My, oh my…it has been a while…
Is anyone still out there??
This past year has been one heck of an adventure in our lives. I had a moment where I contemplated back-dating posts and blogging all the things I had hoped to do last year, but just thinking about it made my brain fizzle.
A new year is here. A new start. A blank page to write our new chapter on…and all those cheesy phrases. One thing is for sure though, it’s time to pick this up again and hopefully take it into the potential that I have always seen for it.
My last blog post got such a great response from people that, in all honesty, I felt overwhelmed and under pressure to produce something bigger and better. Everytime I sat down to try, I fell deaf to creativity and inspiration. I was swallowed by the pressure that I had JUST written about and could not face any attempt at writing. And so it fell to the wayside…
Our lives seem to have raced through 2015 and we have seen so much growth in our little man – can you believe he is now TWO?!?! I am blown away daily by the confident and independent personality that is creeping more and more to the surface. I am convinced that we have a little engineer on our hands with the constant scrutiny toys get put under, as he tries to figure out how it all works.
At the end of 2014, I decided to start a business from home. I had been exploring the world of cloth diapering and we had been using them at home with our little man. I dove into the research and started on some testers, getting a better idea of what worked and what didn’t. I made some terrible mistakes, but learned from them and improved as I practiced. When I was eventually happy with my product, I launched in March 2015 and ran full steam ahead trying to keep up with the demand that existed for WAHM (work-at-home-mom) diapers. As difficult and tiring as it was, I was generating idea after idea for new items and had worked out an entire business plan. This was something I saw huge potential in and I knew could grow massively given time.
Then came that day. That dreadful, dreadful day.
Hubby was away working on a film shoot for a reality show and our little man and I were celebrating one week of surviving being on our own (read: waking up on time every morning and actually managing to cook, feed, play and remember everything for school – all without dad). I had fetched the little man from school and gone through our ritual of a trolley ride through the shop to pick up whatever we needed at home. That day I had a serious craving for a really delicious dinner and picked up all the necessary ingredients for our “mom and kid” night. Armed with dinner, ice-cream and plans for a movie night, we headed home.
Home for us was a small house on a wildlife estate. This home that we rented sat on the bank of a tiny river (which was dry at the time) and was frequented by a variety of fauna. During the day, we had nyala, zebra, warthog, giraffe, impala grazing in our garden and a harmony of bird-life singing their songs for all to hear. At night, we relaxed to the sounds of nearby hyena calling to each other, and some nights we were treated to the rasping of a leopard walking just on the other side of our boma. It was truly a magical place to live.
When I arrived home that day, my eyes were immediately drawn to hubby’s car that was parked under the carport. It was covered in baboon poo. I felt myself immediately become irate. If you speak to my family, you will hear the stories of how I have always been terrified of baboons and monkeys, to the point where I would climb under the seat of the car whenever we came across them on drives through the wildlife parks. With my irritation lingering, I parked my car next to hubby’s. I decided to leave my little man in the car and investigate, as I saw more signs of the baboons destruction around the outside of our home. The last thing that I wanted was to come face-to-face with a baboon with my child exposed and vulnerable.
As I entered the enclosed boma area, there were items lying all over the place, mostly broken. The moment that I turned toward our home, I broke down.
The little shits got in.
Our entire home was wrecked.
With emotions completely overwhelming me, I tried to hold it together enough to phone for help. I managed to piece together enough information for my friend to process, through the deafening, uncontrollable sobs. I collapsed onto the floor, a complete wreck and completely forgot about the little body still sitting in my car. I was jerked back into reality by equally loud sobs coming from the car and ran to comfort my baby boy. Unable to control my emotions, he was upset and scared as a result. I tried to keep calm and comfort him and just sat in the car and cuddled him until my friend arrived. It was impossible to even get into the house, never mind try and clean and sleep there. The smell was nauseating. Everything, absolutely everything was pulled out and messed on. We grabbed what we could that was valuable, packed it in the car, closed up the house and left to go stay over at my friends’ house.
The next few months have been a whirlwind as we tried to deal with the aftermath of such a traumatic experience. We moved out within two days of the incident and stayed with various friends for two months following that. I was completely overwhelmed by the support that we received from friends, family, the community and even from complete strangers. It was truly incredible to experience that level of support during a time where I could hardly hold think an hour ahead, never mind days ahead to what our next step would be.
Fast-forward two months ahead, we are in our new home…our first home that we have ever owned (we had started this process prior to the incident). We are slowly managing to get through the mountains of boxes in the storage container. Each box requires checking what we can salvage that isn’t completely destroyed and then scrubbing it clean from the mess of the baboons. It’s a long process, but it has given perspective on what is actually important and what’s not.
Unfortunately, with the losses incurred as a family, we took the decision to close the business. I didn’t realize how much this affected me until I made the announcement to my customers. I feel like a part of my dream has died as I let go of something I worked so hard to grow from nothing. I put so much of my heart and soul into it, sacrificed so much time with my family, and while I know it wasn’t for nothing, it hurts to know that it is gone in a moment.
While this is the end of a chapter for us, I know that a new ones awaits us and I truly hope it is an exciting, adventurous one, free from primates of any kind.