Saturday, January 31, 2009

to be completely honest

And honesty is a good thing, right? I received an email from a New Yorker today - a mum, yoga teacher and photographer. She reads this space often and asked me why I never really talk about the tribulations of motherhood. Is everything really so sunny in my part of the world?

Yes, sometimes it is. But sometimes it's damn hard too. Sometimes I'm completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of washing, cleaning, cooking and chores that need to be done. Sometimes I just can't believe how quickly I turned from a single, carefree girl to a fiancee, muma, housewife, domestic goddess. Ha! It all happened really fast and I still feel like I'm catching up. I'm still learning. I'm getting into the habit of doing washing everyday to ensure it doesn't pile up around me. I'm learning how to run a house, to be a partner, and a mother, and to be myself too.

The word "reality" gets thrown around quite a bit here, in our house. Because I'm a dreamer and an idealist, my sense of reality is slightly skewed. D would argue that my reality doesn't exist. My world is a whimsical one - I like to be surrounded by beauty. But even I can accept that that isn't always possible. I still struggle with the age-old question that every mother asks herself...who am I? That little passport photo of me lives in Daniel's wallet. It was taken the first week we met. I was really young, I had graduated from uni, had started studying yoga, I had a fabulous wardrobe, beautiful friends...I lived the life of a carefree 22-year-old. I did ask for someone like D to come into my life and then he turned up and all of a sudden in an utter whirlwind of heady love I moved out of home, fell pregnant, got engaged, gave birth, fell into the beautiful haze of new motherhood. And when Che was about four months old I felt my feet on the ground. And I wondered who I was. Where did my body go? Where did my words go? What am I supposed to do now?

I still wonder how a day can go by so fast, how it can get to 10pm and I haven't read a page of a book. I always think about what I will be when I grow up.

I write here because it is an instant publication. Snippets of my little family to share with relatives and friends. Little did I know that I would connect with women across oceans and create a space to share, inspire and sometimes console. And so it is that this is the world we live in. A rather open one I think.

I could use this space to whinge, moan, complain about how tired I am, how I want just a little more time for me, but I'll leave all that to share with Daniel. Thanks baby. I doubt anyone would read this if I brought all my anguish here.

I wouldn't have all the happiness and joy without the sorrow and the hard work. Without the negatives there are no positives. There is balance in everything. Sure I feel sad that I'm not longer that girl in the photo but I made a child. A beautiful baby boy. And rather than carrying along with the slog of the every day I have chosen to wrap my arms tight around this new role and embrace everything it creates. The contagious giggles and the sleepless nights.

I still struggle with the little things too. I aim to simplify but I can't ignore my desire (translation - obsession) to have a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes. I find joy in a photo, a cup of tea, a sweet yoga practice...and Prada heels that would be oh so perfect for our wedding day. Perhaps it's the contradictions I find hardest to deal with.

Like everyone I long to just be. And one day, perhaps, I'll get there. But for now I write about my life, I dream of a cottage with a wrap-around verandah, I plan to finish a novel, teach more classes, have more babies.

And today I hope to pick up the toys, cook dinner, fold the washing, eat more watermelon, read Che a story, have another cup of tea and give D a kiss. And to be completely honest, I can't complain about that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

i counted the sleeps

till he came back. I didn't want to sound like a love-sick puppy so I decided not to mention that he'd gone. He headed to Melbourne for 8 days to watch the was the longest time we'd spent apart since we met. I sound utterly ridiculous don't I?! Slightly pathetic I know. But I'm so happy that he's back.

I wanted to have a little something waiting for him when he came home so I got this portrait framed. It was painted in New Zealand in 1981 when Daniel was three. So for 27 years it has been moved from house to house, across state borders, from cupboard to attic. For a little while we had it displayed on our easel but that all ended when Che was big enough to pull it down. I knew if I didn't get it framed soon it would get damaged and we'd be regretful. I'm so thrilled with the result. It's just so special to be able to look at it and see what he was like as a little boy - sweet I think. And even more special that I can catch glimpses of Che in D's young boy face.

I got sweet surprises too. This gorgeous teapot that sits ever so comfortably in the teacup. He found it here and I felt so proud when he said that he walked into the shop and it felt like our home. I try to make it that beautiful, I do.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

it's here

So many breezes
wander through my summer room:
but never enough

It reached 41degrees here today. The cool change breezed through our windows about two hours ago. I smiled and exhaled and knew we would sleep well tonight.

Postcard from here. Haiku from here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

here comes the sun

and it's beating bright. I feel the roses whose petals fell days ago. It's unending and fierce, this heat. The fan whirls all day, it's constant rhythm lulling us as we sleep all through the night. Melon seeds attract the ants, iced water is our drink of choice. We'd like to spend all day in the ocean, the cool water calming us. But our sun, it's just so hot, for anyone, especially precious baby skin. We talk, to strangers, about this heat. "When is it going to end?" we ask.

All we want is a storm that clears the air and a breeze to cool us down.

This summer, that took so long to come, is now here with vengeance. We sweat when we are still, we feel weary and tired and we wonder when those clouds will bundle up and come our way.

We could call to them, or rain dance...but it's too hot for that. Instead we take cool showers, seek refuge in air conditioned shops and eat our way through cold summer fruits and ice blocks a plenty.

This summer, it begun, with cicada's song. And I can hear the song now, that sound it represents heat - to me. Here comes the do do do, here comes the sun and I's alright.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

phone home

I do like a good chat on the phone. That's me in the photo, chatting away on a public phone in Hawaii. That dress is still safe and sound in my cupboard. Still as cute as ever (those little dots are embroidered cherries) and perhaps waiting for a little girl who may one day come along.

It's Hawaii-hot here tonight and I've rediscovered a love of paddle pops. Oh they take me back to late afternoons of street cricket, Sunday summer bbqs and running under the sprinkler. Sweet nostalgia.

I think I even referred to paddle pops in a paint store once when the guy asked me what kind of yellow I wanted. "No not lemon, no to buttercup, got any banana paddle pop?" I think they used to be 50c. In a bygone era.

And because this has somehow turned into a post about ice-cream pastimes I'll leave all you Australian readers with one (hyphenated) word that will no doubt make you smile. Bubble-o-bill.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

dada got a mo-ha-ka

Yep, Che is speaking three-syllable words. And his Dada's pride is palpable. Why? Because after saying the usual Muma, Dada, bubba, hello, no...he can say motorbike (mo-ha-ka). I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said it was bordering on obsession. I have to steer clear of bikes in the park or near the beach because regardless of the fact that he's still unsteady on his feet, my little one will try to climb up and go for a ride. Brrroooommmm, brrrooommmm. Oh yeah, that's right, I birthed a boy. A male. Who is already fascinated by wheels, handlebars and helmets - beep beep!

Since the day this 1978 Yamaha SR500 made its way into our garage my baby has turned into a bike-loving kid with passion and drive (pun completely intended).

I've stocked up on band-aids. And arnica. And I'm practicing my speech that I will stand-by regardless of the whinging: "You can get a motorbike when you're 21...and no sooner."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

come, let's dress-up and play

He's pretty determined which means when he doesn't get his way the elephant tears start flowing. I'm learning (slowly) how to quickly resolve the situation. I was wearing this scarf for a few minutes before he pulled it off and tried it on. And yes, I know that second-to-last shot is blurry but how could I resist? That face - priceless. And yes you guessed right again - I'm pretty annoyed I didn't capture it at the right moment. Next time. Hopefully.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

saturday afternoon date

We went to the movies. For the first time in ages. We ate too much popcorn, ate all of the maltesers in the (large) bag and sipped lemonade. And it was great. And it reminded me how great a little time with him can be. By ourselves. Me and my love. It still feels new. Us. There's still that newness. I love that. And him. Love him. And how sweet it was that when the movie was finished we were both so looking forward to coming home to see our little guy. Who launched into our arms when he saw us. Family love. 3.

And that photo...above. That's me, all ready for our date. And he, he took the photo. With my new camera. A gorgeous little digital that I can use to capture us, days, little things. So I can improve my photos using the manual settings. So that one day...soon, we can buy the 50d. And me oh my that will be nice.

And the camera. It was a surprise. A few nights ago, the little one all tucked up in bed. Me on my computer about to make tea. And he says: "I bought you something today". And I thought that it was a sweet treat...because he often surprises me with bakery treats. But no, to my delight, my new little camera. In its box, all wrapped up. Sigh. Sigh, sigh.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

it's been lovely

doing nothing. After a busy and joyous Christmas we have spent our days just lazing about. Which only makes me realise how important it is to be still and quiet for a while - because it ultimately makes everything more enjoyable, doesn't it. Our summer has been sweltering and so we have only visited the beach in the early morning or evening - the sun is too hot and harsh for fair baby skin. Thankfully our house is cool and catches a subtle sea is the perfect abode for these warm months. We've been puttering, playing, reading and basking in the shade...and I don't want it to end!

I feel I've been spolit too. My love found me this gorgeous old (new to me) bike which is currently awaiting attention (red paint, basket & bell). And the umbrella - stripes and fringing, everything I've always wanted in a beach umbrella.

Che was gifted some beautiful toys and books at Christmas time. I use 'some' in the best possible way - enough presents to excite and not to overwhelm. I especially loved the simple gifts - the homemade biscuits, tomatoes from the garden, our celebratory evening meal under the grapevine, the abundance of ribbon and the sweet messages on cards. Feasting, family, friends and a few's what I remember most and I remember it all fondly.

Most evenings after Che has fallen into slumber, Daniel and I eat dinner on our balcony. A casual dinner outside - summer in all its glory. Curries infused with kaffir lime leaves, easy salads, a simple tomato and zucchini pasta. Perhaps ice-cream and mango for dessert. Sure it's been hot, really hot, but it's been so good too. I really don't want it to end.