Kelliefish13's Blog

Travel writing, Poems and Stories


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Being a girl, having a Daugher

When I was pregnant and found out I was having a girl, I was excited but also terrified. Excited that I would be able to shop for pretty dresses and buy cute girly toys (though I may have bought some of them for my son too, but that’s another post). Excited that I could share some of my childhood with her.

Terrified that I would have to share some of my teenage and twenties years with her and terrified that she will most likely also have to deal with some of the crap that assholes (certain, but far too many men) think is ok to do to women.

I don’t want her to have to cross the road on her way to class to avoid the construction site like I often choose to do because if I walked passed I would get wolf whistles and cat called.

I don’t want her to feel unsafe and have to make sure she has a friend to walk home with after a university test that finished at 7pm like I did after I had a couple of guys grab me and hold me while they whispered something creepy in my ear, thankfully they just walked away afterwards. But even having a friend with me was not enough to stop the group of guys who thought it was funny to walk behind us calling us horrible names. In case you were wondering these things happened on well lit busy streets where there were other people within sight, nobody intervened.

I want her to be able to go out and dance at a club with her friends without getting gropped as she walks to the dance floor, have guys come up behind her and wrap themselves around her without warning and refuse to let go.

I don’t want her to have to have a friend she trusts hold her drink so she can go to the toilet, or choose not to drink at all.

I don’t want her to have to get a male friend to come rescue her from a conversation with a guy at the bar because saying “No, I am not interested” wasn’t been listened too and walking away just meant you got found again and again, even if you left that bar and went to another.

These are all things that have happened to me many times, along with lots of other things that made me feel scared and unsafe. The scary things is, that none of this stuff is unusual and I could almost guarantee that every woman in NZ (and many many other Countries) has experienced at least one of those things. Ask the women in your life if you don’t believe me.

In some ways I consider myself lucky, I have never been raped, never been beaten and I know many other people have been through much much worse.

This is NOT the world I want to bring up my children in.

In our house we have a rule if someone says ‘stop’ or ‘no’ or sounds upset. We all stop what we are doing, find out what’s wrong and don’t continue until everyone involved agrees to.

This includes, tickling, playing together, brushing hair, hugs and cuddles, bouncing on the trampoline, pushes on the swing… pretty much everything. In fact some days I think the sentence that comes out of my mouth the most is “I heard _______ say stop, that means we stop”.

I don’t know how to change the rest of the world though.

 


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Easter

 

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This easter was all about playing in bunny suits, finding their eggs and eating… fruit.
Chocolate wasn’t really that interesting and now we have a fridge with lots of chocolate stashes in it. Probably because we all had tummy bugs in the last week and our tummys are not quite up to the usual chocolate feast.

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Explaining to Little Moo why we have easter at the start of autumn and not in spring like in all his books and tv shows, has been a wee bit challenging. He gets seasons are different in different countries. .. sort of.  But doesn’t understand why we don’t just have easter in spring too.image

The other thing I have been struggling with is that neither Robbie or myself is religious, we both have our own beliefs but they do not fit with any particular religion. We have been trying to teach our children about different beliefs and the stories behind them. However both us and our extended families celebrate Christmas and Easter. Explaining Easter and some of the stories that go with it has been extra challenging to me as I grew up being taught those stories as the truth.

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I felt much better when in the afternoon we followed the music we could hear and found the Holi festival of colour happening in the local park. Though we didn’t join in in the colour throwing (the music was too loud for Little Moo), we did have some yummy Indian food while sitting under the trees and watching all the dancing and colour throwing.

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Painting

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Today we painted rocks. It was wonderful, creativity, colour mixing etc. But it lasted for maybe 5 minutes

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And now I have one very  painted child and one with mucky hands.

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I try to have some water play ready for after painting so they get the worst of the paint off before wanting cuddles or running inside. Plus the tea set was just by the door from yesterday and the rain had filled the pot up.

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Which Today my not so little Moo turned in to a cafe and spent ages making us cups of tea, ice cream and pudding.  During which I managed to splash most of the paint off the little one.

Now I just need to go back and clean up all the paint


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Playing

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Little Moo has really been missing his daddy in the last week. One morning this week he climbed up onto the chair in front of the computer, pointed to it and said “Da da da dee dee da dee” he wanted to talk/ see daddy on skype. But the New Zealand to London time zones dont work out very often so we had to wait until later.

Little Moo gets very excited when he does get to see Daddy on skype and waves and points and sometimes tries to climb into the screen to get to him. After a skype call with daddy he is much happier for the rest of the day.

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Keeping busy with our usual outtings of Playcentre, coffee group and lunch out with Great Grandad (with a trip to the park on the way back to his retirement village) makes things smoother and distracts both of us.

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But we are both looking forward to Robbie coming home on friday followed by moving house on Saturday, coz we like to keep life interesting.


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I Will Always Come.

This afternoon as I sat on the couch reading a magazine (OHbaby) and ignoring the mess around me I came across this poem by Lisa-Jo Baker, as I read it the tears started to stream down my face because the Mother in the poem was just like my Mother who has always come, when I wouldn’t sleep, when I fell over and grazed my knee, when my boyfriend broke my heart and even when I crashed her car.

A Mothers Promise.

I’m tired and she’s tired. I’ve already put her to bed more than once tonight. She’s standing in the cot on tippy toes with soft chubby arms stretched out to me as far as she can lean. She’s  standing with eyes trained on the door and fingertips craning towards me. I’ve washed the dishes. I’ve stacked the dishwasher. I’ve feed the dog. The boys are playing with Peter who’s finally made it home. She cries softly. She knows I’m close And when I pull back the folding door and see those arms and those tippy toes and that look on her face. I want to wrap my life around her

I will always come, baby.

She’s in my arms and slowly beginning the ritual of stroking my right arm. Her curls are warm and sweaty and teh pudgy baby cheek fits right under my chin.

I will always come.

I dance with her slowly the rock and roll of motherhood and I know this is a promise I can stake my life on.

I will always come

When you forget your lunch. When you are sheep number five in the Christmas play. When you take up the recorder and bleat all the way through the Easter service. When you get that bad haircut. When you think you want to be a beauty queen. When you swear off fashion altogether.

I will come.

When the mean girls make you want to shrivel inside your skin. When a teacher intimidates you. When you intimidate a teacher. When you think you can sing and try out for a musical. When you get laughed at and people point fingers at your hair and your shoes and your too bony hips.

My Darling, I will come.

When that boy breaks your heart and your stranded at a university kilometres away, I will come. When the internship you thought was part of your calling falls through. When a friend gets sick. When the car crashes. When you run out of petrol, chocolate cookies and faith.

I will be there.

When you say your “I dos”. When you start your happily ever afters. When none of it quite feels like you thought it would. When you don’t know how to pick a mattress, when the sofa is in the wrong place.When you regret what feels like signing your life away to someone else. When you remember how to say sorry. When you need a safe place to say how clicheed you feel all ‘barefoot and pregnant’ I will so be there. When the baby wont sleep and the worlds on fire with sleep exhaustion.

Sweetheart I will come.

When your husbands out of work. When your job threatens to break your heart. When toddlers make you question your sanity. When you’ve run out of tears and still the tears keep coming.

I will come.

When you move and move and relocate again. When you pack boxes and dreams and hope. When your life is a world of duct tape and questions.

I will still come.

When your home is warm and your heart if full. When you’re at peace. When you need someone to share the joy, to watch the kids, to admire the dimples. When you still can’t pick a sofa, when you wish you had never said yes to the dog.

When you don’t know where your going. When your the most sure of yourself you have ever been. When your holding onto faith with just your fingernails. Zoe I will always come. I will rock and roll you with my love and the promise that I will help you get back on your feet. I will hold your hand. I will rejoice. I will babysit. I will pass the tissues. I will wash the dishes.

I will come.

Tonight.

Tomorrow.

And the day after. And after

And then some.

Lisa-Jo Baker

 

I sit here with boxes stacked under the table waiting our move in two weeks, many more needing to be packed. Robbie will arrive back the day before we move. I know its ok. Mum and Dad and my siblings will come. They will help pack, they will baby sit.

That’s the thing about my family, any time one of us calls, or has a birthday, or moves house, or anything else the rest of us will be there.

Because that was what our Parents and Grandparents taught us and its why were are all so close now.

Its the Mother I want to be. 

Finally found the page on her website with this poem

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