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A rocky path

3 Feb

Happy Thursday eve to you all – or whatever day and time it is where you are.

I was hoping to tell you all to hitch a ride with me over to my new home. But things have transpired (boring, formatty, interwebby things) that mean that’s not possible tonight. By tomorrow, I hope I can give you the formal invite. Not a lot has changed about the blog, just where it ‘lives’ now. But things will change. Change and improve and grow. So I’m excited.

Tomorrow, we’ll go. Okay?

I’m in a strange mood tonight. I have heard some news about the child of a dear friend. Some news that was unexpected. Unsettling news. Upsetting.

So I am left feeling shaken. And I am reminded of what a blessing my two boys are. Of how I would move heaven and earth to ensure that they have everything they need in order to go out into the world and become young men. Even now, with each passing day, they get further and further away from needing me.

But sometimes, our children need us more than we ever anticipated. And it’s harder than we could ever dream. And we wonder why it is that this precious child should have been given a road ahead that is not as easy as the road that others are walking. And we wonder if we are up to the task of leading them on that rocky journey.

Here’s what I know. We ARE up to the task. Because God never gives us more than we can handle. It’s just that sometimes, we might wish that God didn’t have so much damn faith in us.

So tonight, I am thinking of my dear friend. I am thinking about what lies ahead for her and for her youngest child. I am looking ahead to the future with her. I can see what she sees – a rockier path than first imagined. But I also see, as I know she does, too, the promise of the future. With knowledge comes power. And I know that she will arm herself with every available piece of information so that there is no stronger force. She will be the suspension cushioning the impact of her little one’s journey.

Once again, thank you for coming along on this ride with me.

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Aussie Aussie Aussie

26 Jan

It’s Australia Day today.

I have never really celebrated the day. In general, I don’t think the Australian people are zealously and demonstrably patriotic in the way that you might see in other countries.

In the past, Australia Day has meant a day off and maybe the Big Day Out.

In more recent times, I’ve felt there’s a cultural cringe attached to Aussies celebrating Australia Day . I can’t see a ute with the southern cross sticker on the back windscreen without thinking it’s being driven by a bogan redneck. And unfortunately, I now link outward Aussie pride with the Cronulla riots. Which is a shame. And misplaced given that there are many people who celebrate Australia Day who also support opening our borders to people of all nationalities. Many people just celebrate because it’s worth celebrating.

And it really is. Now that I have children, I have come to appreciate how deeply I won the lotto just by being born in this country. And that my children have won that same lotto.

The world is a big and complicated place. And I know so very little about so much of the conflict, next to nothing about the suffering that people endure within their homelands, especially women.

So today, perhaps for the first time, I reflected on what it meant to be Australian. What it meant to me that my children have been born Australian. How privileged we are to live with such freedom and such opportunity. And, oh man, the beaches. The beaches are ace.

We spent the day with dear friends. We chucked some snags on the barbie (with grilled turkish bread on the side – Oi Oi Oi!), drank beer and ate lamingtons. And the kids ran and played in the massive back yard.

Lucky is an understatement.

Happy Australia Day.

For Keep’s Sake

24 Jan

I am a terrible hoarder. I’ve mentioned that before.

Naturally, I am sentimental about anything my children have ever touched (except maybe their nappies and the boogers they frequently wipe on me). But I am also sentimental about crazy things. Really crazy things.

For instance, I went through a stage of feeling sentimental about my hair. Cleaning my brush of the hair it had collected over time and then throwing it into the bin was excruciating. The idea that in amongst the decaying food scraps and general filth of a trash receptacle would be my lovely tresses, once a part of me and still bearing my unique DNA, was almost too much to bear. Actually, I was about eleven years old so the thought process was probably simplified to, “My hair is touching rotten food. Ewww.” The fact that the hair was no longer attached to my head hardly mattered. Such was the extent of my crazy. It was, thankfully, short-lived. I’m not a total wack-job.

Beyond sentiment, I hoard things I consider ‘too good for every day use’. I am reluctant to break the seal of newness on things because of the way it renders them not new. I am an absolute shocker for keeping things for ‘a special occasion’ and then discovering they have not retained their original quality. Fifteen years later.

For instance, I can tell you that the Peppermint Foot Lotion from The Body Shop will not smell pepperminty forever. And the consistency of the lotion will change when the ingredients start to separate. Sure, I got the lotion in a lovely gift basket when I was fifteen but seriously, Body Shop, maybe it’s time to up your game.

And then there’s the whole green issue. If I can recycle something, then tossing it from my life becomes almost breezy. However, the idea of adding to landfill keeps me up at night and so our garage is full of things we may need to use one day.

The useful box of crafty stuff for the kids is overflowing with toilet rolls and pictures lovingly torn from old magazines. The crafty stuff I can never be arsed to get out and set up for the kids because they’re so fucking messy with it. The crafty stuff that, when I do set up the craft table for my fucking messy kids, I recycle AGAIN by picking it off the page my kid has glued it to and putting it back into the useful box. But that’s only the artworks I deem not treasure-worthy. The treasure-worthy artworks get stored in the overflowing treasurey-artworks box.

FUCK.

So, here in Australia, the people of Queensland have been suffering terribly on account of the flash-flooding in that part of the country. It has been tragic.

And it has made me think.

What the hell would I save?

In the event of a natural disaster such as has occurred in Queensland, would any of the shit I agonise over even matter?

If ever there was a time to downsize, to simplify, it is in the wake of this horror.

The spring cleaning that took place over the holidays recently was, I have to admit, more a tidying, a sort of rearranging of junk, rather than a brutal, everything must go kind of affair.

So that’s what I aim to do. Get brutal.

On the hit list:

  • toys that have many tiny parts that I am forever picking up or standing on
  • essential bottles of beauty product that I have used once
  • clothes that I am definitely going to fit into any day now
  • every toilet roll after the 3 millionth. NO-ONE does that much craft
  • the broken bangle (plastic and cost no more than $10) that I have been meaning to glue together now for more than four years

It’s time to get brutal.

The victims of the flood disaster are really hurting. Donations can be made here.

Co-clucked

23 Jan

I woke this morning to tell B about a dream I had. I had just given birth to twin sons, one of which I called Control.

Yup.

Then B told me he dreamt that I did a pregnancy test but rather than the usual piss on a stick variety, this one involved chicken schnitzels. We had to pan fry the schnitzel and if it turned blue, it was a boy and a pink schnitzel would indicate a girl. He said despite being certain we would be having another boy, the schnitzel was, in fact, pink.

Yup.

So.

Both dreaming about babies at the same time.

You might say we are co-clucking.

And it just beggars belief.

Last night, not only did Zee wake up four times BEFORE MIDNIGHT but we also had LD pay us a visit at around 11pm to say that he’d had a dream about monsters.

Then, they both woke at around 6am, headfirst into the day.

I use the word ‘day’ loosely because to my mind, if the sun ain’t all the way up, it ain’t day yet.

So exactly what are B and I doing dreaming about expanding our family? And then telling each other about the crazy dreams and feeling all giggly about the idea of another baby? When we’re downstairs hiding from the two children we already have?

As I said, it just beggars belief.

We are tired. Bone weary. We have so very little time to try to get done the mountain of stuff that is either required or desired. The kids get on our nerves. We get on each other’s nerves. Hey, let’s throw a newborn into the mix!

We are nutty in the extreme.

But from the moment Zee arrived, neither B or myself had even a moment when we sensed that we were done with the baby-making. It’s clear to both of us that another little being is waiting to make their grand entrance onto the Family M-G stage.

And if the thought scares us, that fear is wildly outweighed by the giddy we both feel when we mention Lil M-G 3.

This morning was tough. B went off to work (yes, on a Sunday) and there I was with two little boys living large in the way that little boys do and me dragging my sorry arse around trying to find a way into the day when my body was screaming, “Get thee to the nearest bed and slumber!” Apparently, my body is all Shakespearean.

I was sitting on the couch, willing myself to do….anything and then I was watching my kids. They were, blissfully, ignoring me. So I was free to just witness them at play. I don’t do it enough. Just stop and see my kids. Really watch them. And it was cool. They were really playing together. Their age gap has narrowed enough that they can actually engage in a way that is fun for both of them. LD is still physically bigger but Zee is quite capable of holding his own. For the most part. And when in doubt, he screams bloody murder until I save him.

But watching your children together – there’s nothing like it. Seeing two little people you put on the earth just hanging out? It’s incredible. And in those moments, you just feel that they’ll be friends for life, that they’ll have each other’s backs. Even if looking around at many grown up siblings tells a very different story. In this little moment, your kids have each other. And it feels like maybe that was the best gift you could ever give them.

So we want to add to that. Even amidst the exhaustion and chaos. Even though we will suddenly have one too many for the average Family Pass or Holiday Special. Even though, in years to come, our children will turn to us and list all the ways we fucked them up.

Even then. It will have been worth it.

Just one little click, friends. Click above and THAT IS IT. Vote is counted and I send you virtual love forever. Bargain!

Fed Up

17 Jan

There’s a stereotype that says that Jewish mothers are constantly overfeeding their children. Greek and Italian mothers have an almost identical stereotype.

But I submit that all mothers are food pushers.

When my kids eat, I lose my mind with happiness.

Zee is one year old and a few months back, the sight of him gnawing away at a lamb chop almost reduced me to tears.

LD is three and a half and weighs approximately two and half kilos more than his infant brother. Today he ate a mouthful of Weetbix and milk, three dry Cruskits and a banana chip. I worry constantly about his tiny appetite.

And I am disturbingly envious of how skinny his thighs are.

But I digress.

Food. I love when my kids eat it.

Maybe it will be like sleep though – when they’re teenagers I’ll complain they have far too much of it.

But for now, if my kids aren’t sleeping, I’d like them eating.

On a warm spring day last November, B and I sliced up a watermelon and together, the family M-G sat around and ate it. All four of us. And it just filled me up with joy. Ridiculous, quick-I’d-better-get-the-camera joy.

Yes, it’s the simple things.

Except the things that used to be simple and are not so simple anymore.

Oh, dining out! How I miss thee….

Oh, eating my dinner warm and without interruption! We had some good times, you and I…..

Oh, chicken parma and pot at the pub! We’ll be together again soon. Wait for me, won’t you?

Dining out is a trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru.

But at least it’s a night off from cooking.

Glass half full, people. Glass half full.