22 May 2014:
I really did not want to celebrate this day at all. Why should I celebrate becoming an old hag? They say that when nuns go in to menopause, they suffer the worse depression, because they suddenly realise that they have lost out on ever becoming a mother, having children, a thing most women dream of. Well, I am not going through menopause yet, thank heavens, but I am never going to stop being depressed about not getting to have my eighth child. I felt so strongly for over a decade that I was supposed to have another little girl. I walked out from every ultrasound, disappointed that it wasn’t my third daughter, which was on its way. And now I sit here, chances of having my little girl grow less and less slim, so I can’t be happy. I can never get over this. That I was pregnant with a little girl in 2011 and she died inside of me, because I was ill. That I was pregnant again, last year, and lost that baby too, because they could not fix my hypothyroid levels. I still feel that my eighth child is missing and there is no way to have a child. I’ve looked at adoption, but it cost soooooo much. Money we do not have. And if we could get a loan for the money, they would still not let us adopt from China or South Africa, because there has to be an income of 10 000 dollars for each person in the household and tough, we do not have that kind of money in our family. The children do not suffer, nor do us parents, but someone out there has decided that to be happy, a family has to earn a fortune and be able to shower their children in clothes, toys, iPhones, games…
So, I started this day, being upset. But my family did their best at trying to cheer me up. D. came with a 15 page paper to edit, about anti-Semitism, racism and Orientalism. Wow, I’ve always dreamt of editing such a thing! And 15 pages of it!!! He and “Dollie” had D-day in school. Meaning no school, but they are supposed to work at home, studying for tests or writing papers. Not quite what “Dollie” got up to, and D. graduating this year, still had to run in to school to do things. So, I was left alone, with the paper. I sat and stared at it for an hour, feeling depressed, and then I finally realised that it would not go away unless I read through it. So, I took one page at a time, and eventually got through it. D. hates when I make comments on what he has written and ask him to change things. But, hopefully, my comments did the trick. Sometimes he forgets that he is supposed to write things for an audience that KNOW nothing, and not his teachers. You can never assume that your audience have read what you have read! Even if they are your teachers. Like my journalist teacher always told us, “You must write for aunt Agda out in the bushes!”, i. e. an aunt living out there, knows very little.
I felt sorry for myself all day, so I was naughty and opened presents from my penfriends, while waiting for the rest of the family to get home. I received stationary items with Minnie Mouse. It does not matter how old I get, I love things like that. Stickers, note paper, you name it. I am still so much a girl in my heart, that my heart makes a somersault at everything Hello Kitty and such. And it is great to receive things like that, instead of buying them oneself. When I buy them, I feel guilty, but never so when kind people indulge me in my silliness!!!
My sweet British penfriend, sent me a book, I will love to read. Since this is the year that “celebrates” or rather commemorates the start of WWI, a lot of books are being published or re-printed, about the aspects of this war. I am not really that in to sitting reading about the atrocious conditions in the trenches and about all the unnecessary deaths, how life became so cheap to those in charge, that foolish plans were followed through, and so on. But memoirs and diaries have always held a special place in my heart (go figure?!) since in them, you really learn what people were like and what they thought about things. Something which is most valuable to a historian. It’s what puts the meat on people, it’s what makes the numbers matter. I can not read enough of these sort of books and especially when it concerns women. I am a woman, so of course what they have to say will feel closer. But also, because historians in general “forgets”our gender, or what we do, is not considered important enough to be discussed or remembered. And I beg to differ. There need to be a balance in all research and war is never,ever fought with just weapons and by men!
All that said, when everyone got home, it was time to celebrate the inevitable. My Birthday. Couldn’t we have celebrated 28th June instead, when I was supposed to have been born? No? We ate the same things as yesterday, since one gets so full on the cake and noone want to be up sick all night. T. had waited till last-minute to order my Birthday presents and I guess I am partly to blame for it, since I could not make up my mind what I wished for from Maple Street. Needless to say, I did not receive anything from Maple Street, since it is all dollshouse items. Instead, he had bought a periwinkle blue T-shirt for me, which I actually asked him to buy for me, since I did not have the money. I also received two books that I have been wanting:
I don’t know much about Ernie Pyle, but I have been curious to read what he reported from England, as a correspondent there, during the war. Tom Hanks reads his writings in the documentary, “The War”, which is one of my favourite documentaries, since it is so well made. So, when I read this book, it will be with Tom Hanks’ voice in my mind, for sure! Ernie Pyle probably did not sound anything like it! (Just looked up his information on Wikipedia and he died 18th April 1945 on a Japanese island. He was travelling in a jeep with three other men, on a road which had been travelled by hundreds of vehicles already, when the Japanese opened fire and he was shot by a sniper.) The other book is going to be interesting since it is a book of transcripts of conversations German POWs had between themselves, when they did not know they were listened in on. The truth comes out in other words.
The most sweet presents came from the children though. “Boo” had decorated a little box in school with rhinestones (sort of) and paints. He had worked very hard on it according to his assistant and inside it, was one of his many bead necklaces. He was so proud. And “Cookie” had used her “pant”money and had bought me a lovely Schleich giraffe in drinking position. Love it! Especially since she has been such a monster for the past months. Everyone keeps telling me that she is just a typical teenager but they don’t understand that it is more than that. She thinks that if she creates more than hell for me when it comes to taking the boys to school, on the bus, with her, I will finally cave in and move them. She does not want them at the same school as her, so she is making the situation impossible for me. The daily fights about this are tearing on my psyche and she is not mature enough to realise that if they have to move to local council schools, with 30 pupils in every class, which would be detrimental for them, then she will be moved as well. No way I will let her stay at the school and have all the advantages of going to a small school with few pupils in every class. She is not having handicapped, as far as we know right now, like her brothers who need this sort of school. So if anyone should quit, it ought to be her. But the high school in the village is a scum school with hooligans and pre-criminals. I have wanted to spare my children this!
When we had eaten delicious Schwarzwald cakes (I say cakes, because the frozen supermarket ones are so small, T. always buys 3 for my Birthday. The bakery ones are too expensive and I can’t really justify that price, right now. Nor could I last year. And the supermarket ones aren’t bad. They are actually less rich, so one feels less nauseous after eating them.), it was time to get the film out. This time, it was a brand new film which has just finished at the cinemas. Well, I am not sure when it finished there but I was curious to see it all the same.
A small explanation is needed here, for everyone who is not familiar with the phenomena Lasse & Maja’s Detective Agency. Martin Widmark, a Swedish children’s book author, started writing this series years ago. They are the most borrowed books at the library and all libraries have several copies and long queues for them. “Kitty” who does not really like to read, has read all the 23 books this year and his classmates will soon have read as many. He has been absorbed in them and I think it is a combination of things that have made them so popular. First of all, it is two children who solve crimes. “Cute” crimes, not murders! They live in a small town called Valleby and help out the only police the town has, because he can not be accused of being very clever. Many years ago, they made an Advent Calendar of the books, for TV, and my children loved it. “Kitty”, and all other children in Sweden, have seen the re-runs this year of that, which of course made the books more interesting to him. He can relate to them and see the faces from TV in front of him when he reads the books. And who is not intrigued by a puzzle? His parents certainly are.
The new film, was a new mystery all together. “The secret of von Broms”. T. thought it was a bore but I thought it was a nice film and it had some fun and un-expected turns in it. What really mattered was that the children loved the film! The church in Valleby needs a new roof and to raise the money, the vicar has decided to open up an exhibition about the town’s famous inventor and composer, von Broms. At the centre of it, is a box, which he has left behind, but which they can not open. His descendants, who form a classical orchestra, arrive for the opening night concert, but they have their own agenda for being there. They want the box since they think it will contain something which will make them rich. The box gets stolen and Lasse and Maja try to solve the mystery. I think what T. did not like, was when they finally got the box opened and the content turned out to be sheet music. They had the organist play it, but the von Broms said it would not bring in any money at all. Why? Because the music had been composed again in modern times, by someone else. Alright, this part was silly. Because when the organist started to play it, it turned out to be Abba’s “Money, money, money”. But strange things happened to the organ, when the entire tune was played. von Broms had built the organ and suddenly it opened up all over, dropping cold coins all over the church like a slot machine in Las Vegas! My children cheered and clapped their hands though, so they thought it was marvellous. I think they would give the film five stars while their dad was just shaking his head. Their mamma thought it was a nice end to the evening though, the children going to bed on a happy note!