Feminism, Pedestals and Grace


Who the feck invented them?

No, scratch that, whose brilliant idea was it to use one of the most unstable pieces of furniture ever invented to display items of the most precious nature?

I bet it was a joke, or better yet, a dare that just went a little far and somehow caught on among those who don’t recognize dumb idea’s as the jokes they were intended to be – I don’t know if the conversation went along these lines but here’s how these things usually play out;

Einstein (after a few brews): “Ernishh, mate, you should totally shplit the atom, that’d be sush a blasht!”

Rutherford : “Good call, I’ll grab the gear.”

Or this one;

Coach: “Hey you lot of thugs, I’m sick of your crap, go jump off a bridge.”

Team: “Hey awesome idea coach, let’s grab the bungee cords so we can bounce around.”

Hackett: “Yeah, and let’s charge people to do it with us!”


Okay, so maybe not that type of conversation, but you have to admit, it’s almost like pedestals were invented as a challenge to art.

Uh huh… Point?

As if the 15th Century Ming Vase had not done enough just to survive the initial torture of etched painting with horrific minerals then placed in a zillion degree fire so some palace hoodoo could place it on a shelf where maybe it would be admired by the actual emperor, or used as a rice container by his chef, or snuck up to a young prince’s room and used as a storage jar for his abacus beads or whatever.


Getting there.

So the new vase is used but over time, it disappeared from the palace. Maybe a servant took it, maybe it was stolen in a palace raid, maybe it was sold on, exchanged for kung-fu lessons, whatever happened, the next half a millenia were a blur of earthen suffocation, oceanic drowning, dead skin cell and insect collecting, door stopping or a mixture of all four.

Then someone finds it and recognizes it as something special.

The vase is scrubbed in places unseen for decades and passed through more tests and exams than your average med student before being verified as a true treasure. Ironically, the vase now has to face the most difficult challenge of all; to stand tall and proud on a raised platform whose widest part is only slightly wider than the total circumference of it’s own base.

Of course the higher the pedestal the greater the value of the vase, but also the greater the risk that one day, gravity will prevail, thereby reducing the precious vessel to dumpster fodder where it will eventually return to the earth which first gave birth it all those centuries ago.

Oh for feck’s sake, boo hoo, poor vase, where are the feminists?

Coming. shhh.

The point is, the vase cannot place itself on the pedestal. It gets put there as a recognition of value and only the rarest of precious artifacts ever make it to pedestal status.

The same applies to people.

There are those who acknowledge the work of others, they say things like Stay at Home Mom’s should be put on a freaking pedestal and those who say that Working Mom’s should be on a pedestal.

Are you trying to start a war?

Take off those goddam headphones and take a look around you.

The war is on. Has been since the mid-nineties when feminism became a social ideal and all the doors to all the opportunities opened for women all over the western world and inevitably lead to this split between the stay at home vs the working mom lifestyle choices.

Now, just to make it perfectly clear. These are lifestyle choices and…

I don’t give a rats about either side.

(see, I put that in bold, just to make it very clear.)

However I am pissed at the third group in this little debate.

The third group?

Yeah, the group who say “I don’t need your pedestal.”

Who say; “I ain’t going anywhere near no damn pedestal, those things hurt when you fall off ’em.”

Who say; “Take your pedestal and shove it.”

I get the whole pedestal/falling thing. I do. And I know how devastating that earth shaking fall can be. But here’s the thing… unlike the vase, we get to pick ourselves up and carry on. For all our rights and voice and opportunity gains women and in particular, mothers, have made over the last twenty years we have lost a vital part of our humanity.

We have sacrificed Grace and Humility.

We get offended at being called a lady and heaven help the man who dares to hold a door open for us. The fight is so engrained in our psyche that we are no longer able to accept a compliment. Hell, I doubt half of us even recognize one when it is given.

To be viewed as ‘the vase’, or the sun, or the moon or the stars, or anything else means that someone thinks the world of you. If someone thinks that you are something so precious and unique you are worthy of reverence is a HUGE compliment.

I have to believe that anyone who writes negatively about lines like this; Yes, she is just a mother. Which is sort of like looking at the sky and saying, “hey, it’s just the sun”, are doing so solely for the sake of confrontation and sensationalism.

Because the alternative is worse.

The alternative is that we have lost the grace to say, “Oh, you noticed? Thank you”.

Let’s cut the bullshit and take a moment to be thankful. Or don’t and waste time being be bitter about an imaginary slight and then (worse still) attack the person who made the compliment for not getting off their ass and doing the same work they were complimenting us on.


Yeah, so are half the moms out there. A similar conversation goes like this;

“Hey, you look fantastic, you must have worked really hard to get back into shape. You are a real inspiration. Well done.”

Answer: “What? How dare you?! I worked damn hard for this figure and I do not need some dumbass like you to tell me how good I look or how hard I worked because I already know it and you have no idea. And don’t give me any of that inspiration bullshit because that means when I put the weight back on I’ll feel even worse. Oh and by the way, you look like shit, maybe you should stop looking at me, lose some weight and see how it feels.”

That’s some crazy talk.

Yeah, but I didn’t make it up. It’s real crazy conversation and it’s happening all over the place about all types of things.

Life is not a bunch of random attacks day after day, sometimes there are flowers among the brickbats, they are rare and they are precious. Let us have the knowledge to recognize them and the grace to accept them in the spirit in which they were given.

Oh and this ….


see ya!





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Rule #2 and Why I’m back on The Stick.

My Mom.

She’s awesome.

Oh here we go, boohoo, my mom is so cool I just want to cry ….

No this is not going to be an ode to my parents.. shut up and listen.

Uh Okay.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, my Mom. She is cooler than Sam Jackson, fresher than Robert Downey-not-so-Junior, more persistent than Erin Brochovich  but stricter than Tiger Mom. In fact if Olivia Pope and Lara Croft combined gene pools … that’s more in line with my mom.

Let me guess, people say you’re alike?

Yeah, see what I did there?

(shakes head)  Is there a point?

Okay, so, yes, we are alike. In fact so alike we’ve had more than our share of ‘break-ups’. Even now, we still have moments of uncomfortable silence as we telepathically agree to go our own ways with our opinions, but she has taught me more valuable rules to life than Jethro Gibbs and Tony Robbins combined.

Mom has ten rules – some would call them commandments, but she wouldn’t want to step on anyone’s toes so ‘rules’ they are. One day I’ll enlighten you to the other nine but this time I’m just gonna focus on Rule Number Two.

I’m doing it for two reasons;

1 – Her second rule is the only actual golden rule in our house.

2 – This rule is the rule that has played a part in me being back ‘on the stick’.

Wait… what? You mean like Back to Here?

WTF ??? How do you even justify that? Oh wait, can anyone say “Martyr”?

Uh no. Not in the slightest. Listen. It’s just a bi-product of Mom’s Rule #2;

Do the Right Thing for the Right Reason.

That rule right there is our family’s guiding light and mantra.

It has served us through more than our share of ups and downs, but it when we follow it everything turns out better than we could ever hope for… even if it means that a part of the journey takes us to depths we’d never encountered.


Okay, so here’s an example; Our twins had twin to twin transfusion: those who know what that is KNOW what that is, those that don’t.. well, just trust me, it’s a rare horrible no-win disease that affects twins in the womb. Most cases end horribly, the remaining ones end horribly horribly.

Our ‘do the right thing for the right reason’ was to swallow our fear, fly to another country and undergo experimental surgery. Before we went our specialist told us, “one live baby would be a good outcome.”

We had two, perfect, thriving babies and not a day goes by that we don’t quietly thank everyone involved.

Which is all very well for the big stuff, but Rule Number Two also applies with every single choice we make and path we take. Sometimes we know what the decision will be automatically and sometimes the answer takes a day or two to appear.

Are you circling back to the point?

Yeah, stay with me…

good, ’cause I lost the will to live for a minute there…

Over the last six months we’ve had a crazy, crazy time; on top of life as a family of six, we’ve been renovating, a lot of big-thinking-stressy-stuff has been going down at my other job and we’ve had a few financial and life curve-balls thrown in for good measure.

Losing…. It….

Okay. Okay.

I’m back on the stick because;

It was the right decision for the right reason to fill up on painkillers and paint the inside of our house ourselves, when the alternative was to undergo the stress of finding the money to pay someone else to paint the house;

Waiting approximately 288.23 hours for loan draw-downs is a better decision than not having the finance at all.

It is better to have the bass alter your heartbeat and hear Jake-Clements-style tinnitus from standing a few feet away from Springsteen than choosing to annoy the neighborswith the edited DVD version over-and-over-and…

moving on …


It is better to help a group of volunteers make the right decisions for the right reasons and then help others carry the fall-out of those decisions than to sit back and do nothing.

Because rocking out to my ‘Wrecking Ball’ playlist while mowing the lawns makes my head feel good even if it makes my legs seize up.

Because I know that as long as I take the next few weeks slowly, this too shall pass, and in the meantime I have lived life to its fullest.

Because all along, what I was doing, was the right thing for the right reasons and that, my friend, makes any sort of physical BS roughly one million percent more manageable.

See ya!

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I’m Sorry, (sort of).

It’s been a while. I know.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking about you.

Or getting stuff sorted out to write.

Or that I’ve been doing any less than I was before.

Because Lord knows, I haven’t.

Cross my heart and pinky swear on my Facebook friends. I have been doing all of that and more and truth be told I was set to come back a month ago, but then something happened. Don’t roll your eyes, I know between four kids, renovations and life in general some shit is ALWAYs happening, but when it does you know I usually bring it to the page in one form or other.

No, I mean something happened.

Something that made me put this whole Internet thing into perspective.

I got a visitor.

Not the; ‘Oh MY God! How’re you doin’? Sit down and stay a while’ visitor.’

Or the; ‘Shit, they saw me, now I have to spend a half hour listening to how my soul is set for eternal damnation’ visitor.

Not even the; “Holy crap, I though I paid that bill,” visitor.


This was something far spookier. (Spookier than eternal damnation?) Yes.

It was the ‘visit from an ex-boyfriend who you haven’t seen for more than a decade but who saw you pick your kids up from school and decided that it was really good idea to follow you home’ visitor.

We were together for a little over a year 15 years ago. We split. I moved on and two months into being a single gal went on a five week holiday. To the other side of the world.

On my return this same ex-boyfriend drove to my flat and declared his undying love. This was two seconds after I’d dropped my bag in my room following a 19hr flight and 6 hour drive. I would have laughed as I shut the door in his face if I hadn’t been shaking from a lethal cocktail of jet-lagged exhaustion and kidney stretching holding-wee-for-3-hours pain.

Him turning up at my home this year wasn’t the creepiest thing though, after all, I’m a big girl, I have a walking stick, know how to use it, and to be honest I really don’t care about him – which you know is way better than hating or loving. Those emotions can flip in a heartbeat, but not caring? That’s death of emotion. It’s not emptiness, or shame, or hatred or anything. And that is exactly what I felt when I saw him.


It was what he said after the ‘pleasantries’ at the front door that sent the creeps through me.

“Yeah, I know ALL about you. 4 kids and a writer huh? Your old cell number doesn’t work, want to to give me your new one? No? Okay. So, I saw you hadn’t been online for a while and thought I’d stop in.”

What. The. Fuck.

After I’d politely but firmly blocked his entry to the house and told him to go. Watched his pickup back down the driveway and hung up on him when he called three minutes later, I rang Mr. M and mentally went through all the places I appear online. The only thing I could think (apart from how I wanted a shower – and NOT the cold kind – the kind that’s hot and scrubby enough to erase emotional slime) was how I was going to shut everything down.

Everything. My books, my site, my entire digital footprint. Gone. Well, not gone, ’cause nothing EVER dies in Inter-space – but well out of date at least.

Then Mr came home, the evening carried on as normal, we put the kids to bed and instead of the usual wine, he poured me a bourbon. Quickly followed by several more. We forwent our usual viewing (ironically, Scandal), and chose instead some nameless, faceless crap. Then we slept on it.

Something I’ve been doing ever since.

At some point last week the exhaustion from painting and kids and school and house stuff disappeared and my creative soul started to re-emerge. I realized that shutting everything down just because ‘someone other than my mom could be watching’ would be punishing me way more than them.

I would be the one hunkered down in … well, not fear, but a loathing that would turn to fear if I let it.

I won’t let it.

I am careful with my family, but we have to live and be free in a way that can only come from within, so while there might be a few small changes – re-branding to The Introvert Parent and showing a little less of the actual details of me and my life, the stories and comments will remain as true and raw as always. No matter who reads them.

Anything else is compromise.

And life is way to short and precious to live in a compromise.

So, again, I’m sorry I haven’t been here, but it’s sure good to be back.


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Four Horsemen and an Apocalypse

(To regular readers this is a little flash fiction … just because the awesome folks at Blogger Idol suggested it… and, well because most of my fiction ends up over at my writing site… seeing as this time last year we were all freaking out ignoring the Mayan calendar End of the World debarcle. Oh, and I thought it was fun to write about an apocalypse that didn’t involve Zombies. Enjoy)

My spine tingled as the air around me turned into a volatile mixture of fear and expectation. Strips of wallpaper curled and I froze mid-wipe. The thunder of hooves amplified, the sound swirling around until hoof-beats blended with heartbeats.

four_horsemen_1024x768The hooves slowed and came to a stop, but tiny lightning bolts still flickered through the atmosphere.

I took a breath, dropped the sponge and swung around, greeting each of the four riders with a stare, letting a small sliver of satisfaction slide through me as each rider averted their gaze. Apocalypse or no, the four horsemen  knew who grilled the cheese in our house.

I ignored the orange juice remorse raining its acid into my gut. The Four had been called up countless times before, but this time was different. This time they were excited, that meant they were serious. Deadly serious.

I lifted my chin at Death and threw a sharp glance at the fiery river of lost souls trailing behind him. His brows furrowed in confusion. I tilted my head toward where my babies were staring at the river, terror welling in their eyes. A flame sped across his face and with a flick of a wrist the souls disappeared into rainbow colored puffs but the volatile silence remained.

Dee do-do-do, Dee do-do-do, Dee do-do-do-doo.

I jumped at the sound, releasing a snort that was two parts relief and one part hysteria. Geldof, threw his scales to the floor and glared at the culprit. “Fur the love of God man, whatever’s in yur head?” He pointed a perfectly bitten fingernail at William. “Some Conqueror you are. No communication, He said. Wait ‘til after the apay-calypse, He said. Are ya deaf as well as stupid?”

Alexander’s blood-red stallion shook its mane and a mug of Starbuck’s finest appeared in the cup holder beside the warlord’s sword. “I bet it’s that Sheila from Sydney.” He grabbed the mug, breathed in the aroma, and chugged the lot down without pausing. He wiped the froth from his lip with the back of his hand and the cup disappeared. Then he turned to William. “What’s the matter, you couldn’t leave her alone for one lousy day?”

Death growled, “Yeah, it’s not like we haven’t waited several thousand millenia already, but hey, you know, go ahead… it’s only the APOCALYPSE!” A flare shot out of his ears and panicked shrieks filled the room. The flames immediately turned to twinkling stars that swirled around the twins, turning shrieks to soft giggles.

William flushed, pulled the phone from his pocket. “Idiots,” he muttered as punched the green button and raised the phone to his ear. “Yes. Absolutely ready Sir,” then his voice tightened, his smile disappeared and his eyes landed on me, “Uh yes she is.” He handed me the phone.

Geldof rolled his eyes, “Here we go. I told ya’s it was a bad idea comin’ here.”

Alexander nodded, “Yeah, I know,” he shrugged, “but you know, He’s the Boss, whatdoyado?”

I shushed them and raised the phone to my ear, “Hi Honey. What’s up?’

The voice of The Almighty thundered back at me. I missed the words but caught the rage and frustration. I held the phone away from my ear.

“I spend all my time and energy on this throne, protecting them from that idiot downstairs, making a world they can be proud to call home. And how do they repay me? By messing it up!” He sighed, “Then the imbeciles have the audacity to complain. Humans, bah. Biggest Mistake Ever.”

I sighed, ignored the frowns and sparks flickering between the four horsemen and turned to face my two bare bottomed, star struck babies giggling beneath the freshly decorated wall. The remains of both diapers were still scattered on the floor and my heart sank as I realized that the cots would have to be scrubbed clean as well.

I switched the phone to my other hand, jamming it between shoulder and ear, picked up the sponge, grimacing as the first wipe turned our twin’s attempts at redecorating into a giant brown and yellow smear across the wall. Lord knew, I loved my family, but cleaning  poop off walls while persuading the Almighty not to annihilate the human race was definitely not a perk.

“Oh, Sweetie, you know cleaning up their mess is a part of being a parent, it’s how they learn to trust in you.” I soothed, my words massaging his temper while my hands massaged the walls. “You love them unconditionally remember? And besides, you promised.” I added.

“I know,” He grumbled, “but it’s just so one-sided. I give them everything and I know some understand, but the others…” he trailed off, then took a breath, “I’m just not sure their love is enough.”

I smiled, “You’re right, it’s not fair. Not even a little. But Honey,” I looked at our girls, “If you don’t believe in them, who will?”

Electricity prickled my skin and I flicked a nail, sending a small bolt of lightning into the air. Death’s shoulders slumped. The horsemen could wait. The Apocalypse wasn’t happening. Not today, not ever.

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Filed under Pure Fiction

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want ….

…. but if you try, sometimes, you get what you need”
Mick Jagger

Has anyone noticed how many aphids there are in the garden this year?
(Sorry Northern-people-in-the-midst-of-winter, but there is a point, I think. Maybe keep reading to find out)

Seriously, no sooner do you spray one lot, and then the next week there are twice as many of the squishy green terrors! I blame the ants. Ant’s farm aphids for their juice or something. it all sounds a bit Walking Dead to me… so anyway, when I apply my finely tuned logic to the problem I reckon, if I kill the aphids, not only do I help my flowers, there is a distinct possibility that I will also kill the ants. (Stick THAT in your ears Mr. Spock)

What’s that?

Yes I have a pantry, with food in it. Well, actually, no, not food. Crumbs, biscuit crumbs, do they count?

And of course I have kids … (Does WTF? face) … Do you even read anything I write? Get out of my po … oh, I get it kids + food = neverendingsupplyofants.

(sigh) Okay, so…

This despicable piece of gardening information is not nearly as remarkable as the fact that my radar has expanded so I now notice the small green creatures and the habits of their keepers. Nearly as shocking is the fact that I have the time to not only notice, but research and spray the blighters!

You see raising children (no matter how many) takes a lot of Time and Energy. and Focus. and Patience. and.. well it just takes every ounce of resource that you have and them some. The first few years with kids takes you far beyond what you thought was possible. So far that it is like children give you this amazing emotional and physical overdraft facility. One that might take five years to use up, but like any overdraft, it takes far longer to pay back.

While you (or your Grandma) might love the idea of having blemish free, eternally blooming roses and perfect box hedging in a weed free garden, the reality is that while you have small children it is somewhat of a dream that goes unfulfilled. There is always someone wanting a drink, needing their diaper changed and telling you that one of their siblings has snatched something from one of the other kids who has retaliated with a stick and now everyone is crying and somehow, somehow the cat got involved. Moving on…

The times that you do get a few minutes to yourself it is either pouring with rain or so hot that your SPF 50 sunblock is completely useless; the concrete burns through your jandals (uh, okay, flip flops) and even the aphids have found shelter elsewhere.

It’s the same with any other idea or hobby that you might have for around the home. Want to paint the house, clean the car, strip the boat, wash the curtains or mow the lawns occasionally? Tough. It all takes second place to the needs of your kids and elements beyond your control. And it is frustrating as all hell.

But do you know what?

The kids do grow up and become a little more self sufficient. In time they will go to school, sleep deprivation will be a thing of the past and suddenly you will find yourself taking the time to notice the little things and appreciating life in its smallest detail again.

You will start to take notice of the things happening in your community, start having an opinion and the time to voice it. ‘Doing coffee’ with a friend may involve a café and dialogue, not just two exhausted people having ‘yes no’ conversations between hounding, clingy kids. Hang, you might even start to have a favorite place to get coffee from.

You will have the time to read the paper and the mental ability to care about what is being written. You might start ringing talkback radio about the exploits of a sportsperson that you have never met or a politician that you will never vote for…… you may even start posting deep and meaningful comments on Facebook, then spend an hour cutting those comments down to 140 characters for Twitter…. (laughs a little) not that anyone would be so foolish I mean, shucks that would be a waste of a day …

You will start to find your passion for life again, but with a wiser, more grounded and realistic view and you will better understand the realities facing others in their lives.

You will laugh more easily, cry more readily and get wound up about little things like aphids on your roses. The last 5 years will seem like a blip on the screen and you will wonder what the fuss was about.

But all the future visions of peace and skippity unicorns blowing rainbows out their bums don’t help the Here and Now parents up to their armpits in muck and milk. Oh you can see those weeds, lining up their seedlings like the silly little Alliance angry bird characters, ready to split and sink into any soil. At least you don’t have to worry about aphids, since you ran out of time to water the roses and in return they didn’t even get a chance to bloom let alone sustain an aphid attack.

You know the paint is peeling from the front door and the car still has mud splashes on it from that trip to your parent’s place in July, and the bugs glued to the headlights from the return trip.

You know all this and the fact that you can’t physically deal to any of it fuels the bubbling frustration.

But do ya know what?

It’s OK.

There are only 24 hours in a day and you are already working 28 of them. This is the one time in your LIFE that you can be a slob and everyone will ‘get it’.

Ergo, the only one stressing is you.

Ergo– let it go and make the most of those precious seconds of calm between the manic sessions of well, mania.

And now you just want to slap me for being so Gosh-darn chipper – so I’ll go.

See ya


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Filed under On Being a Girl, On Being a Parent

Dream On – A Letter to The Selfish and Scared

After reading yet another commentary on how dreams are soooo precious and “No, don’t you ever ever give them away because you know what?  Someone will say something nasty and smash your dream to smithereens. That shit’s gonna hurt the pain of the embarrassed and fearful. And pain, any pain imagined or real is baaaaad.”

Thing is, we’ve all been there and know that being in that bubble of self-doubt however cunningly disguised as self-absorption, leads to confusion and loneliness which sucks worse than a giant purple kumara-chip.

So just in case there is an alternate dimension somewhere that has both the Internet and a twenty-something-year-old red-head with frizzy hair, a boyband fixation and a bit of an attitude, I thought I’d pop in and offer some friendly life advice to the 90’s version of myself – and everyone else who happens to be at that stage of life.

Dear Me,

Hey you. How’re you doing? How’s that spiral perm going? And the bubble you live your life in? How’s that working for ya?

Now don’t look so shocked. You know exactly what you are doing. This whole, “Oooh, no, I can’t possibly reveal what’s on the inside. I’ll lose all my dark and mysterious dracularian Je ne sais quois,” vacuum bubble you’ve set your head and heart into is a load of trolloping codfish. Grow up and grow a pair.

First off, you can keep the cigs for now, but for Pity’s sake please, stop drinking Uozo. You don’t like the taste, it gives you hangovers and farts that cling to your clothing so even the casual passer-by thinks you’ve just been released from the Bog of Eternal Stench.  Oh and you’ll be able to sustain 4am starts after an 11pm finish for approximately three days before it all turns pear shaped and covered in squishy lumpy cold custard, but Mom already told you that. Just maybe not in those exact words.

Now, I know hindsight is both an overused excuse and largely unappreciated gift. But you want this little gem. Maybe not now and hopefully before it becomes a hindsight of your own because the sooner you latch onto this advice, the more doors will open and the more fulfilling your life will be. Trust me on this.

Okay, so …

That dream you are holding close to your chest? The precious pearl you cling to as your last Bastian of independence and self? The one you are too scared to let anyone see least they damage it? Or worse, the one that will make you look and feel like a failure should you not achieve it?

Let it go.

Set that baby free and watch as it stumbles over the first hurdle, trips over the second and falls flat over the third.

Feel the heartache and embarrassment as it swerves to avoid one cataclysmic event, only regaining balance in time to collide with the forty-ton semi who’s stalled slap bang in the middle of your lane. Experience the excitement as the dream peels itself off the tarmac, regroups and starts it’s next ascent. Breathe the toe-curling fear as it leaves the ground for the first time.

Then feel the crushing weight of desperate desolation as it gets caught in a storm and shredded into a bajillion pieces.

Shed your tears, screw up the plans and scatter them to the wind into the recycling container. Vow to never ever, ever, ever make the same mistake again. Shut yourself away, lock up your heart.


Take as long as you need. Then recover.

Feel the stirring in your heart and the threads of excitement wind around your spine. Allow yourself to follow those threads. Cautiously tip-toe through the doubt and fear. Swallow back the terror as it rears against the vision your heart is creating.

Get to know this new and improved dream. Turn it over, try it on, keep trying it until it feels right. Once it feels like a second skin, set it free again.

Share it. Let others share it. Tell your partner, your mom, your dad, your kids, the gardener at the park.

Let people roll their eyes and scoff. A hundred people could run your dream into the ground, but do you know what? If you don’t let it free you’ll never find that one person who believes in your dream almost as much as you do. Then you’ll feel the world change and expand as your dream takes the next step to reality.

One believer can help catch the dream when it trips and stumbles. That same person can add their experience and re-route you around the stalled semi. Together you can give your dream the extra boost it needs to power through the storm.

One believer can share the load. The heartbreak and the excitement, the scars and the tears, the smiles and the joy. Ironically, when you have one believer you can never feel alone with your dream, but the amount of sheer excitement and ecstasy doesn’t change because you have shared it. It remains as unbridled and limitless as ever.

If one person can do this. What can two or three believers achieve?

Closing your heart and shutting away your dreams is selfish. It doesn’t protect you or anyone else, it simply shields your soul from the very support it needs while denying the people who care about you most the opportunity to offer their heart and soul in return.

Your heart needs life and dreams need to fly. Set them both free.

Take care, but not too much, and I’ll leave you with these wise words …..



Filed under General Musings

Life, as Twins – the Twin Interview

Then ....

Then ….

There is a rumor that somewhere in the world there is or has been someone who looks exactly like us. The reasoning is that there is a finite sequence or code to DNA – meaning at some point in time we all have a ‘twin’.

The very concept makes my spine break out in goosebumps and I say a little prayer of apology to that person’s parents …. but, can you imagine growing up with the person who looks like you?

Knowing your very sameness is what sets you apart from everyone else but that you have to fight for the very right to ‘be yourself’ that most individuals get automatically?

When Danni and Leonie started school there was a picture on the wall of a Maori girl and a NZ European girl holding hands. Underneath were the words We look different, but we feel the same. I remember joking with the New Entrant teacher about how she was going to have to change the poster to We look the same, but we feel different.

At one Parent Teacher Conference the teacher remarked how she wished she could clone Leonie. I told her it had been done – what was Danni’s report card like? 😉

Now the girls are seven, old enough to ‘find’ themselves and figure out where they fit into the grand scheme of life. As a parent it is fascinating to watch them transition from ‘liking what everyone else likes’ and flying under the radar of attention, to having their own taste, their own needs, their own likes and dislikes and becoming aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.

To watch them separate first from The Twins to a breathed DanniandLeo to Danni. And. Leonie.

But I always wonder how these magical girls cope with life, as twins. Not just because they might as well be walking around with a mirror all day, but how they feel having someone their age and stage around them 24/7

.... Now

…. Now
Leonie (with the fringe) and
Danni (with the attitude)

Until now I had no idea, but life, goes on and kids grow up. Fortunately these wonderful miracles are less angelic, more eloquent and haven’t learned the art of diplomacy. So I got to ask a few questions, but got a whole lot more than I bargained for….

1 – What’s the Worst Part of Having Your Sister in Your Class?

Leonie – We have to share attention and sometimes we get mixed up when it comes to awards – like when I’m sitting quietly and Danni is talking like usual but Danni gets the smiley face for being quiet. I hate that. Oh and Danni is a copy cat – she always copies off me.

Danni – Leonie is better than me at everything. I feel like we are always being compared, like it’s almost a competition. I know it’s not. But I guess it kinda is.


2 – What’s the Best Part? (of having your sister in your life)

Leonie – She helps me with stuff like my maths and spelling and I never feel alone.

Danni – She helps me with stuff – but so do my other friends.

3 – What’s the Best Part of Having Someone who Looks Like You Around All the Time?

Leonie – Being able to trick people – especially the teacher.

Danni – Yeah, but we keep sitting in our own seats so she usually finds out.

4 – What’s the Worst Part? (Of having someone who looks like you ….)

Leonie – People don’t know who is who. I get sick of kids laughing and saying “Hey Danni/Leo, whoever!” I know they aren’t being mean, but it’s just annoying… I keep saying, “Jeez, I have long hair and a fringe and Danni doesn’t,” but they don’t take any notice.

Danni –  Like at Sports Day I was in one team and Leonie was in another way down the other end of the field, playing a totally different game.  My team mates chanted as each team member got the ball, but when it was my turn the chant turned into “Here we go … uhh, Danni-or-Leonie, here we go.”

5 – Do You Feel The Same Stuff ?

Danni and Leonie – Huh?

Older and wiser Miss B: She means Leonie, if I stomped on Danni’s foot, would you feel it?

Leonie – (giggling) – No! But we get asked that ALL the time.

Danni – Sometimes if Leonie’s crying I feel like crying, but when she’s laughing I can’t help but laugh too.

6 – Anything You’d Like to Add?

Leonie – Our friends lump us together and sometimes we don’t get invited places because there is two of us. But that’s not as bad as it used to be.

Danni – Yeah, we’re a package deal and that’s okay most times, especially when it comes to teams games. Sometimes I wonder if friends like me because I’m me or because I’m part of a package.

Leonie – Probably since you stopped saying you were going to marry Adam Lambert.

Okay, so here’s another question then; You guys have to share probably more than most kids. Do you mind sharing everything?

Leonie – I like sharing, but not ALL the time.

Danni – Yeah, I like my stuff and Leonie likes hers.

Me – Is that why Danni has a mountain of stuff under her bed?

Danni – Yeah.

Leonie – I’m pretty sure half of my stuff is under there too.

Danni (grinning) – Probably.

Leonie – Oh and Danni hates sharing clothes with me.

Danni – No I don’t, I hate that we are expected to share clothes, just because we are the same size and stuff.

Miss B – You share my clothes too.

Leonie – That’s different.

Miss B – Why?

Leonie – Because we’ve NEVER had any clothes that were JUST for me or Just for Danni.

Danni – Yeah, they all say McN and most of them were yours first.

Me – Okay, okay, so last question:

7 – Can You Sum up What It’s Like To be a Twin in One Word?

(Yes Danni you can use two or three).

Danni – It’s like having a best friend around all the time.

Leonie – Yeah. Annoying.

Both break into giggles …..

Rock and Roll – our Mahoe in Hawaii

Rock and Roll in Hawaii


Filed under General Musings, On Being a Parent