Yesterday was shopping day!
It wasn’t very eventful, we left home drove the hour to Emerald, arrived at Emerald, stopped at toyworld for a little birthday shopping (3 birthdays in September for us!) We popped into Target and as we were sitting in the car about to leave an ambulance tore by, sirens blaring.
Anytime I see and ambulance as I’m sure most people would, you think positive thoughts for just a moment; sending out some good vibes in hopes of the situation not being too bad.
We then arrived at the woolies centre, We decided to ‘split up’ Glen took Molly (secretly…phew.) to go in search of my birthday present (yes, I know what it is, but I won’t tell you, that way at least one of us is surprised!) While I took Sophie, Violet and Buddy food shopping. We did a bit of a girly shop on the way in -Sorry Bud!- Had a little peek in the jewellery shop and newsagent to find out if Buddy’s story was in Woman’s Day yet or not..(it was a ‘or not’) We had a mini browse in a clothes shop then decided we should get to the food.
We got our food, glen picked us up, grabbed some lunch and by that stage it was 2pm perfect timing!
We leave at 2pm at the latest so we are back in town in time to pick up Bella from school.
Half way home we were shocked to come over a crest and see a line up of cars. In the distance we could see the road was totally shut off.
I got that nervous excitement thing, where your worried about what happened but really curious too. Cars were turning around left right and centre, obviously they’d been waiting for a while.
Then we remembered the ambulance. Surely not? That was HOURS ago.
After a little while, I began to panic. We were going to be late for Bella. She knows if we aren’t home to come in, make something to eat, watch some telly as we’re only 5-10 minutes away. But this wasn’t going to be 5-10 minutes.
I called Bella’s school.
They passed the message on to Bella and I’d let her know that if it began to get dark at all she could go next door until we got back.
Next Glen called the police to see if they could give us an indication as to how long we’d be waiting. Glen was then informed that a road train had rolled over.
It was full of cattle.
I got that horrible lump in my throat and tingly eyes. How sad. I grew up on a property just on the outskirts of South Grafton in NSW, we had cattle.
They we’re like pets to us. Each one.
I’d spend every second weekend on dad’s cattle farm in Ulmarra too, straining fences, drenching cattle, helping out with castration (ew) He’d bring all the weaners (weaners, ha ha ha, I know. They are the young cattle that are being ‘weaned’ from their mothers) to the property we lived on. They were at the perfect age for making friends with. I’d take them some bread and go chat with them, just walking among them they’d get used to us and start following us around; wondering if they’d be getting any treats.
You know the feeling of a cute little kitten’s raspy, grippy pink tongue? Well a cows is the same. Only large and can wrap around your entire hand!
Friends would come stay at our house and be afraid of them, they are the most gentle placid creatures. Such beautiful beasts.
They are a lot like people (or me, people think I am a cow) you get your ditsy ones, the ones who are all talk, they act all tough, like they want to charge you, but if you stand your ground they stop short only to huff and puff. You get your VERY protective mothers, they could be your best friend one minute, you go near her baby and she’ll run you down. One I remember most was Angus – he was an Angus, so the name is plain boring- he was the largest blackest bull you’d ever see. If you went anywhere near his fence he’d stare you down, come tearing across the paddock at you. He’d stand on the other side of the barbed wire and shake his head grunting, snot and saliva would be thrown into the air in big blobs.
I remember one day I got tired of his ‘toughness’ I slapped him fair in the middle of the forehead.
He bellowed and bolted away. From that day on we had an understanding. I knew he wasn’t a tough mean beast and he knew I wasn’t afraid. He’d still come over to the fence. But for a rub behind the ears. He was my big (VERY big) teddy bear. All talk. No action.
I had another named Gemma. Really I could only describe her as a bitch. I loved her but she was a user. She’d come running over, I’d give her a rub and a pat, and then she’d start bunting me. She’d bunt me until I ended up out of the paddock. She knew what she wanted and if I didn’t have it, she’d send me off to get some.
Mum would get up me if we had none, because she knew where it went. Gemma’s belly.
We also had such gentle caring cattle, like Nico and Little girl, they were sister’s. Nico was named after my little sister Nicole because they were born the same day. Little girl was named so, because she was anything but. She also had an impressive set of horns. She could have torn the intestines from 10 grown men in one go. If she wanted to, but she never in her life hurt a fly.
We had many breeds of cattle, Limousine, Angus, Brangus, Hereford, Murray greys, you name it we had it. But my very favorites were the Brahmans.
So beautiful, their eyes hide such deep secrets and understanding, I think they are the most intelligent of all the breeds.
Some day I’ll have a beautiful Brahman. Some people have dogs, I’ll have a cow. Just one.
So I love cattle.
I know their behaviours, I know when ones all smoke, I know when one means business, I know when one just needs a slap in the face, I know when one wants a rub. I also have seen them suffer. I have seen them dying. I have seen them sad.
The thought of hundreds of cattle crammed into a truck is not pleasant for me to think about to begin with but for them to be an accident? I could hear the screams, hear the bellowing. I could see their eyes wide and bulging in panic rolling around in their heads.. Their nostrils flared as they scrambled and fought to get their world right way up again. Massive bodies pressed against one another.
Those poor creatures.
I had to stop thinking about it. I would have cried.
So the police told Glen that it was going to be a very long time before the highway was cleaned up.
I panicked again. Poor Bella stuck in Blackwater all on her own? I don’t trust anyone besides family. She had no-one in town who would take care of her or look after her as well as I would.
We decided to try to find the back road home. We followed a large group of cars as they made their way along a dirt road. Finally we reached Blackwater. One hour trip had turned into two.
But on that long detour I had plenty of thinking time.
Bella stuck on her own with no one. The day before I had been sick and Glen was at work. As hard as it was I sucked it up and pushed on through the day, but I would have desperately loved some support.
We’re so alone here. I thought.
What if something happened to me?
If I was in an accident?
If I was in hospital for a prolonged period?
Glen’s capable of looking after all the girls (see please immunise your babies) but he can’t breastfeed a baby, he can do what is required like most people thrown into that situation, but no one can look after my babies the way I can. The way I want them raised.
Anyone can feed them, dress them, pour them drinks, shove a movie on for them. I want more for my kids, I want them learning daily, I want them doing things and experiencing things, I want to show them the world and all its wonders, I want to teach them to be honest compassionate people, I don’t want them to just pass by their days, getting older and older until finally they can fend for themselves.
I simply don’t know anyone who wants what I want for my kids. Or anyone who comprehends what I want for my children.
What would happen to my children should anything happen to me?
Who would I trust to take care of my babies as well as I do?
Who do I know would be prepared to raise 5 of someone elses children? Happily?
I don’t want them separated, I don’t want them afraid or alone.
Having five means that they are quite costly.
financially, emotionally, mentally it is a big ask of anyone person.
It might be fun for a week, but to change nappies and wipe snotty noses, to mop up vomit and bandage scrapped knees, to listen to their arguing and tantrums, to dealing with lying and general naughty behaviour. To provide school uniforms, braces, glasses, after school activities, first cars, and wedding dresses and everything else for the rest of their lives?
Thats something only a mother can love to do.
Some day I’ll move on to where ever it is that our soul decides to go, until then, I plan to stick around at least until I know my kids are all independent, stable people. Capable of being on their own, or at least love and support each other as my sister Nicole, brother Matto and myself have done.
But like those poor cattle found, sometimes you cannot control where your life leads or how it ends.
I am far from afraid of dying, but I fear for my kids.
So, I’ll leave you now to ponder that as I go wrap myself in cotton wool and hibernate in my safe little room with my children huddled around me!
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