. I said pulse was our family’s heart beat. That you could feel it when we do family hugs.  It makes you all warm and fuzzy inside ‘cos it makes you know that we all love each other. So we then had a great big family hug. We stayed like that for ages. Nobody seemed to want to let go. Even the baby was quiet. It felt so special. The kids want to have a family pulse every morning after breakfast.  How cool is that! Maybe words do create our reality after all.



©  Raili Tanska – reposted from November 2014

Steps for Peace
“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”  Confucius

12 thoughts on “Family Pulse

  1. This made me cry. It sounds so authentic – like you channelled it from someones soul. It’s phenomenal. Inspiring. Can you remember how you felt as you were writing it? Did you know where it was going before you started?

    1. I just realised I forgot to put the title in! I wrote it in the very early days of starting my blog. It is one of those stories that emerged sentence by sentence. It’s an interesting experience to write like that, not knowing what the next sentence will bring and how the story will end. How did I feel at the time of writing? Almost like an observer of myself – detached, yet not, if that makes sense. And at the same time a bit in awe of what was emerging on the screen.

      1. That’s what I thought. It’s amazing when another persona seems to take you over and make you write the words… I found the post very moving.

      2. It doesn’t sound strange at all. I was very moved by a picture book I wrote years ago, about an autistic child. He became alive in my head. It had a happy ending, but I kept thinking about the troubles he’d face in the future. I’d like to post the story on WP, but it doesn’t tell the whole story without the pictures, and I didn’t get very far with them.

      3. I can’t. It requires over 20 images of a small boy, from all angles, and several adults. I worked on the pictures for months, about five years ago, but my artwork isn’t good enough, and my sister doesn’t have the time to spare on such a large project that isn’t to her preferred style. I know exactly how I want them to look.

  2. That was such an enjoyable story Raili. I loed the positivity off it, the fact that she rose above all of the hardships she had suffered in her life to make a decent home for herself and her kids. It was great the way you took the sterotype and turned it on its head with the character. 🙂

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