teenage girls

April 28, 2011

i’ve had occasion over the last two days to be leaving work and travelling home on the train around 3:30pm.  there a great number of secondary school students travelling at this time too.

it’s made me think of the not so distant future when percy will be a teenager too.  (tally won’t be long behind i suppose but i was set to thinking mostly about percy and teenage girls.)

to be honest, for not much a sensible reason, i’m almost terrified of percy growing up and me not being around nearly 24/7 like i am now to guide and, more importantly, protect her.  it’s silly i know; everyone grows up and makes their own way eventually.  i certainly did.  but therein is the problem.  i left my parents home shortly after my sixteenth birthday and made my own way.  my way was littered with silly, stupid and sometimes plain dangerous decisions, and i’m sure my situation and life now would be different if i had made those decisions differently.  then i ponder, had my parents been in my life at that time would their guidance or protection have changed things?

let me make plain now that i only have one regret from my past and that has absolutely nothing to do with my husband, my children or the decisions we have made together.  i’m sorry about some things, perhaps even many things, but those are not regrets.

i’ve been watching the school girls on the train, they that are so tall, so self-assured, so happy… that’s what i want for percy.  how can i ensure it happens?  who says i’m the one to do the best job of raising competent, happy, open children?  well, mostly “i can’t” and “no-one” are the answers.  paul’s family is pretty short so there’s not much hope in the height stakes!  jokes aside, i hope i’m setting the foundations now for a life percy (and tally) will live proud, confident, compassionate and filled with love from her family and her many friends.

i wonder if some of the competency and self-assuredness of being a teenager is just in not knowing better!?  after leaving my parents home i stayed with a friends family for six weeks.  this ended in a bitter confrontation with me stating i will only get in my parents car if they drive me straight to the police station.  well that didn’t happen.  i then entered our “social” system to be fostered to a family for a further six weeks.  (is there still a DOCS file on me lost in the dust somewhere?)  i know there are good, heart-warming and caring families that foster children.  the loser woman and her retarded children i lived with were not in that group.  (my apologies to people living with retardation of one sort or another, you are brave, these kids were nothing.) final i found my own flat, ironically, right next door to the cop shop and happily saw out my final two years of high school living alone there.  not that i was alone that much.  i had darling friends whom would often visit.  each nite they went home to their families while i curled up in a cold room with a good book.  it makes me shudder to think of percy living like this.  which is confusing because i found those near two years a great experience and look back on them fondly.  i was happy, liberated, independant, running my own show.  i paid my rent on time and didn’t have a phone because i couldn’t afford one.  i paid my bills on time and lived on stolen chocolate, icecream and yoghurt.  i went to school barefoot because i couldn’t afford shoes (not a nice thing to do in winter-time glen innes) i wore an enormous black coat i had made for myself, with the deepest pockets to filch all that contraband, year ’round.  didn’t anyone get suspicious?  i loved it!  i really think that time was the making of me.  i could cry poor little abused girl and let someone else take control, or i could just do.  and do, as i am unashamedly proud to say, i did.

i still don’t want my daughter living alone in a cold flat at the age of sixteen.  or whatever may be the equivalent by the time she is that age.  there have to be betters ways to learn strength, independance, self-assurance, self-worth and how to get the electricity connected.

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family funday sunday

April 17, 2011

we’ve occasionally taken advantage of the “family funday sunday” transport tickets.  a ticket cost $2.50 and allows unlimited single day travel on buses, trains and ferries.  we’ve been calling sundays our ‘adventure’ day.  taking the train from jannali into the city and then heading elsewhere on a ferry is enough of an adventure in itself for tally, and nearly for percy too.

a couple of weekends ago we went across to manly aquarium.  we had a great day despite the poor weather.  percy particularly enjoyed the ferry ride back past the heads and the moderate swell we dipped and rose thru.  paul and percy clung to the front rail as water poured over the sides and drenched them!  tally liked the first couple of waves back not when it got too big.  i took him back inside.  and paul, well he had to drag percy off the rail!  she was wearing a rain coat and remained relatively dry, calling for “more! more!”  but paul was drenched and pleaded with her to let him go inside and dry off a bit.   thankfully we did have an old baby wrap with us that worked as a bit of a towel.  unfortunately we didn’t take the camera.

yesterday we went up centerpoint tower.  which did add considerable to the expense but oh well…

stumped you!

April 11, 2011

paul has promised percy an answer to a question she asked yesterday, by wednesday.  he explained it’s a really hard question and he needs some time to think of the answer that she’ll understand.

the question?  “mamma, where do you first come from?

“from your mamma’s tummy, out her dumble”

“no, i mean where did we first come from before there was any body else?”

“oooohhh… well, we evolved from other animals.”

baffled look.

at this point paul nicely stepped in and said you need to understand a few other things before you’ll understand the answer to your question.  as i laughingly said to him because i get all the other why and how and what and when questions, he can handle this one.  so he promised percy an answer by wednesday.  let’s see what he comes up with!

percy turns four

April 9, 2011

To My Dearest Love, Persephone,

my daughter you are now four years old.  i am no longer the mother of a little baby (particularly with tally only four months shy of two years), not even a toddler any more.  you are an amazing young girl now.  there are so many incredible things i recall from the past nearly five years.  and so many wonderful things i hope for your future.

i can remember your conception, tho i may not have believed it at the time!  your miraculous growth and quickening inside me was wondrous every day.  despite my lumbering and psd i was amazed that you were there, reminding me always of the hope of life.

your birth was the most extraordinary day of my life; or two rather.  it was 10pm on a sunday when my body and yours started working to become separate.  you finally emerged at 10:23pm on tuesday, and while we were now physically separate i will never be separate from you. my identity, my life, my spirit is unequivocally and irrevocably defined and made good by yours.

our travels together since that day have been over rocky paths and sailing on smooth waters.  you, pappa and tally have made me a better person.  i can both follow and lead along these paths and waters.  each time i stumble you hold out your arms and with a smile you pick me up.

it is this grace i hope you keep your whole life.  your willingness to forgive, to have another go and let yesterday stay there is a treasure.  sure, you can be head-strong and contrary and argumentative and unwilling.  but never for long.

your curiousity and intelligence lead you ask a hundred times a day “why?”  don’t ever stop asking, always be curious.  there’s so much more to know, to learn, to experience; it can only make you a greater person to seek that little bit more.  i love your sense of adventure.  whenever we drive somewhere you always ask to “go down a road we’ve never been down before”  sometimes you hesitate but i’m always pressed to keep up with you as you head around the next corner.  be fearless!  there are a million places you haven’t been to yet.  i hope we get to share the travels to these places together for some time yet.   when you spread your magnificent wings yourself, know that i’ll always send a gentle breeze to carry you on your way.  (and i’ll light the beacon to guide you back whenever you want.  my love for you will blaze thru the darkest nite and you’ll see it even in the strongest lite of the sun.)

you’ve made so many great accomplishments in four short years.  you were walking and talking at 11 months, your speech and comprehension now is close to an adult level.  you need only one exposure to words to understand them and you catch on to ideas and concepts very quickly.  you need reminding to think before you act but most people spend a lifetime practicing and never mastering that skill, you have time.  your temper is quick but your laughter quicker.

you can dress and feed yourself, brush your teeth and hair, put on your shoes, set the table and help clear away, tidy the play room, throw and kick a ball (we’ll work on your bat and racquet technique!) you can sit quietly and listen to stories and instructions, you can run like a gazelle, you dance with determination and joy, you sing with abandon and make up the most entertaining and enlivening lyrics, you care for your “babies” and make sure they are included in everything, likewise you are kind and sharing with your friends.  you make friends at a glance and declare your constancy instantly.  you are beginning to write, recognising letters and numbers, and you are diligent in your practice (sometimes.)  your drawings and painting include recognisable things like people and animals, tho are often abstractions that we share a happiness in deciphering.

you love the natural world around you.  hill and dale, dark places and sunshine, birds and bugs all are interesting and worth investigation.  it is heart-warming to see you care for our chickens; feeding them, tearing paper for their laying box, picking them up for cuddles.  i’m very much looking forward to planting our vegie patch with you soon.  what little sprouts of green will we see?

i know sometimes tally upsets or annoys you.  i know also that you love him dearly.  he’s our little baby brother, isn’t he?  i remember how keen you were to have tally join you at your day care centre.  now that he’s with you there three days a week, i’ve spied you caring for him; i like how you fetch his breakfast for him every morning.  tally looks up to you, i know you’ll set a good example for him to follow.  he’s old enough now to want to play with you, share his life and need you to help him when he tries to reach the same heights your long limbs and limber mind can.  continue to be kind and sweet to tally.  remember this, when there’s no-one else, there’s always your brother, no matter what he’s the one that’s got your back.

as you continue to grow and amaze i wish for you, my daughter; insight, wisdom, joy, love, friendship, commitment, reward, discovery, daring, delight, humbleness, power, serenity and a constant renewal of your brilliant uniqueness plus the ability to seek out and nurture the unique and the good in the world around you.

i am reminded of kahil gibran’s words when i think upon your flourishing in the world with and without me in the future…

Your children are not your children.  They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.  They come through you but not from you.  And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.”

be brave my gorgeous girl, at four, at fourteen, at twenty-four, at thirty-four and for ever more.

mother’s boast

April 5, 2011

i was going to put a one liner on facebook but decided my facebook friends have probably put up with enough of me being proud of my children (otherwise known as being an annoying, obsessive mother.)   those of you who read my blog are hopefully more forgiving about my boasting.

as we all know percy is amazing, in a lot of ways.  yeah, yeah, blah, blah!  next term she is being promoted to a ballet class one above her age group, and her teacher tells me she is becoming very good and will make a good ballerina.  and i’m willing to ignore that i’m likely to be having smoke blown up my arse.  i’m so impressed and happy with her.  she really loves dancing, i hope she continues to enjoy it and gets a great deal of joy and satisfaction from dancing for her whole life.

i love you percy girl, you’re the best.