So the boys went back to school last week. It’s great having some space to myself again during the day, however the eagerness to go everyday, after weeks of camping out on the couch in front of the TV, sleeping in till after 9am because they went to bed close to midnight (some nights) and enjoying the concept that ‘life is good’ when you don’t need to earn a living or get an education because you have a perpetual slave (me), is not quite there yet. (I shouldn’t be so mean, my boys do help around the house a lot, even though sometimes I feel like I nag them too much rather than them taking the initiative). My oldest informs me that he will use his college fund to invent some type of useful app that will make him squillions of dollars so he can continue to live on the couch and expect me to be his slave, whereas my youngest, as he has been fairly sick over the past month, tethers about going to school each day due to his horrific cough, which after another trip to the doctors today, turns out to be a chest infection. (And of course, my older one needed the sympathy vote after having a slight sniffle and a cough that he was convinced was full of phlegm, even after I said ‘where?’ when he had a spit into the bathroom sink, so he was checked over by the doctor too, for ‘just in case.’)
However school hits the parents hard. So far we have had to pay for house swimming carnival fees of $30 for both boys, $120 each for swimming lessons and $52 for a speciality Grade 6 jumper for their last year of primary school. That’s on top of the annual fees of approximately $700 per child that was due at the end of January. This is Victoria’s ideal of a free ‘public education’ (which just so happens to be inflated in our area, because the boys go to a school in an upper middle class suburb). The government give us $410 per child each year to cover ‘costs’ but as you can see, it hasn’t even covered the first week! (and if I tell you the amount of child-support I get from their father, you would cry).
But I breathe easy knowing that I have some space… space to get my work done without interruption, and space to finish my book. Something that I wanted to get done by the end of October, then before the boys finished school… and now, I really want to have it finished by the end of the month, but really who knows. So far I’ve written almost 81,000 words, or 24 chapters, which converts to 287 pages, and I still think there is another 20,000-30,000 words to go! Arrgghh!! It is getting exciting though. I re read it all a couple of days ago, just to ensure there was continuity (I killed off the protagonist’s parents, but then somehow had her parents looking after her kids a few chapters later!! That had to change!) So it was good to have it sink into my head and see how many really good bits there are in it that really make you crave for more! (even if I may say so myself!)
I’m so very grateful that I’ve also had some space to be a mum. Yesterday, as the boys came home from school, I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done for them… made chocolate chip pancakes for them so when they arrived home they had something yummy to eat. I’ve been able to help them with their homework every day (the homework I force them to do, not what school requires them to do) and help them with their reading. I’ve picked them up from school on hot days and taken them to get a Slurpee from 7-11 and I’ve made them some delicious home-cooked dinners rather than have ready-made meals, and we’ve had plenty of trips to the chiropractor and doctor to get them healthy. This week, has been a perfect week for me… a healthy balance of doing what I love – writing my novel and being a mum. If only I was making money from my novel now and not be a copywriter, I would be in heaven. But unfortunately, that’s what pays the bills for now. I’m not complaining, I just know where my heart prefers to be.
So if I don’t write a blog for a while, you know I’m pounding out the pages of my exciting new novel so I can send it to the States to get re-assessed and hopefully start talking to literary agents. That’s my big aim for 2013, wish me luck that they love it!!