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  • We run outside in bare feet with a ball and a lot of wide open smiles and excited laughter. Slightly long grass, slightly long shadows, slightly damp underfoot. Slightly warm evening. Intense smells. Perfect. My three children and me.

    It had been a month of tears and stress and tense shoulders. Of swollen tongues and aching throats from decisions that were impossible to make alone. Of resentments and regrets and clunky pain that made my body feel like a bag of clanking rusting spanners.

    A month of But I don't wanna... And that was just from me.

    There are so many tangled emotions when it comes to family choices and choices over what do do with our family. Not least of all guilt and worry. Anger and sadness play a big part for me too.

    And my poor kids really take the brunt of my out of sortedness.

    I have really really really tried to shield them from all of my worry. But there has undoubtedly been a cloud. A scratchiness. An atmosphere. A treading on eggshells kind of vibe. Don't make Mummy cross.

    I know it, I can feel it too. And even though I feel a desperate guilt, even though I hate myself when I look inside and feel wretched that my moods affect them, I have felt powerless to prevent it.

    And then, when I feel like I am truly going to break - when I feel like I am just going to run away and leave it all - who to, I am not sure - something happens.

    A barometer shift?

    A pendulum swing?

    The wind moving from hot northerly to cooling southerly?

    The sun breaking through clouds?

    Ice cracking and silk smoothing.

    And I gather them up, these beautiful children of mine, to redeem myself in their eyes and in my own.

    We run outside in bare feet with a ball and a lot of wide open smiles. Slightly long grass, slightly long shadows, slightly damp underfoot. Slightly warm evening. Intense smells. Perfect. My three children and me.

    And, as always, a butterfly appears. He is probably always there. But he catches my vision, this time. I stop. I stop being a cranky bitch. And breath. And look upon my children and run with them and play ball with them and laugh with them. And hold them close. And remind myself that when shit stinks, and when the going is rough, that when I stop and do what is right, this butterfly always appears as a stamp of approval.

    I do not know if these butterflies are reincarnations of my Dad or my late brother. My brother, I suspect. But I am glad that they appear.
    After the fact, to remind me that when I get my head out of my own misery, that it will all be OK.
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