For All The Girls My Sons Have Not Yet Loved

Under the branches of a gum tree bending in the wind, Peta and Connor’s eyes were fixed on their shoes.

Neither was concerned with the wintry weather nor that some of their closest friends were not in attendance. They were to be married today in front of over 400 people. 

In keeping with tradition, the pair were united with a kiss.

As the bride ran over to join the girls, the groom was overheard to say, ‘I thought we were just going to hug. Before I knew it she just came at me and kissed me.’

Beaming with a mixture of pride and shock, the mother of the bride said that any thoughts of a honeymoon have been postponed until these two 6 year olds turn 21.

Having two boys, 6 and 3, I thought time was on my side.

In anticipation of what is to come, a rethink began.

While neither of them have had a girlfriend yet, preparations will need to be made.

I have high expectations for them, and of them.

It is with this in mind that I, as their mum, do solemnly promise that:

  • my boys will be surrounded with positive role models from which to learn
  • my boys will show respect and learn how to treat girls and women as ladies
  • they will never arrive empty handed on a doorstep
  • they will learn how to say sorry from the bottom of their heart because they will make mistakes
  • flowers and chocolates are thoughtful but are not the way into a ladies heart, good books or bed
  • behaving like you’re with ‘the boys’ should be reserved for when you’re actually with the boys
  • they will learn what it takes to be considered a true gentleman
  • ‘I love you’ should only be said if you truly feel it
  • while my heart is still beating, they will never use social media to announce the demise of your relationship
  • I will dry the tears and hug him if you break his heart, then remind him, once again, of all of the above.

As my 6 year old ventures onto the oval at school during his lunch break, he need not think of love. It will find him in due course and I’ll do my darnedest to help him be ready.

Image from: here.

I Love You More Today

moreI love you more today than yesterday.

Just when I think it is not possible to love you anymore than I already do, you manage to make my heart feel fuller than it has ever been.

It might be the look of concentration on your face as you build a block tower higher than yesterday’s. Or your confidence doing backwards rolls off the lounge that you weren’t able to do the day before. Or the new words that spill forth from your mouth that you didn’t know a short time ago.

My love grows as you do. Tomorrow you’ll show me more reasons to love you. You might tree-hug my leg when I’m least expecting it or tell me you love me just because.

No matter how much mess you make, how loud you are or how disagreeable you may be, as long as I don’t let tomorrow come without having told you I love you at least once, I’m happy.

I’ll love you for all of my tomorrows.

Image from: here.

Foot note: I re-read this today more as a reminder to myself than anything else. Tomorrow sees the school holidays start here in South Australia and I’m looking forward to the arrival of 2.15pm. Following that is 17 days where my primary responsibility will be entertainment coordinator to my two nuggets and writing will take a back seat. There’ll be no forgetting to say, ‘I love you’, but I might need to take many more cleansing deep breaths than normal.

Love is in the Hands of Fate

Holding a heart in cupped hands. Love and health care concept.Did that song on the radio play just for me, right at that moment, for a reason? If I turn around three times on the spot while patting my head and rubbing my stomach will that make one iota of difference?

Fate revealed itself in the few short minutes it took to drive the post box last night. Or did it? You be the judge.

By nature, I’m not superstitious. Being born on the 13th I embrace black cats, limbo under ladders, scoff at broken mirrors, 13, is naturally, my favourite number and I leave umbrellas open inside to dry. Actually I’m not sure on the last one – I think it’s just considered unlucky.

Luck is not something I rely upon or base my life around. That may have to change though.

For the moment I’m sticking with fate and I hope it is kind to me. I’ve done everything in my power and now the lap of the gods is where my little manuscript sits. Yes, editors are god-like figures to me right now. Soon enough though, they may be compared to the devil.

My family and I started a new little ‘tradition’ that will precede every letter that leaves our house to make its way to a publishing house. Each of us sealed that letter with a kiss (I did wipe the boys’ faces first to make sure none of their dinner was evident on the envelope). I dressed for the occasion and grabbed my keys. The song on the radio in the car was turned up loud. One last check of the address as I stood at the post box had me hesitating. Post the damn letter. Someone you know might see you in your track pants and ugg boots. What were you thinking, leaving the house wearing them?

Deed done. Return home and think.

Stop thinking otherwise it’s going to be a long three months.

I threw in a bit of love for good luck. A new tradition/superstition has begun. Fate will play her hand in due course.

I’d love it if you could join in the lunacy. If it’s lucky undies or other nonsensical doings that are crucial to your fate, please share your superstitions with all 13 of us.

Post script-this song had me singing all the way to the drop zone. Sheppard are Australian and they’ll be sure to let me down easy.

 

Image from: here.

Love in this Day and Age

‘You’re only as young as the woman you feel, or in my case – man.

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.

or

‘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.

Love in Overdrive

driving mum madLove’s driving me crazy.

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 RunShort 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 Pot of Love at Rainbow’s End

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.

Seeking Love

Love found me today.

On the walk through the school yard you caressed my hair.

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.

A Passion for Love

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.

I Love You When I’m Hanging Out The Washing

Pegs used to make I Love YouIt 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.

I Would Do Anything For Love….

……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.meatloaf

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.

 Kelly

Run For Your Love

running love heart legs

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 Goes On

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.

Love.

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.

Crazy Little Thing Called ♥

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…..

…..is LOVE!

And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Kelly

Peepshow Love

boy peeking boy bathroom door toddler peeking peekThere’s an open door policy here. It exists for a number of reasons. Some of which may become clear by the time this gal comes clean.

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.

peek

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.

building site

Summoning Love

rainbow-heart

vapour trail to motion slow

strained synapses fire sporadically

consumed strength from inner structure

muscular wasteland waits on the tick

process impeded on sun’s descent

digits fail to depress

closer to calm’s entrance

prompting summation of time

craggy surface seeks reprieve

lashes meet and mesh

screaming silence into lobes

utter not mindless words

invasive

persuasive

enticing

demanding

the beckoning arms of stillness.

Love Makes the Top 10 on the Bucket List

Got a bucket list this year?

Making goals and achieving them can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Whether it’s called a bucket list or not doesn’t really matter. We all have dreams and desires which we strive to reach. From the smallest moments to the once-in-a-lifetime experiences, most people try to live a life that’s full to overflowing.

For me there is only one thing on my list this year.

So instead of wracking my brain trying to come up with experiences that would fill my life with moments to treasure, I asked my boys about things they’d love to do.

Their top 10 list consists of:

  1. Go to a museum (again).
  2. Locate and visit playgrounds they’ve never been to before.
  3. Attend an AFL football game.
  4. Swim in winter.
  5. Watch a 3D movie.
  6. Hold a snake.
  7. Go camping (not in the backyard).
  8. Attend a basketball clinic.
  9. Go on a family holiday that involves flying on a plane for the first time.
  10. See Taronga or Melbourne Zoo (a first for the whole family).

The kids needed some prompting with ideas but these are largely their own suggestions. They are yet to expand their view of the world and understand what it has to offer. We’re looking forward to enjoying these activities together as a family. My reward will come from sharing these experiences with them.

We never labelled this list, hence avoiding the need to explain what a bucket list is all about.

We will endeavour to complete all of these before the end of this year.

Love is in the bag bucket.

In The Habit of Love

Love is a habit.

‘We first make our habits and then our habits make us.’

This saying has been one that has retained its place in my memory for many years.

I can’t tell you why. Possibly because I’m in the habit of remembering quotes and phrases that may possibly come in handy sometime.

Habits can be food for the soul. Bad habits can eat away at the very essence of one’s core.

Daily life is driven by habits.

Some of mine keep me on the straight and narrow.

List making is a skill I acquired probably in my Uni days to keep up with assignment due dates, lecture times and extra curricular activities. This habit rolled over into my teaching career where a ‘to do’ list was essential.  I still make lists; can’t function without them. There is something completely satisfying about checking items off a list. Before bed, I empty my head of the next day’s duties. Each morning I face the ‘pigs might fly’ scenario. I’ll be darned if those squealing pink trotters will grow wings while I’m on a mission. Every item will be checked off before I’ll allow my head to hit the pillow. Only exhaustion will stop me every once in awhile.

habit

There’s one thing that is never on my itemised and ordered agenda.

Love.

The day I need to include a reminder to love is the day I’ll stop making checklists then those pigs better fly on stealth mode.

Old habits are hard to break.

Are new ones easier to make?

Watching the kids I see habits forming. They watch me too.

The blanket that needs to be smoothed and perfectly placed. Toast cut into four triangles. Patterns and routines. Rinse and repeat.

After all we are creatures of habit hoping to create a sense of order and control in an otherwise chaotic existence.

A new habit for me is writing.

I love it. It’s cathartic, rewarding, addictive.

The only part of the habit that is cause for concern is the capacity of my brain. Words become prompts for my tireless brain. Titles vie for attention in my hemispheres. Stories jump around in my grey matter begging to be let out. Some flit in and out in a moment-vanishing like fog, leaving me grasping at tendrils, willing the idea to be front-and-centre once more.

There will never be enough time to share the millions of ideas that float in and around me. The ones I carry, those that I forget and others that are left in the wasteland hoping to someday see the light of day.

To fulfil my habit is not only the desire to write but to read. To immerse myself in all the stories from all parts of the globe. To share, start conversations and relish in the great ones.

Perhaps a new habit is required.

I’ll need some time to create it.

Sometime soon would be perfect.

The new habit I’ll love.

Love That Cheeky Monkey

20130512_101021Monkey love see; monkey love do.

Sometimes it’s naked and running free. At other times it’s shadowing me.

Wipe, powdered and soft as a baby’s; the fat rolls and wrinkles perfect in every way.

Naked from the waist down; jiggling as he runs with jocks upon his head and socks worn as mittens.

Bending over to look for a lizard that just made a dash; plumber’s crack facing up to the sky.

Making music in the bath; bum trumpet tune makes him cackle.

Built-in padding for accidents; falling flat on his arse stops him briefly.

Watch it wiggle and jiggle; dancing to the beat.

Nudie run to the shower; if I catch it, I’ll tickle it.

I’ve powdered, kissed, washed, tickled, dressed, wiped and watched that bum.

I’ve fussed over, worried, laughed and shaken my head at those little cheeks.

It may be responsible for a number of functions, some of which are the anti of cute.

But I made that bum.

No butts about it – love my little monkey.

Fish Love Wish Comes True

One fish. Two fish. Love fish.

After a near disaster and a family meeting discussing the various aspects of a fish tank built for one becoming the home to two finned creatures it was decided. A trip to the pet store was in order.

Before leaving, I was completing some jobs around the place and realised that Just 3 was very quiet. This was cause for concern as it never ends in a positive outcome. To find him folding the washing or making dinner would be a treat. Even drawing quietly would be a godsend. Unfortunately this is never the case and I knew mischief was afoot.

Now 6 politely informed me that Just 3 had told him he wasn’t allowed to go into his own room. Yes, well. That means that this is the site of the indiscretion.

We entered to find Goldy (when we were able to locate her) attempting to breathe her way through the water which didn’t really resemble water anymore. Thankfully she was still in the tank but it was filled with debris which made it difficult to see anything. Just 3 had decided to feed the fish. The. Entire. Container.

The rescue mission was launched while much flipping and flapping ensued. Goldy wasn’t too keen on the process either. Eventually she was returned to fresh water in the hopes that she would survive such an ordeal.

We were eventually able to leave for the pet shop. Now 6 was after a mate for his new friend. As we travelled, my concern lay in the fact that we might be purchasing a replacement rather than an addition. I did keep these thoughts well and truly to myself though.

We went straight to the aquariums at the back of the store to have a gander before enlisting the help of an unsuspecting salesperson. We looked at all the different kinds of fish and talked about which ones we could get and afford. Do you know how much some fish cost? I wasn’t keen on flushing $25 down the toilet.

 We talked to a saleslady and I managed to contain my smirk as we discussed the need for Goldy to have a friend so she wasn’t lonely. My thoughts kept wandering to the fact that Goldy would meet her mate for the first time every 3 seconds as she made another pass. I also restrained myself from asking the lovely lady how many times she’d heard the name Goldy in her 20 odd years of owning their store.

Eventually the selection was made and we walked to the counter with the newest addition to our family in hand. The lady asked Now 6 what he was going to call his fish and I swear there was an upwards curl to the corners of her mouth. My mind kept going back to whether Goldy would even be alive when we returned.

two fish

She was and still is and so it is with much pomp and ceremony that I introduce to you Goldy’s mate: BLACKY.

It was an odds on favourite from the beginning.

Love is in the water!

P.S. Yes, Ionia we can now add ‘mind reader’ to my list of skills and abilities. I obviously know my son or just kids in general. Mind reader might be a bit of a stretch come to think of it.