the name of me. the name of you.

And these are the thoughts.

I’m working on a little pet project at the moment that’s both (personal) and (with good reason). My reasons for them aren’t important here.

The thing that it’s come down to, is this. I’ve shared a lot of my life online. That has seriously declined over the past year, and I’m way more objective about it nowadays than I ever have been. I’ve become way more protective over my life. Sheena will laugh at this. A lot. I’ve always been a paranoid android about it, and had really good reasons for it. I let go a little a while ago, but now, I suppose with age and wisdom, I feel more of a need to reign it in.

And I do, and I’m happy with that.

I do, however, have an almost daily need to do things anonymously. More on that another day. Nothing nefarious, I just sometimes wish I could say certain things online and not have people know it was me.

I also battle to label myself. No labels actually really fit, for me. And I don’t like putting labels on other people. Shoving things into little neat boxes is a principle I can use in real life, with actual objects, but never with people. So, I’m not your typical mommy blogger, and I’m not your typical life blogger, and I’m not a lot of things. But, what I am, was, and who I aspire to be, is pretty defined for me. It’s firmly set in my head and I’m not ashamed of it in any way.

I know that there are things I love, and there are things I despise. I know, too, that these are adequately reflected in the way I raise my child. And, there again, there are things I’ll share online, and there are things I won’t. I won’t tell the world her secret life dream, but I will tell you how she danced in the sunshine with me the other day. I’ll tell you what she did to make me proud, but I never will tell you what she did that irritated me. Note – there are VERY few times where I get irritated with my daughter. I’m stupendously lucky that way, and I have no cotton-picking idea how I got so lucky. She really never requires much discipline. I hope against hope that that’s a fantastic combination of nature and nurture, but I actually think it’s got a lot to do with the fact that…I have a fantastically good kid.

(yes, I know, as a parent, we all say it…our kid is the best, our kid is the brightest etc etc…)

Anyway, my point here is, the name of me. By putting together the name of me, I realise that in years to come, her name will be tied to that same name. In that respect then, I actually, in some way, pave the way for how she will experience the online world. That’s a big thing, really. Who do you think initially shaped your view of the online world? She’ll enter the online world and already have people who know her through me. And that will be warm and welcoming, and exciting. At the same time, I worry it could feel restrictive upon her, once she hits teenagedom. That time where she enters the online world as herself, inches nearer every day, and I’m very aware of it.

But, seriously, I’ll worry about the adolescent years when I have to. Right now, I’m way too focused on enjoying every single moment of this sixth year. This sixth year of brilliance, independence and unbridled learning.

My main concern for her is that she never feels that pressure to be labelled, or the pressure to label others. I want her to live and experience her life as free to think and experience. I want for her to go into the world with a positive viewpoint, and a secure sense of self.

I realise, even more, every day, that all I can do to help her have this, above all things, is love her.

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.


honesty…it’s not just a policy.

I’m reminded today of why honesty is the way forward. Fact is, I got lied to…Now, anyone who knows me, knows what a stickler I am for the truth. Even if you think the truth is going to hurt, tell it anyway. It’s better to live with the actual consequences of truth, than let a lie fester. The truth always outs, anyway.

Moving beyond a lie? It’s not so easy. But, thing is, back in 2008, I resolved to try and be more forgiving. More understanding. Mostly of myself. That’s the hardest. I’m going to forgive myself for taking something that I thought was the truth and running with it. Defending it. It was all I had to work on. I forgive the untruth too. I seperate the behaviour from the person, and forgive. Let’s move on.



So, my Monday gratitude?

My Monday gratitude is simple.

My Monday gratitude is my ultimate thanks for Shmooshy. Always honest, to the intricate point. He gives me no reason to ever doubt him, and he trusts me. Moreover, he lets me trust him.

Note: I have gigantic trust issues. These are because I’ve been lied to alot in my life. This wonderful man accepted them, understood them, and won straight past them.

I trust him with my heart, I trust him with my daughter’s love.

I was watching them last night. Their little club of two, to which I am only sometimes invited. Sometimes, I am spurned and sent to the kitchen to do something other than ‘disturbing’ their inner circle.

They talk, they laugh, he lets Cam love him. The exact way she wants to love people – without boundary. He loves her straight back. In that way, that way where she gets to trust him. Lean on him.

A conversation he doesn’t know about happened yesterday. Someone very close to Cam and I remarked on their mutual open love for each other and smiled. How she ran off into the garden with Shmooshy when she got home from her dad. The person who remarked on their little inner circle of Cam-Shmoo-ness? Twas the one person on the planet who loves his daughter the most. Yep, her very own dad.

That was possibly one of the most powerful things he has ever done or said. Considering that I’ve known him since I was a foetus (yes, really), for him to turn around and tell me that…that it makes him smile to know that our daughter has another safe soul to come home to…

Not even if he had handed me a winning lottery ticket, could my heart have sung any higher.

My soul at rest watching the Cam-Shmoo duo playing Angry Birds together. And in my heart, I feel full circle. 360 kick-flipped, full circle.

In a world beleaguered by lies, deception and backstabbing, I have a circle of love that is founded on trust and littered with glitter.

All I am is gratitude.  Thank you my love. Big big up to the sky.

If the pre-schoolers were in power…

There would be no corporate monopolies. Anyone trying to monopolise an industry would be told by their fellow playmates to share or else they would not be allowed to play with any of the toys.

Nobody would be allowed to call anyone nasty names. There would be no dessert for anyone insulting anyone else in the media.

Naptimes would be obligatory every day. Anyone who did not nap would be grumpy and well, grumpy playmates are ignored in the sandpit.

Regular, repeated watching of Gummi Bears would be a treat and the norm. In every motivational book we read as adults, we’re told to channel our inner child. What better way than to settle in and watch a little of what made our childhood great?

Our imaginations would reign supreme and, every day, we could choose to be whoever we wanted to be. Everyone wants to be a princess, right? Or a cowboy? Yep, go ahead and do it. Again, we toil away behind our monitors every day and are told to “get creative”. Our imaginations are our greatest creations. So, frankly, be a princess, if you like.

There would be no war. Simple, really. Have you ever tried to negotiate with a five-year old? I’m willing to bet you’d end up striking a deal that left both parties happy. Negotiations around a boardroom table would run much more smoothly if they were executed with crayons, than if they were all white-papered and gazetted.

Our animals would be loved and played with, not left tied up in the garden like some adults do.

Bathtime would be our favourite time of the day. There would be no rushed showering, just so we can head back to our laptops in the evening. We’d be rubber duck-playing and blowing bubbles whilst we cleaned.

Every day would end with a good night song, and a story.

Holding hands would be the most important thing to do when we’re out of the house. We’d stick together and we’d be safer.

Good manners would rule everything we do. Yes, even in traffic. No, you may not cut that guy off in the traffic, that would be rude. And rudeness means no ice-cream for you.

Talking would be more about exploring a story as it unfolds in your mind, in comparison to just rushing to get your own point across, and jostling for your position in the conversation.

We’d ask more questions. We’d explore more. We’d live a little more slowly.

We’d spend more time being fascinated by the flowers, rather than wondering how we could tame them into a neat bush that doesn’t impinge upon our walkway.

We’d love more. We’d simply love more.



oh look, a twelve!

Last night, Will and I commemorated 12 years of our friendship. Happy anniversary Will!

We reminisced. As always.

Once upon a time, Will gave me this book.

In retrospect, and with a hat tip to the conversations we had last night, I realise that he actually said something with this gift that, as usual, saw through years and eons, and transmogrifications…

He gave this to me when we all lived together (the G@M@C@ trio), long before Cam came along. Now I read this story to her *she’s coloured in the book* and it makes me feel like I am home when we read it.

He saw through that time in our lives (my word it was fun). He saw past what came after, he saw through the loneliness I would one day feel. He saw through pain, he saw past loss, he swam right past the manic freeway of up and down that would happen to me. He saw straight towards the exponential joy that I didn’t then know existed and…

He saw me, as I am now. The Pig of Happiness. So he gave it to me then.

He gave me hope.

Happy Anniversary my Will.


…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.