Thirty Years Ago…

Thirty years ago I was working as the phone room manager at Rainbow-Ticketmaster in Dallas.

I had two sons, Ian was 3 and a bit, Simon was 10 months old and my blue-eyed cowboy was preparing to go on the One For All World Tour with The Bee-Gees.

Rehearsals began in February 1989, the tour started on May 3rd in Germany and closed in Japan in December.

I was four months pregnant and just before Hubs left we found out the gender, I wanted to be prepared if I was carrying another boy!  We didn’t have a reveal, I just wore pink

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and a pin that spelled out her name, Paris, the city where we’d fallen in love.

Hubs was gone for most of the year so I pretty much bloomed alone.

We’d hired a live-in nanny, Bea, all of twenty-one and went to England for Easter to show off my little bump…

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…which wasn’t that obvious, and enjoy a few final weeks together.

We came home and off he flew leaving us all in the capable hands of Bea,

who was wonderful,

with boundless energy

and a winning smile.

The boys loved her!

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She spoke loudly to her family in Brazil each week, in Portuguese, which made us laugh.  We had no idea what she was saying but it sounded like fun!

She took them to Gloria, their babysitter, for the day and looked after the house while I was at work.  She had them fed, bathed and ready for bed when I got home from the office.

As soon as I walked through the door I was ambushed by sweet smelling youngsters and fell to reading stories and singing songs before kissing them goodnight.

At the weekends I took over while Bea took off and the baby grew into her space.

The plan, when Hubs came home on his first break in July, was to move Simon, with Thomas the Tank Engine, into Ian’s big boy room with Guy Smiley and the Sesame Street gang.

I prepared to decorate the nursery with all things girlie and began to nest.

We listened to the concert set on a tape in the van every time we went out and Ian knew all the words,

“What you doing in your bed?  You should be dancing!” 

The Bee-Gees were Top-of-the-Pops at Collins Blvd. that year!

Our house became an expectant place as the days lengthened and I grew heavy.

Ian was convinced he was also giving birth…

…to Olive Oil’s, Sweet-Pea.  Don’t ask me why?  To his 3 1/2 year old mind Sweet-Pea was the quintessential baby.

I hosted a Tupperware party days before my planned C-section…just because I’d always wanted to.

I was still working full-time tying up odds and ends for my assistant manager’s take-over for 8 weeks.

No-one could run the Telephone Order Service like me but she was going to have a jolly good crack at it!

“I’ll be available by phone anytime!” I assured her.

Hubs finally came home flying in from Frankfurt amid bomb scares, it was that era…

After re-acquainting ourselves with each other we moved Simon into his new room with big brother who moved out of his toddler bed and into his twin bed with railings.

Before too long it was time to make the leisurely drive to the Margot Perot Building on Walnut Hill.

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I was an old hand by now and everything went to plan.

The boys came to meet their sister,

Hubs gave Ian a special gift, a Sweet-Pea doll

and I was in and out of the hospital before I could catch my breath.

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The next time I looked around he was gone again.

I was left on maternity leave with three young children in the middle of a long, hot Texas summer.

“My Papa left us this morning,” Ian told his teacher at the new Montessori school he was trying out for the summer.  He made it sound as if he’d abandoned us,

“On tour,” I explained.

We worked around the empty space,

friends came to see me,

Paris slept in the Moses basket wherever I set her,

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and everything gradually fell apart.

Postpartum blues moved in and unpacked.

Once I returned to work and Bea settled back into her childcare routine I sought help and was given medicines I remember my mother taking.

I just wanted to get back to normal.

I spoke to Hubs most days, he was doing the American leg of the tour, and

when he came home again in September for a couple of weeks I stopped taking the anti-depressants that made me feel flat.  We played at normal while Bea went home for a break.

Australia and the last leg of the tour loomed and I found melancholia a stubborn room-mate.

A friend suggested I pack my struggles in a box, wrap pretty paper around it, tie a bow and leave it at the foot of the altar.

“I’m not depressed,” I protested, “I’ve got three children and a full-time job, I’m too busy to be depressed!”

I kept picking up my neatly wrapped package and carrying it away with me.

“The trick is to leave it,” another friend advised.

There are no tricks.

There’s only time

and prayer,

and in the bleakest of months I finally let my battered parcel go.

My soul was ready to be refreshed by the living waters of Christ…

and my blue-eyed cowboy was on his way home for Christmas.

Slowly I was able to

cry, laugh, love, cherish, push away, hold tight and weep again.

My emotions found their corners in my heart.

Rooted in the miracle of this story from thirty years ago is my longed for daughter who kept me centred.

Happy Birthday Paris,

I hope you feel as cherished this day as you were on your first.

Love always,

Mumsienne xxx

 

 

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3 Comments

ElRay

2019-07-14 13:43:32 Reply

Hear! Hear!

Billy Bullard

2019-07-18 19:55:57 Reply

Loved reading this, the pictures add so much!

    Vivienne

    2019-07-18 21:39:59 Reply

    Yes! That Barry Gibb hair!! Good to hear from you!

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