Love is not a virgin on the Guest Blogger scene anymore. I did the deed over at Merbear’s this week.
I am younger then by the same amount of time it takes a foetus to reach term, if that stands to reason. There is a gestation period of difference between my husband and I. His parents wouldn’t have even known that they were going to give birth to their first child, a son, the day I was born. So while I was taking my first breaths of air he was still sucking on amniotic fluid. He was growing downy hair all over his body when I moved onto solid foods. By the time he was born, I was on the move; wearing out the knees of my romper suits and collecting lint and hair off the floor.
When we’re young it’s all about the milestones and birthdays. Cheers ring out and hands are clapped in delight as a baby or toddler manages to learn a new concept, skill or ability.
As we get older those milestones are more about the number attached to us. We carry that sucker around like an extra appendage. Some lie while others are creative with subtraction. For many it’s a matter of remaining young at heart-it’s the inside that counts, after all.
At a visit to the doctor with Now 6 when he was a 3 year old, an elderly gentlemen sat down beside us. He must have been close to his octogenarian decade but seemed to have retained most of his faculties. He took an interest in the scribble drawing my son was doing and then said to me, ‘that’s a fine looking grandson you have there.’ I do remember mumbling a reply about him being my son as my heart only just managed to regain a regular rhythm. It was fortunate we were at the doctors as I was certain a heart attack was imminent. Perhaps he was there to see the doctor about finally getting a prescription for glasses.
Several weeks ago, I had an informal meeting with the principal at Now 6’s school. I was being scrutinised to see whether I would be an appropriate replacement for the German teacher when she takes leave in the Spring. My experience was asked about and when I answered the question I included the year that I first began teaching. I was met with raised eyebrows and an audible ‘wow’. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve hung around 5 year olds for nearly half my life that has kept me young. Hmmmm.
When I met with the teacher whose role I will be filling she kindly concurred about the difference between my chronological age and my perceived age. (Note to readers: I have known this teacher since 1999 when I taught her son who is now 26 and we have kept in contact since then). Apparently I am thinner now even though I’ve been the same weight since high school, except during pregnancies, and have given birth twice since then. I don’t have a forehead full of Botox and on a good day I feel every one of my near-40 years. This ‘holding my age well’ card might come in handy if I ever have the need to chat up some young gents at the R.S.L. I could fill the role of a 60 year old cougar to get a free shandy or two.
If I had to categorise myself, I am one of those people who find it to be a difficult and dicey situation when someone asks me how old I think they are. Think of a number and subtract 15? That should cover all bases. When I’m asked how old I am, particularly by cheeky students who haven’t learned the unwritten code of conduct for someone who wants an ‘A’ this semester, my generic responses include:
‘How old are you?’ -answering a question with a question sometimes deflects the inquirer.
‘How old do you think I am?’ -see above.
‘Old enough to be your mother.’ – which normally puts them back in their box.
The time will come soon enough where my final response will have to change to Grandmother.
So herein lies the question. Does it matter what’s written on your birth certificate or what others think? How do you tackle the age old questions, ‘how old are you’ or ‘how old do you think I am?’ Have you ever done creative number crunching, turned 21 for fifteen years in a row or had someone overestimate your age by a whole generation?
Image from: here.
There’s nothing like a confined space and two small people with loud voices both competing to be heard.
My favourite driving experiences are:
The School Run: Short and sweet. Hmm, short yes, sweet no. Those few short minutes can feel like sheer torture. Is the bickering and banter their way of saying, ‘I’ll miss you or I’ve missed you?’ Whatever the case may be it’s enough to drive anyone batty.
The Trip to the Grandparents: similar to the School Run just longer in length. There’s also the added anticipation of arriving. The excitement builds to a crescendo just as we pull in the driveway. My eardrums feel as if they might explode and the grandparents think that a tornado is about to hit the house. It is obvious to all concerned that I have little/no control over my terrors.
The Big Day Out Drive: setting out at shortly after the sparrow’s have sung their morning tune and arriving home close to dinner time denotes a Big Day Out. Wherever we may be headed we have a packed lunch, picnic rug, esky and bag (filled to the brim with spare clothes, hats, sunscreen, etc). The expected, ‘Are we there yet’s?’ start when we’re approximately half way there. It’s been smooth sailing the whole way if we don’t have to stop for petrol or the toilet en route.
The Great Escape: we’ve prepared for this for weeks but nothing can prepare us for the journey ahead. The car is crammed with half the contents of our house. The tailgate on the wagon will only just close. There’s pillows between the kids on the seat. It’s like we’ve tried to build the Great Wall between them so they can’t touch or see each other. The kids have got numerous things to keep them occupied. A game of ‘Eye Spy’ starts before we hit the freeway. If we’re lucky they’ll nod off (syncronised is heaven) for a while shortly after, ‘Are we there yet-i-tis?’ has commenced.
The Solo Cruise: doesn’t happen too often but when it does, Oh Boy! A chance to listen to adult tunes at any volume you please. Window up or down, whatever takes you fancy. And that annoying noise coming from the back of the car? It’s completely gone!
Mum’s taxi will be off again in the morning with the boys I love on board.
How do you cope with the calamity of children in cars for the quick trip or the long haul?
Footnote: After originally publishing this post in February, I decided to revisit it today as it was one of the first ‘pieces’ I wrote that exceeded several lines in length and had some substance. It is also the basis for the idea of my first picture book manuscript. My self-imposed deadline of June 30 is looming. I think my set of wheels needs a car detailer.
Image from: here.
A Rainbow of Love
Mother Nature produced a spectacular display in this neck of the woods recently.
Not being one who particularly likes rain, I shifted my focus towards the blue sky in the east.
Unfortunately we were headed west which looked grey, dark and miserable except for the majestic rainbow that had materialised in front of us.
As I drove Just 3 to our first stop, Now 6 and I talked of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
We neared our destination and I said, ‘Look! The rainbow ends right on top of the roof at childcare. Maybe the teachers know where the pot of gold is.’
Now 6 chimed in with a positive comment concurring with my suggestion.
The talk of rainbows and the illusive treasure ended as I hustled Just 3 through the drizzle, without the aid of an umbrella, in through the front door.
The formality of hugs and kisses over, I made the dash to the car and Now 6 and I continued to our second stop.
School drop off completed, I headed for my final destination-work.
Reverse the above scenario of stopping and starting until finally arriving home in the afternoon.
At the dinner table that night we all talked about our respective days as is customary when we all spend it in different places. After hearing recounts of everyone’s activities, highlights and plans for the following day, Just 3 had one more thing to add.
‘I asked the teacher today about the pot of gold.’ With eyebrows raised, palms up and a shake of the head, he said, ‘She didn’t even know where it was.’
Love those golden moments.
Image from: here.
Love found me today.
In the car you stroked my fingers.
I lost you for a moment when I arrived home. I sat by the window waiting for you to reappear. I closed my eyes and could soon feel your presence.
You were right behind me when I hung clothes outside; ever present, watching over my shoulder.
We played hide and seek in the yard. You hid behind trees but I never tired of finding you, time and time again. Every time I did, you embraced me. You would leave me with a smile and flushed cheeks.
These bones of mine kept moving trying to keep up with your constant motion.
Near the end of the day we stopped at the park to enjoy the last hour we would have together today. We both knew I’d see you again soon enough. Even still, I wished you could stay that little bit longer. I didn’t want you to go. Not right now. Not just yet. The last thing you did was kiss my forehead. I sat on the bench and watched you go until I could no longer see you.
My soul is thankful for the day we shared. You have left me with a warm and full heart.
If I concentrate enough I can still feel the warmth of your touch. Until you return I will suffer a sadness so profound.
I love you, son. I love you, sun.
Image from: here.
Love your passion
What’s your passion? What’s life without it?
Whether your passion is for your job, a hobby, helping others or personal growth, our passion for fulfilment should be the driving force behind what we do.
I recently found my passion. I don’t know why it took me so long to find it when it was right under my nose for some 20 years. I think I originally located it almost 10 years ago but for whatever reason it fell by the wayside. Now, apparently, I’m not the same person I was a decade ago. Every cell in my body has since been replaced but the embers of that same fire have been reignited.
Perhaps it wasn’t the ‘right time’ then. Every fibre of my being tells me it is the right time now and nothing nor no one will tell me it’s not. If there are naysayers in my path, I will listen to their words and move on without a backwards glance. My dreams will become possible with passion.
That passion in my heart will allow me to accomplish great things.
Image from: here.
It seems like washing day rolls around all too quickly but hanging out your clean clothes reminds me of how much I love you. They are also a reminder of how much you’ve grown and what you’ve been up to (and in to). Even though you’ll make them dirty again soon, I love you.
Footnote: This was my second post on my blog. I think the whole thing fitted in the reader without having to click on it. I created this photo when my intention was to have ‘I Love You’ in every post. These early posts were written as if I was speaking to my kids. Somewhere along the line my voice started speaking to my fellow bloggers about my boys instead. I think I also got a little bored of the ‘dear diary’ style of writing I was doing. The photo for this took longer than the post, from memory.
……but I won’t do that.
How do you go about asking for a favour from someone?
I find it extremely difficult and I don’t know if that’s because I don’t do it often so have had very little experience in doing so or because I would rather be the ‘doer’ of the favour. I enjoy doing things for others. It’s probably selfish if you think about it. I get a kick out of the feeling from having helped that person. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the teacher in me or that part of me that makes a good teacher. Giving is receiving.
So in honour of I promise I made recently I’m going to attempt to make this as brief as possible.
Clear and concise.
Short and succinct.
Alright, enough with the babble!
I need to ask a favour *gulp.
Some of the Freequent flyers here know that I’ve been working on a top secret page-turner.
I have completed the manuscript for my picture book. Being a picture book it has less than 500 words and, as yet, has no pictures. It is being sent to the publisher on Monday who will take care of all the big details such as finding the illustrator, publication timeline, marketing, etc.
So what would I like you to do for this so-called favour, I hear you ask?
I would love for you to read it and comment as you see fit. The only other thing I ask is that you are completely and ruthlessly honest with me.
Whether you are a parent, teacher, writer or lover of reading. Even if you are none of those. You’ve read children’s books or had them read to you. You all bring valuable experience to the table.
In return I will owe you one because, for me, a favour should always be returned in some form or another. What form that takes is completely up to you.
Please remember, though, I won’t do that.
I’d love your help. If you’re willing, please email me and I will forward a copy to you then I’ll chew my nails to the quick.
I gained a lot from reading this and wanted it here so I could revisit it again whenever I need to. I studied some of this at Uni and it still rings true 20 years later. I thought others may benefit from seeing Tony’s post.
So there I was, complimenting a work colleague as you do, (or perhaps don’t depending on where you work I suppose), as part of the feedback I was giving and encouraging him to think about where he could use similar verbal communication techniques to maximum effect.
Obviously, in an effort to ensure that all relevant future-scuppering spirits were appropriately warded off by my apparent blasphemy at actually telling him he was good at something, (which he really was by the way), he spake unto me thusly: ‘Oh now you’re tempting fate! It’ll never go like that again’. He paused for a moment. ‘Mind you, if I pretend you never said it, maybe I’ll get away with it. Touch wood.’
Now I could ramble on here about the origins of wood touching and fate tempting but that’s not really the point. Habits are habits and depend an insanely large amount on…
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Does Monday roll around quicker than any other day of the week? There’s a touch of fruitcake-iness going on here today and this mum is definitely in a Momdaze. Trying to shake it off will probably be a fruitless exercise.
The banana phone is renowned the world over for giving us a glimpse into kid’s imaginations.
If the conversations that have been relayed through the crescent-shaped fruit could be recorded and put into a book I’m sure it’d sell millions of copies.
My offspring would be able to contribute a few humdingers.
Last week Just 3 picked up his banana from the bench. He took it, sat down and started to have an animated conversation. I listened, not sure who he was talking with. After some pauses, where one can only assume the other person was talking, he said, ‘Mummy can’t come to the phone right now. You like to leave a message?’
As he peeled his banana and started to eat it, I said, ‘Buddy, I’m right here. You could’ve handed the phone to me.’
‘They didn’t want to talk to you and I wanted to eat my banana.’
Ah. Out of the mouths of babes.
Image from: here.
I often feel humble but never more than I am today.
Kimberly has gone above and beyond to create a poem for me.
I am honoured, flabbergasted and chuffed to bits. This is, by far, the nicest thing a fellow blogger has ever done for me. To create a poem and dedicate to myself means more than free little words can express.
Kimberly, you are nothing short of awesome.
we love you.
because we love you,
we know that you must love you
part of you loving yourself is
you loving those around you
that you love so much.
because we love you,
we want you to go…..
& those you love so much
because this is WHAT we love about you –
how much you love others
and sharing your love
post script: This piece was written for a wonderful women and my friend Kelly, who lives across the pond and Down Under. We know her as Free Little Words – https://freelittlewords.wordpress.com
Kelly is a ‘lovely’ writer and if you visit her blog, you will see that every word of every post comes from a loving place. The above words came as a result of one her pieces in which she discusses taking some time away from blogging to…
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Running out of love.
Are you a walker or is jogging your thing? Do you pound the pavement religiously?
I’ll be honest with you.
I’m a walker. At best, I’m a jogger. Today I did a 1k circuit with my students. Their times were all around the 3 minute mark per lap. Most of them did 3 laps. I did two, at a jog, and managed that in just over 10 minutes.
I was pretty proud of my time as it’s the first time I’ve jogged because I felt like it in maybe 2 years (and keeping in mind I’ve got some 25+ years on my charge of whipper-snappers).
I normally jog only out of necessity.
Like when you’ve got your dressing gown and ugg boots on, it’s raining outside and the morning paper sits on the lawn; yeah that might be worth a jog. The main motivation being, not to get caught out by the neighbours and having to read a soggy paper. Otherwise, no chance.
I don’t run. Not unless I have to. Like when one of the kids is several metres away, falls badly and seeks immediate help. When danger is imminent and moving swiftly becomes a priority.
Running is reserved for those moments where a quick sprint is a primal response. If a mugging was on the cards I’d hightail it like the Bolt himself.
Other than that, I like a nice stroll. That’s my thing. Leisurely strolls at a pace that matches Just 3. That I can handle.
So I’ll just stick to running with you on the inside-where it counts.
Have a lovely run!
Image from: here.
Love the life you live.
There are those that may feel, on some days, positive life quotes should go kiss their patootie. Maybe you’d like to drop kick it out the nearest window. Grind it to a pulp with your fists?
This one is all glittery so maybe give it a chance?!
Are you good at living life to the fullest? Can you change your perspective based on thought alone? Or does it take action?
When I feel like life’s giving me the middle finger because shitty things are happening around me, I just go looking for hope in the form of love.
I have to; need to, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to drag myself out of the funk.
I don’t do stress very well. I don’t wear it; able to shrug it off like a coat. It consumes me from the core all the way to the surface.
Over the past 5 months I have read many of these ‘love’ related quotes, sayings, affirmations. I’ve stared at hearts and scrolled through 1000’s of images. And it works.
I may not have gained 10,000 followers in my first week of blogging or been asked to write a feature article on love. But I am still a winner. I got the reward I sought.
There is more love in my heart than ever before. I am a better mum, wife, friend and, most importantly, a better me.
So if you’re feeling like crap and you’d like to believe that you can feel better than you do right now read the quote above. Heck, read it 100 times. While you’re reading it your brain will be busy processing that. It’ll give you some time off from the other thoughts and help serve as a reminder to love your life.
We all know we only get one. Would you wish the way you feel about your life on someone else? If not, why would you want it that way for yourself?
After all, life goes on.
Live or love life?
Image from: here.
Today I stuck a post-it note under my son’s pillow before he went to bed. Kids look so peaceful when they’re asleep. We say ‘sweet dreams’ and ‘I love you’ to each other every night. I love him when he’s sleeping.
Footnote: This was my very first post back on January 1st this year. I don’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed by this post. In reflection, I can’t believe I had so little to say. Like learning to run I guess I had to walk first. A distinct memory is etched in my brain of the very first person to like this post and of how excited I was. That blogger, who has not been seen since, will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope you don’t mind bearing with me as I revert to baby steps while revisiting old posts while my attention is focussed elsewhere.
Love is a little crazy.
There’s a touch of weird lurking here so don’t say you weren’t warned.
Is it just me or has there been a steady stream of bloggers heading for the hills of their own minds?
There’s a little bit of crazy talk going on around these parts and I’m sure I’m not the first one to pick up on it. I’m not that fast on the uptake.
I think I’ve already arrived at this point once before. Last time it was more like a ‘what the frigging heck am I doing?’ It’s changed now to a ‘I know what I need to do.’
Through the RCC I mentioned a self-imposed deadline to send off my first manuscript by June 30. That in itself proves I’m crazy. But not being one to back down without a fight I will stick to it. Only problem is, I haven’t even finished it yet. After that, I want to sit on it for a bit and revise/edit yada yada. Now please don’t hound me in the comments section for belittling the editing process or writers in general. A picture book is normally under 500 words. No biggie. Every word just has the weight of the world on it as there are so few of them.
Anyhoo. I wanted to take up a little blog space to thank some people. Don’t worry, it’ll probably only take as long as it would for you to say, ‘well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.’
I’m not going to name drop. You guys all know who you are. My followers. No, not the 325 of you. The 10 or so true followers that have read almost EVERYTHING I have written.
Poetry and poems.
Whinges and whining.
Troubles and tantrums.
Humour and heart warmers.
10 words or 1000. You’re here every day.
I caught up on my reader today for the first time in over a week. Boy it was a relief and I felt great. On top of the reader for 0.4 seconds until one of you posts something I must read. Not because you expect me to; because I need to. I haven’t read a ‘real’ book in 3 months and my manuscript hasn’t seen one ounce of love in 5 weeks. As for my completely understanding, wonderful husband, well, he needs some extra loving.
This is not a ‘goodbye’,’ see you soon’ or ‘not sure when/if I’ll be back’ post. I’m not totally off my rocker.
This is a lull in the halls of love. I’m giving you guys a break. Your reader will be a little lighter and a slightly easier to manage without me taking up space. Actually, cancel that. I’ll be taking up space with stuff that’s already taken up space before. Not a fan of reblogs to be honest but it beats the looney bin which is where I’m worried I’ll be headed if I don’t find a new lease on love.
Oh and don’t think you’ll be getting off that easy. I’m relying on you lot for my daily dose of laughter. I need uplifting quotes and heartfelt poems. Update me with where you’re up to with all your goals and help me choose my next actual book to read. I’ll also be commenting my behind off so no need to be concerned for my mental health. I’m going to be a blogtrotter!
Finally, I would like to take my crazy brain with me having you know:
what I’ve sought
what I’ve learned
what I’ve shared
what I’ve gained
what I’ve pondered
what I’ve found…..
And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Shower time for me is a crap shoot. It is a futile exercise at times. I am damned one way or the other.
That darn bathroom door needs to stay open for the moment otherwise I may exit to find any number of catastrophes have occurred while I’ve enjoyed the steamy fog that surrounds me as I exit the shower and try and find the mirror. In the process of having to leave the door open I submit myself to the cold air whooshing past my ankles and up around my mid-section as I try to towel off in 1 1/2 seconds flat.
So that door stays open while I try to get some time to attend to parts of my anatomy that haven’t seen some care in quite some time.
Last Saturday I found myself in the midst of a peepshow.
Thankfully I wasn’t the main attraction. My wrinkly and jiggly bits are not worth a look-see.
I was treated to a peepshow by my little peeps.
As I exfoliated, my little dudes cruised past the door with workmen’s hardhats on. A drill and saw completed the look along with a hi-vis vest on one. Giggles rang out as they raced out of the room and down the hallway.
The pitter patter of mini elephants announced their return. A dinosaur and a cat had taken centre stage. With a roar and a meow they were off again.
The third pass was heralded by sword-wielding, mask-wearing superheroes who treated me to a duel to the death. After a miraculous recovery by the slain victim they charged off to fight the baddies.
Earlier days came to mind when I used to prop each son in their rocker just outside the bathroom door. Back then I provided the show and they were the ever captive audience. I’d play peek-a-boo and delight in their belly laughs while trying to clean up my act in the process.
While the peek-a-boo days are coming to a close it got me thinking about how to help them unlearn this behaviour. You see, I am concerned. We spend the first few years playing this wonderful game with our babies and they are always overjoyed to see what is underneath the hands. As they get older they pull the hands away. Then there’s hiding under sheets and blankets and surprising the unsuspecting passer-by who may do a very good job of acting shocked.
We play hide and seek and like to uncover things. Kids try to sneak a peak at their Christmas presents, lifting that corner of sticky tape and replacing it perfectly back on the pattern of the wrapping paper so nobody will be none-the-wiser. We like to uncover and look. Under things, through holes, carefully pulling back the curtain of life to peek at the goings on of the neighbours hoping not to get caught in the process.
Advertisers prey on our desire to have just a little peek. There’s sneak previews of upcoming TV shows and sneak-peaks at products that are yet to become available. Be the first to sneak a peek at something;makes us feel special. That we’ve had the chance to see something that others have not. Our interest is piqued. We want to peek just a little more.
There must be something about looking without getting caught. Spying, yes that’s probably what it’s called. I’d like my cool cats not to be killed by curiosity. I’d like them to have a healthy respect for other people’s business and keep their noses where they belong (inside a book would be great)! So unless they’re invited, I’d prefer them to keep a safe distance.
I definitely don’t want them to be the ogling type who can’t look someone in the eye. Their eyes should not wander below their belts. But they are boys who will grow into men.
Am I expecting to much of my men-in-the-making? Take a peek back here in a decade or two and all will be revealed, except for me. I’ll be in the bathroom with the door locked.