Monday, December 22, 2014


The past few weeks have certainly dampened the Collective Christmas Spirit. Such sadness and tragedy, children losing parents, parents losing their children. I found myself slumped on the couch last week, having sheilded the younger ones from the news but knowing Ailee and Lucinda had sat glued to the rolling coverage of the Sydney seige while I was out shopping. We were all feeling the effects of something so frightening and so close to home but unable to articulate it so instead at 9 pm we all sat on the couch watching a re run of Modern Family but I know my mind was elsewhere. Finally I mustered the energy to send everyone to bed, but no reading, no lovely rituals, just a tired mother not in the mood.

An hour later I walked past Hazel's bedroom and noticed she was busy with paper and scizzors, working away in the dark. I flew into her room "It's bloody 10 o'clock Hazel go to sleep!!! And I bundled the mass of craft into my arms and threw it onto the table. " Don't break it" she bawled.

The next morning I opened the curtain in her room. I glanced at the pile of paper I had thrown on the table the night before, hoping secretly I hadn't damaged it, oh the regrets a mother faces in the light of a new day. I picked it up by a corner and could not believe what she had made in the darkness of her little bunk bed, she was like Edward Scizzor Hands! I was a tiny bit freaked out and a little scared of her for a split second. How did she do this? "Oh Haze, this is so beautiful, you are amazing". And all of a sudden all was forgiven and I knew it was time to just be grateful. And so I am more than ever.

The house is so quiet right now. Daryl has taken Ailee, Lucinda and Hazel to Lorne to set up for the summer ahead, Tobes is snuggled upstairs with Russell and a hot chocolate. Phemie is somewhere in the Amazon jungle (no seriously she really is), and I am sitting here listening to the coo of the doves outside, and feeling particularly happy that it's almost Christmas. The past few days have truly been filled with good cheer, family, friends and a little Christmas miracle in the form of a  bird who hit our window yesterday and after a few moments of convulsing on the lawn was held by Tobie and Ailee and soothed and petted and whispered to in gentle voices then finally it flew up to the tree and back to it's family.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


On another blog I love to follow from day to day, and often whine that whilst I am quite addicted to and inspired by this blog, it does makes me feel a little pale and useless, I happened upon a word I rather fancied. Fullness. It's not a word I would naturally use to describe this time of year, other words come to mind, um, chaotic, stressful, stupidly stressful ( two words), but I have decided to focus on the word " Fullness", because despite the mountain of stress induced coldsores that are making small children scream in horror AND the fact that my GP would like me to wear a 24 hour heart monitor ( don't worry Mum, he's just humouring me, I'm as healthy as a ox), I think the word fullness reflects gratitude for all we have going on at this time of year.  New take I know but I'm giving it a shot.

This time of year is full of birthday celebrations. I plonk one vanilla cake after another on the table, decorated half heartedly with never the right amount of candles. But this year I stirred and smiled and thought about the gathering of our neighbourhood family and more about the birth that the day celebrated, and although the dog ate half of Daryl's cake, Phemie cut it into the shape of a "D" and it was funny and Hazel and her dear friend Ambrose did a beautiful job of decorating it.

And then there are the concerts. Who ever would have thought I would have so many performers? But here we are with a line up of evenings of song, dance and amazing feats on parallel bars, my head is about to explode.......with the fullness of watching my children being braver than I could ever be.

But the coldsores and heart pulpatations this year I suspect are for a completely different fullness. This time next week Phemie will on her way to Ecuador.The child who wouldn't stand up in assembly to receive and award, or walk into a party if there were already other kids there, or dance alone at Mangala, always forcing me to leap around with her holding that tiny little hand. She has worked for most of the year to save, and now the time is here and she is excited and calm. I can't quite pinpoint my feelings but the thought of waiting for her at Arrivals on January 11th really does make my heart swell a little. Fullness.