Ignore the Rain, Look for the Rainbow

Rain and a Rainbow on a Windscreen

I was watching the kids at athletics last week and chit-chatting with the other mums. One asked me how my baby was getting on. He had been in the hospital for croup. I said he was doing great. He had a couple of specialist appointments to go, but he was doing well.

Then she said, “you guys have had such a terrible year.” I paused. I asked, “really?” She said, “yeah, you know with your baby being sick and all that.” Since she said this, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

I found myself asking, “have I had a such a terrible year?” Does baby being in the hospital for a week (which was stressful and I hope not to repeat it) make my whole year, the last 12 months terrible?

It was then I realised, I’ve have had some fantastic things happen to me this year.

It started with a trip to Napier for my cousin's wedding. Haven’t seen her in years and was honoured to be part of her special day and catch up with the whānau.

My children began their year at a new school and have thrived, with sporting successes, Bandquest, talent shows, Pasifika festival and Kapa Haka competitions.

Finally, we have full-time permanent caregiver status for two boys we fell in love with, more than a year ago after a stressful, emotional and invasive process through our country’s vulnerable children care system. Since then we have been adjusting and working hard to overcome some pretty challenging behaviours, but have seen massive changes.

While I have had more distance than I would like with my immediate family, I have reconnected with some extended relatives.  Although there is sometimes a distance, whānaungatanga, that connection is never really lost, and each time it brings self-reflection, belonging and learning.

I’ve had job offers I haven’t taken for various reasons, but it’s still reassuring to be wanted.

Through all of the challenges we have faced over the year, my husband and I are closer, stronger and more united than ever.

We have upgraded to an 8-seater people mover to transport our large whānau in style and comfort. A new car is always a significant purchase and in our case, always seems to symbolise a transition or change in our lives too.

I was enrolled in part-time studies and passed. Sometimes I only just passed, because of my struggles juggling education, work and family but a pass is still a pass. I take that as an achievement for this year.

We are looking forward to a beautiful summer Christmas holidays with camping and fishing and other typical kiwi adventures with whānau.

Have I had such a terrible year? Kāo. While I have had some challenges, and as my dad would say it’s been no bloody picnic, I have had an amazing and successful year.

Does that make me a glass half full person then? A Facebook post I saw today says it all – ignore the rain, look for the rainbow. That’s me. I am finding the rainbow in the mist. Even if it is stormy and torrential, there’s always a hidden rainbow somewhere.