Thursday, 7 October 2010

Babysitting

Too many years ago, I was in a chatroom with a woman who shared my interest in the world of adoption and children with disabilities. We had our copies of the latest adoption magazines open on our laps as we chatted online. And I pointed out a child who fit this family's "We'd only consider adopting again if" criteria.

That child did not end up joining their family. Instead the most beautiful precious little girl became their youngest daughter, and they very graciously asked me to be her Godmother. We didn't live so very far apart at the time; it was a relatively simple train and ferry trip to meet up, and we managed the occasional lunch together over the years, as well as far too many hours spent chatting online.

And then the family moved, and two hours became four, and meeting up was limited to Baptisms and Dedications and special Birthdays. And my Godmotherly duties have of necessity been pretty much limited to whatever I can do from a distance.

I have been spoilt, living here. The vast majority of the girls' medical needs are met through just two hospitals, and both of those hospitals are less than ten miles from my door (and only a mile apart). The girls' schools are both less than a mile from my door. And so I very rarely need to travel. We travel as a family, or the girls go to school and I either stay home or potter about fairly locally.

Last month I had to break out of my comfort zone to visit a friend who was stuck in a London hospital for a few weeks. And I drove my van to the long stay carpark, and I caught a train, and I debated a tube but opted for a taxi, and I gained a fresh sense of awe for anyone who manages to commute on a regular basis. And we had a good visit, and I did the journey in reverse, and got home sweaty and smelly and exhausted and determined never to do that again.

But - I got home, and the girls had survived my absence, and the world didn't fall apart because I was more than thirty minutes away. So, when my friend told me she was coming into London for a hospital appointment, how could I miss the opportunity to meet up?

The trains were running very late. Which actually worked in my favour; instead of the train I'd planned to catch (which was cancelled) I caught a train three minutes earlier which was running ninety minutes late (confused yet? So were many of the passengers. Those who weren't irate). And so instead of meeting my friends at the hospital, we met an hour earlier at the train station.
And I got to babysit whilst the rest of them had their appointment. And I think Evie enjoyed it too!
And then of course I had to do the journey in reverse, and of course the appointments were running a little late meaning I had to abandon my Goddaughter with her mother who was in the middle of an appointment which involved, amongst other things, sitting in a pitch black room for half an hour. But I only got mildly lost in Islington, and only did one loop the loop in the tube station, and once again managed to walk into the station and onto a train, getting back a few minutes before my own sitter ran out.

And I'm stuck again with wondering how on Earth people manage this commute every day? I'm sure there are some jobs which can only be done in London, and I'm pretty sure if I had to do one of those jobs I probably wouldn't want to be living there at the same time. But then again so many of my friends do - how? And why? Thankful once again for my two girls and the ability to stay home with them. In a home which is currently constantly scented with apples and cinnamon, as I attempt to puree my own bodyweight in the apples from our little tree in the garden. And which will smell so much sweeter when I finally empty the last huge box and get rid of the last overly rotten ones. And sweeter yet once I scrub London off my skin and out of my clothes. Something I shall do just as soon as I've had one last look at that beautiful smile; a small girl determined not to share her doll with anyone.
Tia

6 comments:

Tina said...

well we were a few more hours after you left and got home a wee while later than you and are just as convinced as you that commuting everyday to London is not worth living for!
London is one of our clightly easier hospitals to visit but I still wouldnt want to do it too regularly. We were so grateful for your help...but that was not why we wanted to meet up in the first place it was more for your company and the sharing of a meal....hmmm maybe we should have considered sharing meals...it was lovely but I am still totally stuffed!
Eve was very happy to have time alone with her Godmother although I am sure she was as Cross as Mog at Mog not coming with you too!
They want to see Joshua again in 2 months, Christmas Lunch could be on the menu????
Hugs

Tia said...

London in December?

Greater love hath no man than this!

Let me know when - it's already etting a little full with school Nativities and other things I don't want to miss out on, but if we can squeeze it in...

MOM2_4 said...

Your view of London sounds much like my view of Tokyo! I don't know how people do the day to day rat race!

So glad you were able to survive the travel & have fun!!

Doorless said...

Evie is adorable and that chair is so wonderful looking! Glad you all got to visit.

Pagangracecat said...

Beautiful photos of Evie - she looks as though she had a great time.

evieg1983 said...

Hi, have spent the last 3 weeks reading your blog a few posts at a time each night, found it via something i was looking at on Special kids (dont remember what now!. This evening i finished. Took me this long as i have 2 lovely girls with their own host of medical/special needs etc etc. thank you so much for sharing, i am an adoptive mum myself and i read so much that is so familier and has really made me laugh, cry, think and feel not quite so alone in this weird and wonderful life, so thank you. Eve

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