Mamalove writes.

Dear Cam,

Well, we’re here. At the precipice of the changes that you and I have spoken about. Tomorrow, you start a new school. In two weeks, we have a new home.

I know, and you know, that there has been a lot of change recently. All of it good but, as you and I both know, change, no matter how, is always hard. There’s always that period of adjustment where we both hang for a bit, suspended. You’ve inherited your resistance to change from both your parents, and you deal with it in exactly the same way we both do – you ignore it until it’s right in front of your face, and then try to resist it still.

So, you’ve been ignoring it. Granted, you’re excited yet trepidatious. I know that once the next few weeks are over, things will settle into routine and you’ll be back to being yourself again. I know, my baby, I know. I’m battling with the idea that you are growing up. All this evolution that happens so quickly. All this tallness. When did you get so tall? Now that, that I KNOW you got from your father.

The thing about these changes, see, is not only are they good but, we’re supported in them. Both of us. It’s not just me holding you up and egging you forward. It’s all of us. It’s not just you and me against the world here. We’ve got love, we’ve got family, we’ve got friends and we’ve got support. Mama even has some friends who let her rant and then tell her to buck up and grow up. They know exactly who they are, and they are so very right indeed.

I know you will be a shining star. I know you’ll do as you do, and charm the smiles from everyone. I know seperating from everyone that you have come to lean on over time, is hard. I promise you will make new friends. I promise you, my girl.

Tonight, you and I will pack your bag, talk over dinner and after your bedtime-storytime, I will hug you tightly and kiss you on the head. Just like every night. Just, tonight, tonight we say goodnight, forever, to your baby days. Tomorrow, we say good morning to your big girl days.

Mama is so proud of you. Mama is so blessed to have you. Mama is right beside you, all the way.



The One Where I Wrap Up

It’s my last day in the office today. Today is that day, every year where I reflect. I’m doing it simply this year…Simply, for a lot of reasons…

1. It has been a year of love.

2. It has been a year of home. Real, true home, in every sense of the word. I have not travelled much at all this year, aside from a quick trip to Cape Town, and another one next week.

3. It has been a year of growing up.

4. It has been a year of loss.

5. It has been a year of being proud of the people I love.

6. It has been a year of hard work.

7. It has been a year of coming full circle, via a 360-kickflip of life.

8. It has been a year of learning how to sleep.

9. It has been a year of ranting but, for a change, I mostly ranted to someone. I love that man of mine.

10. It has been a year of gratitude.

11. It has been a year of Androidness.

12. It has been a year of being able to trust.

Thank you for this year.

It’s okay to have sad days.

Dear Cam,

I write this to you as you sleep, snuggled up with Grassicles, my teddybear. I put you into my bed this evening after a little meltdown you had at bedtime.

It’s strange, really. Sometimes I get so caught up in us living this life we have that I forget that you remember a time when there was three of us. You were so little then, and it’s sometimes hard for Mama to believe that we’ve been doing this life together, mostly on our own, for nearly four years.

Yes, we aren’t on our own anymore. We have Shmooshy and he’s here more often than not, so our home is a little cosier, a little warmer, and feels more like a family now than it ever did before. The change in you into the self-confident, charming princess you are now, is evidence to me that he is exactly what you and I have wished for all along. Lucky, lucky, blessed us.

But, I know, like I know all daughters are with their dads, sometimes…you just want your dad. My sweet girl, I know how that feels.

I would often go to my dad for advice or a cuddle. Notwithstanding that I went to my mom too but, I know all too well that the bond between a daughter and her dad is super special and something that mamas just can’t touch. It’s something so incredibly precious and, in so many ways, I am so glad you have this bond with your dad.

You see, I worried a lot when you and I were alone. I worried you wouldn’t have a proper relationship with your dad, and that you’d miss out on that fine, yet absolutely crucial texture of love that I had with my dad. I worried that you’d miss out on one of the most important relationships in life. One day, when you are a possibly petulant teenager, you will scoff at me saying this but, the relationship you have with your dad will truly be one of the most important relationships of your life. In fact, I’ll waiver that it will probably rank as more important than the relationship you have with me. Yeah, I can admit to that because I am a mom, and trust me, I’ll say it again, just about nothing can come between a daughter and her precious dad.

So, you see, tonight, when you suddenly had an attack of the sads, and you wanted your dad, I understood. It doesn’t happen often for you. I think you probably average a Daddyitis moment, about once every three months. I know that’s because you do have a wonderful relationship with your dad and he loves you so, so much. You are his precious girl. Precious beyond words and I am so proud of the love that lives between the two of you.

We’re lucky, you know. Yes, your mom and dad do disagree on things sometimes but never to the point where we have to be ugly to each other in front of you. We both agreed, years ago, when you were very tiny indeed, that that would never happen. And it never did. We’re even more lucky because your dad wants to be a part of your life, every day. There are some kids who don’t have that. Now I’m not being a stickler and saying you should be grateful for what you have and  deal with it, that would be unfair to you. What I am saying is that your dad loves you, and your mama loves you too. We both agree that you’re the cleverest, most wonderful little girl we’ve ever met, and we’re so proud to call you ours. Of anything in the world, it is you we hold most highest, our precious Cam. It’s you who is our lives’ biggest joy.

So, tonight, after we dried your tears, we counted the sleeps until you see your dad again. It’s just four sleeps until Daddy Weekend. Then I tucked you in, kissed you on the head and came back to my computer to type you this letter.

In Mommy’s normal silly way, she’s having a little sob whilst typing this. Sometimes I feel like I failed you by having to choose to be a single parent. Sometimes I feel like I saved all three of us from unhappiness by making that choice. When you and I talk about it, and I’m so glad we can and we do, I tell you that I had to make a choice to give all three of us the chance at happiness that we all deserve. Daddy is happy in his life, Mommy is happy in hers, and you, you have the biggest smile on your face and you dance through life like the butterfly-fairy-mermaid-ballerina that you are.

But, I just wanted to say…It’s okay to have sad days. I have them too, still, and I’m big! I want my mom and my dad, and even you tell me you’re sad for me sometimes because they are in heaven.

It’s okay to have sad days, because the next day will be better.

I promise there’s a whole new day coming, and it’s happy. Look, it’s almost here.

Dear Cameron, on New Beginnings

Dear Cameron,

I realise it’s almost hard to believe, looking at you now but, once upon a time, not so long ago, you were the shy kid. Yep, really. The hide-behind-mom’s-skirt type, who very seldom answered a question posed by anyone other than someone you already knew.

You inherited your shyness from both your parents. Both of us are chronically shy and cover it up in different ways. I was hugely shy at your age. Horribly insecure and constantly nervous. I reckoned, as you grew, that you were just like me. That both scared me and comforted me simultaneously. I had readied myself for the “your child really needs to feel secure at all times” school reports. I’ve been accustomed to the cling, and was mentally prepared for teacher’s probing as to why you clammed up so easily. That’s not the case any more.

It’s sometimes hard for me to believe that that same kid is in fact you. You. You who, without a second thought to me today, ran off to play at your new school. You who had made friends within thirty seconds flat, and who quite happily settled herself into her new classroom, without so much as a backwards glance in my direction.

It used to be that if an adult asked you your name, I’d have to answer, and fill in with a “she’s really quite shy”. Nowadays, you’re telling your new teacher who you are all on your own, with pride and confidence. You’re zooming off to play with other children, and you’re inviting yourself into the lives of people around you.

It used to take you exactly 42 minutes before you would even greet someone new who we met, or one of mommy’s friends. That time is well over.

Best of all, you’ve become a brilliant judge of character, knowing exactly who you like, immediately. It’s funny really, because you and I like the same kind of people.

I’ve watched you emerge from your shell. I know it’s because of the love you are surrounded with. Your school has given you so much love, your teachers have encouraged you in every way, and your family have celebrated every single success with you. Moreover, I know it’s the result of our life together opening up to more people around us, and you and I both know exactly who to thank for that. *insert our secret handshake and wink*

I’m proud of you, my Cam. Of all the things I have done with this life thus far, it’s you that makes me well up with pride.

Well done, my little nunu. Onto new beginnings, and I know in my heart, you’re stepping forward with a smile on your face and a strong spirit.

Thank you, again, for choosing me to be your mama.



thank you.

I realise I write, think, speak alot about gratitude. I’m not religious, not in any conventional sense, nor am I the most gracious of people. I am, to the strongest point possible, as honest as I can be at any time. I have my faults, I have my own judgements that I cast upon myself and I totally believe that I can be a better person, every day. I’m a big believer that life is  a work in progress, and that it’s all about the journey. I know that I’m trying to be that better person.

Sometimes, though, because I am human and therefore given to self-absorbed behaviour, I start to lose sight of that. I sometimes battle to overcome what appears to be the simplest misgiving, or the tiniest event.

But, on the roundabout of life, you do gain one thing. Perspective.

It’s been a Monday. Busy and, overall, a bit of a hard day to keep perspective. I am determined though. I’ve had a lot to think about. So, here is my perspective today:

I am thankful for:

1. Family. In whatever way they appear around you, and whatever your relationship with them, family are the people who knew you when you peed your pants, and still love you, even when you can be hard to love. The only biological family I have left are my siblings and Cam. And I treasure them, more than I can tell them.

2. Family. Yeah, I said that twice. I meant it. The people who become like your family, and your heart and mind consider them so. They win their way into your life, and your heart. They’re the people you call when you have news, whether it’s good or bad. They’re the ones who you can speak your soul to, and not have to worry that you sound stupid. For me, they’re the people I trust my heart with, that I trust Cameron’s heart with, and with whom I am at home. It’s a very strange sensation, because with not having my parents anymore, somehow, the Universe has still given back…and now I have a bigger family than I ever thought I did. Cam and I are so blessed by the family love we have been surrounded with. The family that makes up my family. The family that makes up the army of people who love us, just as we are.

3. Friends. The people who take the time to remind you that you’re not insane, just silly. And they love you for that silliness. True friends don’t need to speak all the time, but you know they are there. Sometimes you don’t need someone to talk to, you just need someone to sit with you. Cam and I are very rich in friends.

4. Love. Enduring love. Love that sees straight past my own sometimes idiotic tendencies, and is infinite without condition. Something I never really knew of before and do now. My heart rests here.

5. Home. The roof over our head, filled with love and cosiness. Our television with its sixty-seventh re-run of Strawberry Shortcake on, and crayons all over the floor. Dishes in the sink from dinner, and a bathroom with bottles of bubbles.

6. Work. Even though everybody (don’t lie now, dudes, don’t lie) lives for the weekend, holiday, pay-day…I have work. It keeps me busy and keeps us afloat. It lets me give Cameron the necessities for living. It enables me to live the life we create.

7. Food. Damn, that dinner was good. Sometimes I’m still amazed I can make it. This coming from the girl who didn’t know how to boil an egg when she first moved out of home. True story. Ask anyone who I had over for dinner, circa 2001, and they’ll tell you about the half-frozen dinners and dodgy meals. Heh.

8. My daughter. You see, Cam was not expected. Like all the wonderful and great things in my life, it is always the unexpected that truly makes my life worth it. And there she was. And there she is, sleeping now. Probably dreaming of princesses, mermaids and cake. Her simple perspective on life at every turn keeps me grounded. She is the biggest blessing I have ever received. Every day, when we get home and recount our best and worst parts of the day, I am awed by her little stories of life. They say that when you become a parent, your heart begins to beat outside of your body. It’s entirely true.

9. Hope. Even when life gets hard, there’s always hope.

10. Learning. The opportunity of learning lurks around the corner in every day. Within the ability to learn and gain new knowledge, in whatever form, lies an immense joy.

11. Attitude. Being able to choose your approach to whatever situation. It’s you that determines your attitude, every day.

Excuse the rhyme but…

Today my attitude is gratitude.

every day.

Every day, I write in my journal. My journal was a present from Larcy.

I used to write volumes in my journals. I live in paranoid fear sometimes that someone, some day, will find them, read them, point at me and laugh. One day, should anyone find them, I will deny that they are mine. I keep them, though, as they give me good retrospective perspective (on that note, my word I’m glad I dumped my naivete).

Nowadays, I restrict myself. No more than three sentences per day. They’re generally random sentences, they’re not there to recollect events or anything.

They’re there to remind me of something I do not want to forget. A life lesson, maybe a little perspective from that day.

I never share them. They are for me.

But, today’s. I thought I would share today’s:

There you both are…hiding under the covers and laughing…you two and your secret club into which I am sometimes allowed…you’re talking about last night’s dreams…I’m listening and you don’t know I’m in the room. Waking up to your voices, your faces, my favourite peaceful souls. it’s love in the morning that makes my entire day sparkle.


…you know, i knew it would happen…

I wish I could capture for you, each moment where you made my heart sing. Each moment where I felt bereft and you lifted me straight out of it.

It’s Wednesday evening and I’ve fast realised I’ve become a bad blogger. Sorry. Fuck. It’s been a crazy time. I have new boundaries and I realised something today. I realised that these boundaries I’ve created are actually good for me. Stop the shit-ass press because I never, in a million squillion years would ever have thought that I would say that. I’m re-teaching myself how to sleep, slaying that insomnia dragon. It’s doing me a world of good. It’s doing every aspect of my life a world of good. It’s healing, I’m dreaming and my word I feel more capable.

Fuck, I have to be right now. Work is insane. Busy is too short a word to cut it. It’s probably more like multitaskingisnotenoughandfourteencloneswillnotcutitsohowaboutyoujustdivideyourselfintoseventeen…


Yeah, that busy. I love this being busy though. It stops me from the abyss of too much self-involvement and trying to make sense of the unsensible that used to drive me mad…

But, I’ve been thinking about an approach to all of it. You see, there’s all these hats I wear – the mama one, the worker one, the family one, the sister one, the friend one, the girlfriend one and the just-me one. And, weirdly, somehow, they all work together to create this life I have. This life I am blessed with. Some days, one or two of those hats goes skew. That’s okay. It happens and that’s life. Here’s the thing though…I think I’m learning how not to rush it. True, I’m always trying to be organised. Or, as Sheena and I would say, whoreganised. In my head, I keep those little hats in their boxes, and when it’s their time to be my focus, I wear it. So, at work, it’s work. At home, it’s mama. It’s hard to do though, when I have spent so much time in my life trying to be everything, all at once. (Hat-tip to the person who called me that, once).

And then, then there is love. The love that knows each of these hats upon my head and is with me through all of them.

So, I’m here. I’m writing. I’m guessing you want an update…

Cath…Cath is good. Busy. Good. Thinking. Writing little notes in her notebook every day of things I must write. And I will, and I am. I have my really crap days. I won’t lie. But I have someone to tell them to. Wow, how liberating. I just call and vent and feel better. I have my safe space and it’s without condition. Where the two busy lives intersect, the space that is warm and loving. I love that space. That space of knowing. I’ve not travelled this year. It’s been weird for me a bit but, at the same time, I finally feel like I’m laying good foundations to live the life I know I deserve. And to share it. I love sharing my life.

Cam…Cam is amazing. She’s so tall now. So tall I just know I’ll be walking her into school one day and they’ll ask “who’s the kid and who’s the parent here?”. Heh. So full of amazing vocabulary, so full of absolute love. Our daily talk in the bath (yes, we still do it, every night), she tells me her favourite part of her day, and her worst part of her day. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring part for me is not that she segments her day but that she can tell me exactly how she feels about a day. To look at this beautiful child and know that she feels capable of expressing her emotions, naming them and knowing them…I just feel so honoured that she chose me to be her mama. She got full marks in her ballet report this term and is swimming like a fish. Some of you know why, to me, that’s one of the greatest victories I will ever witness. She loves our friends. She just loves them. Her confidence is catapulting and I feel so proud of her. So much mamapride overwhelms me some days that I spill over and just smilecry. My heart.

Shmooshy…he’s fantastic. He’s fantastic with me, he’s fantastic with Cam. He reminds me that my loneliness is a thing of the past and with him, with him I am wonderful, no matter what the day brings to my door. He makes my heart feel safe. He makes my heart feel home.

Loss…Yes. This year. Alot of it. But there is good loss and bad loss. Bad loss? My mother. You never really know it until you cannot phone her anymore. You never really know until you go to do cards and gifts for grandparents day and suddenly you realise that they don’t deliver to Heaven. I was talking with my brother a few weeks back and it came down to this one statement – I don’t have my parents anymore. There’s a loss and a liberation in that. A loss of childhood, a liberation into independence. It’s strange really and I’m still feeling my way around it, through it, towards it and beyond it. I don’t think there is a beyond it, there is only I don’t have my parents anymore.

In my life. In my life I see courage and beauty. I see strength and I see weakness. I see them both as beautiful, for what they are. I feel the feeling of being thirty, and suddenly I’m not as afraid as I once thought I was.

Sheena always said I was fearless. I’m starting to believe her.

a word on wonderful friends

I did not know that Angel and Neels would be in my end of the world this past weekend.

So when I found out, I jumped at the chance to finally have them meet Shmooshy and have them see Cam (they have met her before but, back then, in what seems a lifetime away, I was, in Angel’s words, too mama-bear to let anyone near Cam. She was totally right, on a lot of counts.

What we had? We had lunch in the sun and laughed and secretly, in my mind, because if I said it out loud, I would cry…

The truth is, that there I was, sat at the table with the people whose lovestory kept me believing in love, even when I could find no other reason to…and across from them sat me. With my own lovestory coming true. And a daughter spinning around in her new Princess Dress (you spoil us, my friends, you spoil us!)…

And it hit me like a big swollen balloon in my heart. That I could show them my lovestory coming true. That was my secret dream. One I wished for. One that comes true every day. When the pure magnitude of that moment hit me in the heart, I excused myself for a cigarette. In one eye, I looked over at my divine friends, and swooned. With the other eye, I looked over to Shmooshy and Cam, and my heart sang. It was then that I had a small, quiet smile-cry to myself, finished my cigarette and headed back to the table.

I love you my friends. I love that you are a part of this story. You’re the fairytale I read, and the one I aspire towards. Thank you for being in my life. x