Thank you very much to all the lovely readers who got in touch with me after my last blog that mentioned my half-missing eyebrow. All your well wishes have miraculously caused a few strays to start to grow back.
I hate to sound ungrateful, but they are grey.
A lot of friends confided via private message on Facebook that they too suffered from errant chin hairs, so when you’re doing the late night pluck, or find one on the bus ride into work and then can’t concentrate all day long because you keep playing with the little stub, ladies, know that you are not alone.
You know what else I love about Facebook? All the clever, interesting friends I have who post learned, funny and interesting articles that I save and read later. Once a week I generally try to go through them all and learn new things about business, parenting, musical theatre or climate change. Recently however, they’ve been backing up because I’ve been busy re-reading the Harry Potter series. You’ll be pleased to know the ending is the same as it was 3 years ago when I last re-read them. Gregory reckons it must be a nesting thing because I do it every time I’m pregnant, which I am. Our new friend is due to arrive in the first week of November. Poorly timed we admit, as there will now be 3 Scorpios living under the one roof (Gregory and Edie may move into the garage), but apart from the timing, out of all the things we’ve done in our married life, this is the thing we actually discussed the most!
Since it’s now public, I would also like to put it in print for all to see that despite previous history and countless friends and staff members suggesting it, this does not mean we will be opening a third venue anytime soon. In fact ever.
I still maintain that labour is easier than a restaurant opening. And I’ve done both twice.
The parallels between parenting and running a restaurant are many. Yes, we’ve had four children, but the good thing about our timing is that I’ve never had two newborns at once – Quinn was 1.5 when we opened Hartsyard and Edie was 1.5 when we opened The Gretz. Mama ain’t doing two sets of nappies at once. Amongst the nonsense of it all – toilet training toddlers who hold the potty in their hand and wee on the floor, dishwashers that break down an hour before Friday night service, anxious 5 year olds who don’t eat all day at school because they can’t eat as fast as the other kids and then they miss out on playing, group bookings who remember as they walk in the door that 7 of them have dietary needs – are the quieter moments of pre-service staff meal, relaxed and full of camaraderie, a family dinner that the girls actually enjoy, a night full of regulars who drop in for a drink and stay all night and books and cuddles with my babies on the couch.
One of my favourite books to read the girls is one called The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson. It is a gorgeous thing, about a little girl who makes paper dolls with her mama and plays with them all day long until they are cut up by a mean spirited boy. He teases her and says that the dolls are no more, but instead, the dolls reform and join her other memories, waiting to be called on whenever the little girl might require them. It’s full of magic and childhood, poignancy and the preciousness of youth and growth.
To be honest, I know there are plenty of memories as both a mother and a business owner that I’m happy to leave in the dungeons of my tired brain. But I also know that the paper dolls in my mind are only beautiful and wonderful because of the links that bind them together. Standing alone they’re great moments, but if I cut their links they stop telling my story.
So I’ll keep working through the links and kinks, untangling them when they’re ravelled and protecting them when they’re close to breaking, because the links – uncomfortable and rigid as they are – connect the child I was to the woman I’ve become.