How Eira’s accident & the Bali earthquakes changed our perspective
If you don’t know what happened to Eira, click here to read about the accident and what’s happened since.
For an update on the Bali & Lombok earthquake click here.
Today we took the girls, including Eira, to a local kids’ art museum. It was the first trip out that Eira’s done that involved any amount of walking, 14 days since the accident, and I was pretty nervous about how she’d be. She really enjoyed the trip but after 90 minutes she went pale and shattered and needed carrying, so we went home. It’s pretty difficult trying to walk the line between encouraging her recovery and letting her do ‘normal’ things for her mental health and building her physical health, and not overdoing it. I think we overdid it today, it was too long and too stimulating and she didn’t cope well with the music over the tannoy, but it’s a learning process for all of us.
At the art museum there was a fountain in which you could throw coins and make a wish. The girls all made a wish and then told us what their wishes were on the way home in the car.
Elfie wished for a unicorn
Eira wished to be better and then for peace and quiet forever
Esmae wished for Eira to be better, and then pulled her coin back out of the fountain and wished for a second wish, for the earthquakes to stop.
I’ve never been so appreciative of what I have- when Eira was unconscious in hospital the night of the accident I remember thinking that if she got better I would never, ever take anything for granted again.
It would be easy to slip into the typical attitude of always wanting more, thinking ‘things will be even better when..’. Never again. I keep staring at Eira, not being able to believe she’s here and that we got so, so lucky, and remembering that two weeks ago she was all I wanted.
If I ever catch myself wanting for something the memory of what happened and the feeling of thinking we’d lost her will be more than enough to bring reality back into perspective.
Life with all its complications and decisions and frustrations really doesn’t get better than having healthy kids and then a loving family and friends. Where you are in the world doesn’t matter, what your house looks like doesn’t matter, whether you can afford to upgrade your car doesn’t matter. Whether you are carrying an extra few pounds, or not enough, or have wonky teeth, or can’t afford designer clothes, doesn’t matter. Whether you are working in a supermarket or running a multinational company, or in the top 20% of earners or the bottom, or you are a working parent or a stay at home mum, or you breastfed or bottle fed or did private school or homeschool doesn’t matter. These things feel like they do, of course they have an impact of how our lives go, but they’re not the big stuff, not compared to our having our kids here with us.
Not only do we have all of our children with us, we haven’t had our livelihoods and home destroyed in an earthquake (we don’t technically have a home but you know what I mean), we can afford insurance that provides us with medical care that kept Eira alive, however frustrating. We have clean water, we don’t have to work about rebels or military destroying our town, we have citizenship of one of the safest countries in the world.
It’s so, so easy to get bored of life, to wish for more than we have, to think that happiness is found elsewhere or in another purchase. It’s totally normal human behaviour and I don’t think anyone is immune to it- we started realising this properly when we left the UK, that contentment is a choice, not a set of circumstances. I think if we’re going to learn something from our recent experiences it is that we really can’t ask for more than we have- and as that famous quotes goes,
“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.”