Hiya! Good job! How are you?

Hello there!

Have you noticed that the world is a little bit crap at the moment? Has all the hate, anger and price of avocados got you feeling fed up? Maybe you feel like there’s nothing good in the world?

Wrong! Well not entirely wrong but because I am perfect and awesome and having a great hair day I’ve put together a quick checklist of things that you can do to change the world.

Here are my suggestions for reaching out into the big bad world and making it a little bit smaller and nicer.

1. Write a thank you note to someone who is doing a thankless job. My kids teachers are writing reports now so I think I might write a short note to the Art teacher who helps my kids create all the gorgeous artwork that comes home. If your child doesn’t have an amazing art teacher think child care workers, nurses and librarians etc.

2. Make eye contact and smile at someone who is a different race or religion to you. If that’s too easy you could also say hello and ask them how their day is going?

3. Text someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in over a month. Just to let them know that you’re thinking of them.

4. Post a message to or email someone that you like or follow on social media letting them know that you like what they have to say. Keep social media social!

5. If you can and this is totally optional donate $5 to a charity that means something to you. Don’t feel bad that it’s not more just do it if you can.

**Do these things expecting nothing in return. It’s not about you getting anything back but the feeling you get when you make someone smile.**

Also and slightly off topic of changing the world (and this may not apply to everyone) if your husband has a chainsaw on the floor of his office and it’s been bugging you for a while ask him nicely to put it back in the shed.

xx

9…

It’s been 9 years today since I had major abdominal surgery and became a mum.

It’s been 9 years since I landed the best job on earth.

9 years since I learned that if you try real hard you can worry about everything that might go wrong and still be exhausted when it doesn’t.

9 years since I fell in love expecting nothing in return.

My beautiful boy turned 9 and spent most of the night and morning vomiting.

Spaghetti bolognese is off the menu for a while.

My poor little man was crying and asking why he couldn’t stop vomiting on his birthday.

And because I’m downright weird and I act inappropriately all the time I got the giggles.

This kid understands and gets me more than most of my friends.

He is intuitive and picks up on subtleties and knows when to just hug me.

He tells me that he loves me and helps me with his younger brother a lot.

He is emotional and feels things deeply.

He is also observant and kind.

On Friday night we were boarding a plane and the lady checking our tickets was very friendly.

As we were walking to the plane he looked at me and said “Mum that lady is joyful just like you.”

And I just stopped and thanked him.

I know that he sees how hard it is for me sometimes when his little brother is angry and won’t listen to me especially when his Dad is away traveling.

He knows my moods and when not to push me.

He knows when I need coffee.

He still kisses me goodbye in the school car park and doesn’t even care if his friends see.

He makes me be a better person.

I am proud of him and proud to be his Mum.

If only I could get him to eat his vegetables.

xx

Life’s not fair…

I spent some time yesterday with my 98 year old great aunt.

I was my usual inappropriate self and stole one of her chocolates that she’d won at Bingo and then reprimanded her for gambling.

I also held her hand and stroked it and talked with her about her daughter who had passed away the day before.

My great aunt is my late Granny’s sister.

We talked about all sorts of things and had a little cry too.

Life isn’t fair. I don’t think that being 98 and living in a nursing home and burying your only daughter is fair.

But that’s how it goes sometimes.

You could make a list of all the things that aren’t fair.

I think we all spend some time on the list during our lives.

Some stay on the list longer than others.

(Some think they are on the list but they are possibly lacking a little perspective about others.)

We all have moments where things aren’t fair and can’t be fixed in the short term.

I have friends that I wish I could wave a magic wand for and help them. Help pull them out from deep, dark black holes and shower them in some sunshine.

Let them know that sooner or maybe much, much later that things can get better.

But life isn’t fair.

And I have two beautiful friends/second cousins who lost the most amazing mother on Friday.

She has left a hole in their hearts that will never ever mend.

She was an elegant and proper lady from another generation.

But I will picture her most on her daughters blue couch knitting something.

She was wise in a way that I’m smart enough not to even contemplate emulating.

She was brave and sweet.

She sent me a message on Wednesday saying that she loved me.

And on Friday she got up out of her hospital bed, had a shower and went back to bed for a rest.

She’s not in pain anymore.

So that’s fair. But life isn’t.

xx

You are my SONshine…

Sometimes emotions just jump out at you don’t they?

I’m sitting here reading a book in an indoor trampoline venue with music pumping while my two gorgeous sons are bouncing.

I just looked over at them and tears came to my eyes as I saw how big they are. Jumping, playing together and so big and independent.

Often I try not to think about how much I love them and sometimes they make it very easy for me to forget.

When I realise how much I love them though my mind does that horrible thing where worst case scenarios build up and I freak out about what it would be like if something happened to them.

It’s not something that you could ever prepare for though so I’ve learned not to think about it.

But man these boys are amazing.

I worry sometimes that I tell them I love them too much but they’re still happy to kiss me goodbye in the mornings at school so I must be doing something right.

I wish I had more time and energy just to lie on the floor with them and play board games and eat popcorn and wrestle.

More time to answer all the questions they have. The ones they usually ask when we’re in a hurry to go out and I can’t answer them properly.

Questions about volcanos and tornadoes and who they might invite to their birthday parties in 6 months time.

As a parent do you ever get to that stage when you stop looking at your kids as though they are the most amazing beings on earth?

I love how much I know them.

How their brains work.

How funny they are.

How they sing “we will rock you” together while building Lego.

I am so extremely fortunate to be a mother to two healthy children.

They are the best part of me.

And they love me.

And maybe if we all just loved our children and saw ourselves the way that they see us and love us we would all get along a little better.

Tears…

I know you’re not really the hugging type but I can give you one right now if you like?

I said to the woman standing one metre away from me in the office kitchen.

Her tears of frustration, disappointment and desperation rendered me as helpless as her.

She showed me the messages on her phone from her son.

He didn’t get out of bed and go to work that morning. He sent her aggressive and abusive messages asking her why she was hassling him so much.

She told me that she plays bad cop to her husbands good cop in regards to his ice addiction.

How sometimes if she pushes him hard enough he’ll crack and tell her the truth. Tell her what’s really bothering him. Give her a chance to hopefully show him that people care about him.

But not so hard that when pushed he shuts down and the whole process starts again.

She asked me if she was a bad mum.

I said of course not.

I said that he was safe.

She told me she was going to go home and check his Facebook page because he sometimes stays logged in and it’s one of the rare chances to actually find out what he’s up to and how bad it is.

She cried for a while and then wiped her tears on her sleeves.

A little while later I asked her if she wanted a biscuit or a chocolate and she politely refused just as she had done with the hug offer earlier.

You don’t have to like them you just have to love them.

And even now days later I picture this incredibly strong brash woman crying for a son who doesn’t want her help.

Yet. (I hope.)

Joining the sisterhood…

Right. Well. I swear I can’t remember what I’ve written about and I’m too lazy to look back but I want to write about my sisters.

All of them. And how much I love them.

Technically in real life I am the eldest of 2 children. My brother is 2.5 years younger than me.

We were close growing up but now we’re not and I hate that with all the hates. But I don’t think about it or I get sad.

(As I was typing sad I accidentally typed Sade which is kind of funny. I don’t Sade.)

Anyway. Sisters. I have 2 sister in laws who are beautiful but they also have amazing relationships with their younger sisters and we don’t have a close bond.

Earlier this year my mum remarried so now I also have a 55 year old step sister who has 3 grown children and 2 grandsons.

My step sister lives a 4 hour flight away and is busy with her own life but she’s lovely. Well she seems to be from the 2 times I’ve spent time with her.

But now here I am. All busy with life and stuff and yet I seem to be collecting wonderful sisters.

One of the mums at my work who makes the sweetest Turkish coffee called me her sister this week and it was the highlight of a crappy week. This gorgeous woman also had a cholesterol test on Thursday and her levels came back really good so she celebrated by buying me chocolate so we could celebrate together.

One of my delightful sisters posted me a card this week saying that she is thinking of me. I read it to myself today in her Irish accent. She took time out of her busy life raising 3 energetic boys to send me a card. For no reason. Other than that she cares. And man doesn’t that just mean the most ever.

One of my sisters I’ve known since High School but it’s only been the last year or so that we’ve begun messaging each other every day. She tells me she thinks that I’m strong and praises me for coping when my husband is away so much. But she has issues that are so big and wide that I don’t know where they start and where they end and her resilience and honesty blows my mind. We share truths with each other and support each other.

My sisters are strong women who have gone through plenty and been tested physically and mentally but still give all that they have to make the world better for their families and their communities.

They think of others. They’re selfless. They’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs.

Sisters might be doing it for themselves but they’re also doing it for me and I’m doing it for them too.

xx

P.O.G.P…

Today is my Grandpas birthday.

He passed away four and a half years ago.

And I still miss him. A lot.

He was the kind of man that they don’t seem to make anymore. Or maybe they do, but they still wouldn’t compare to him.

He was an accountant but also built his family home.

He went to Papua New Guinea in World War 2 and to the footy with me and my mum.

He bought an Atari so that my brother and I could play Space Invaders whenever we went to visit him. We got a bite size Violet Crumble if we got to 200 points.

He had the movie Annie on tape for me so that I could watch it EVERY SINGLE TIME we went there. (I can recite the whole movie from memory, including the ads.)

He made my brother and I breakfast in bed whenever we stayed over. Weetbix on a tray with a jug of milk and as much sugar as we liked.

His beloved wife passed away in 1988 and until the day he died (some 20+ years later) he had fresh flowers from her garden on the kitchen table next to photos of her.

He looked after my Gran through her kidney disease and dialysis and brought her home to die in comfort.

He was a strong man who walked straight and always wore a shirt and pressed pants.

He had a wicked sense of humour and showed no mercy towards his grandchildren when playing cards.

I have photos of him with my eldest son at the nursing home but for some stupid reason I decided he was too sick to be in photos with my youngest son.

In the last 10 years of his life the Alzheimer’s sapped him of his spark and charm until there wasn’t much of him left inside.

He would always sign birthday cards and Christmas cards “love P.O.G.P”.

It stood for Poor Old GrandPa.

But he was an amazing man and I miss him a lot.

Gene pool reflections…

I am the mother of 2 boys.

I remember when the youngest was born and people said to me “two the same”.

Nah. Not even close.

These boys are very different from each other. But not different from me.

I see so much of myself in both of them.

The youngest is wacky, zany and silly. He thinks way outside the square.

He has my oddness.

But my eldest son has my sensitivity and my need to please.

At school he is the happy kid that everyone wants to play with and the teachers love.

And then he comes home and crashes because it’s hard to be happy all day.

Last night we were having a chat at bedtime and he gave me a cuddle and I asked if he was okay.

He shook his head. Are you sick? No. Is something wrong? No. Are you sad? Yes.

He was sad and didn’t know why.

I told him it was okay to just have a cry sometime and he started to sob.

He cried for about 5 minutes and then he stopped and just started talking about normal stuff.

And of course it broke my heart. The sadness in him.

Maybe he was just over tired but he needed permission to cry.

It wasn’t all that long ago when I didn’t like myself that much that I didn’t really like my kids either.

I loved them and would do anything for them but I didn’t really like them.

And now I do. So much.

I admit a major bias when I say that they are amazing and fill my heart to overflowing every day.

I miss them now when we’re apart.

I still like being apart though.

These people I had a fairly significant part in creating are wonderful.

I love them and I love seeing myself in them.

I hope they keep loving themselves too.

xx

Best day of my life…

My 4 year old wants to be 5 so bad that he’s convinced himself that he is 5. His birthday is still nearly weeks away but it’s soon.

The other day after being asked 173 times I told him that we will make cupcakes again soon. He told me off and said “Don’t say soon. When you say that you mean not for a long time”.

He doesn’t understand the word tomorrow and prefers to use the term “next day”.

The concept of time seems to go over his head, or around his legs or something similar.

But today I heard him say that it was “the best day of his life”.

This is the third time this year that he has commented that he’s had the best day of his life.

The first was when he was having a mud fight with his 6 year old brother in his undies.

The second time was his first day at the snow. Up and down the tiny man made slope he went with his toboggan.

And today he was blowing bubbles outside in the sunshine with his brother before they abandoned that idea and turned it into a massive water fight.

There seems to be an outdoors with his brother theme.

There is also an acknowledgement of the fact that he is having a wonderful time.

I don’t think we as adults do that enough.

Maybe we’re too busy worrying about the next thing we need to do or how to wash the mud off the kids.

Maybe it’s when we take pictures and post them to Instagram with 🙂 hashtags.

And maybe it’s hearing our kids say that they’re having the “best day ever”.

Young grief…

In February I wrote about a boy in my Pre-School class whose mother had passed away suddenly.

But he didn’t know. His heartbroken dad told him that she was sick in hospital.

For six months he didn’t know. I would ask about her and he would say she was still sick and not waking up.

I would often talk to him about her until one day he told me that he was angry at her for not waking up and told me not to talk about her anymore.

So I didn’t.

Then last Wednesday 10 minutes before class ended he started crying.

I asked him what was wrong and he looked at me with little tears running down his face and he said in a most quiet voice “my mums dead”.

And I hugged him. And I said “Yes. She died and it’s so sad”.

He cried and we hugged. And I told him that it’s okay to be sad. That it’s okay to miss her forever.

Then a lady from Childcare came and picked him up and told him to stop crying and that he’ll be fine.

And I wanted to slap her and tell her that I’d been waiting for this moment for 6 months and that it won’t be okay for him. He will never get him mum back. His memories of her will fade and his 2 year old sister will probably have no memories of her.

I spoke to his Dad the next day and told him what happened. He told me that they kept asking him when she was going to wake up so he finally told them that she wasn’t going to wake up because she has died.

He told me that they are too young to understand.

I don’t think he’s right.

Kids understand things in their own way.

Kids have these big hearts and love openly and honestly and it’s beautiful. They see things clearer than we do. They ask questions, a lot of questions. They want to understand everything.

So I think it’s my job for the last 4 months of the year to be the person that he can talk to about his mum. To provide a safe and honest place for discussions.

And to hug.