Posted in cormac, home, lauca, me, motherhood, motherhood bliss, re-partnering, seth, step-parents, Uncategorized on December 17, 2016|
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In the subtropics, around the middle of summer things start to die in the heat so Christmas is a strange presence in the season, although I guess not unlike Christmas being situated in the dead of winter in the northern hemisphere. Because the season of summer is not associated with new life here, but rather with the onset of destructive storms, bush fires, drought, and burning sun. Kitchen gardens are largely left to rest. The weeds grow furiously but otherwise everything feels very slow in the humidity.
Storms signal Christmas is coming and the garden succumbs to the mix of overgrown and death.
For me, the foods of summer are all Mediterranean, Mexican and Asian and seem to come in the colours of Christmas. And we eat out in the garden unless the mosquitoes are terrible.
My favourite part of Christmas is all the spontaneous socialising. Friends who message you to tell you they have two Cabernets and are waiting out the rain in a quiet corner, so hurry up and join them in the bar… and other friends who invite you and your kids to swim in their pool and share pot luck dinners together, and friends who beg you to be invited over because their kid is going spare and they want to talk and laugh with you, and all the playfulness and, the exposed skin and lying under a fan even, the goddamn craft (which now includes sewing by my kids).
And this year it included for me a writing deadline for (hopefully) another book anthology next year.
Previous views of December here:
Interestingly, I didn’t post photos in 2014.
I love to see what December looks like in your part of the world, so if you care to, leave a link to your own December photos in the comment section.
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Posted in cormac, i like walking, lauca, motherhood, motherhood bliss, motherhood sux, seth, slow parenting, step-parents, Uncategorized on July 20, 2016|
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It grew very quiet for a time, high up there in the stillness of the bush with its greys and blues and greens and my daughter glowering at me. Her ‘this is too hard’ had morphed into ‘you are too hard’. I told her about how magical it would be at the summit, I told her we had come this far and we had to keep going, I told her that she could do it.
After a time, I urged my boyfriend to go on without us. My daughter was wailing and cursing by then, like someone strung out. She was digging in hard, all resistance and hopelessness, snot and tears. My boyfriend walked off up the trail and disappeared around the bend. I imagined all the second thoughts he must be having about us, about binding himself to this crazy, broken thing.
From “What you really see when you climb a mountain with your child” in Essential Kids.
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Years ago there was this silly British comedy film made by the Monty Python team called Erik the Viking. There’s a scene in it where the vikings have set off on a terrifying quest to the edge of their world. One of the vikings has anxiety and has never fit in properly with the others. As the quest becomes more challenging the vikings begin talking about these horrible unfamiliar sensations they are experiencing – queasiness, heart-racing etc. “That’s fear”, says the anxious viking. “You’re feeling fear. That’s what I feel all the time”, he says delightedly.
Just as these vikings were culturally inexperienced with fear, so too my boyfriend seems culturally unaccustomed to anger. It’s been a curious experience for me to observe someone so, apparently, peaceful. Because I come from a family almost proudly angry. Artist parents get quite angry and there is little effort made to contain it. It just erupts and recedes. Not all of it is productive anger but neither is all of it seen as destructive.
Besides, anger happens regardless of how comfortable you are with expressing it. And seems particularly inevitable when you are juggling work, study, co-parenting, step-parenting and new relationships, as Seth is.
Lately I have been teasing him when I see him tense up. “That’s anger. You’re feeling angry. That’s what I feel all the time,” I say.
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