Younger Life

I peered over the top bunk rail, "Time for lights out now Maddy, it's nearly nine."

"But it's the school holidays!" says the voice from the bunny hopping up and down on the covers.

"I know, and that is why you have been allowed to stay up this late reading."

"I wasn't reading," retorts the blonde rabbit, "I was picture-booking."

"Picture-booking? Oh really?"

She gestured to her old kindergarten record file at the foot of the bed.

"Yes, pictures of my Younger Life."

Ah, to be six...


Polka Baby



Mackenzie Louise - you are 9!

Daddy and I met you one night in April, nine years ago. You might say that meeting changed our lives. From that day onwards - into forever - we became aware of being a part of something far greater than ourselves. And that Something was You. We were knocked off our feet by the way you made us into a family and that way you just make yourself at home in our hearts is one of your best tricks.
You haven't changed - you are still funny, observant and philosophical. You are so clever with turning your thoughts into words and you coined many phrases that we still use. You have a grace and strength about you, diplomatic and generous with affection. Hugs are important to you, and back tickles make you nearly pass out with bliss. Books are your addiction, and you love warm bread and hashbrowns. You have beautiful fingers and gurgling laughter. You get easily distracted, your room gets messy quickly and your little sister delights in making you growl in frustration. You got glasses this year and you have cared for them so well.
You are helpful, instantly repentant and very reliable. You hate being alone. You often call me through the day just to check I am still around. Sometimes you come and check that you can see me. Once this year I left you in car with the baby while I rushed into the shops for some fruit. I was gone for 10 minutes. You were hysterical when I returned, and your fingers did not stop shaking for a long time after. It is so important to you that you feel secure. That you know who is picking you up, and when.
You do not like classically girlie things - and pinks have to be hot and not baby. You did not want chocolate cake, you wanted a vanilla birthday sponge. You enjoy soccer and it was a lot of fun to see you get your own golf clubs this year. You are happy to get on with other people and you are so easy to enjoy as a daughter. So far this year you have only said "Whatever" to your Daddy twice and rolled your eyes at Mummy once. That's pretty good. You sing clearly and with joy and you have compassion for those around you in need.
You are truly delicious; you are tall, have thick wavy blonde hair, wonderful blue eyes and such a smile! - it lights up the rooms of our hearts. You are a treasure to us Kenzie - we love you more than you will ever know. Happy Birthday Beautiful.


Thankful for bread...

This morning has been busy. I made baby food.

Don't laugh - my oven door would barely close on the three casseroles crammed in there, my biggest pot simmered on the element and the crock pot was also pressed into service. Not to mention the sheet of rusks that dried out after the casseroles were done.
I prepared, cooked, cooled, whizzed and froze enough food to last for what I hope is a reasonably long time. And then I felt sorry for my big girls and so made them a batch of Magic Slice.

The process of chopping my veggies and flaking the chicken and fish made me feel priviledged to be able to care for my children in this way. We have good healthy food.

Each time I ran fresh clean water over my dirty cookware, I was reminded of those who have no water to drink, let alone squirt over pots and bowls. As my dishwasher swished I thought of those who rub ash or sand over their meagre plates to clean them. And I thought as I sliced bread for baby rusks, about the desperate humanity in the ruined country of my past, Zimbabwe, whose lives hang in the balance as history writes itself . They have no bread. Only crumbs of hope that are being scavenged as we speak by vultures of greed. One voice tells their story here.

There but for the grace of God go I.


Strictness dilemma

Do you have any idea how hard it is to be unrelenting with six blue eyes aimed at you?
btw, this collection captures their current personalities perfectly.


Daddy love

One of my babies has been sick. For those of you who are parents - you will blink and slowly nod your heads as you remember what it is like to attend to the frequent cries through the small hours of a little head bent over a bowl. You will recall making a cup of coffee and watching the Disney channel at 2am, surrounded by pillows, stroking a sad furrowed forehead, cajoling fairy sips of hated electrolyte solution - all in a fog of disinfectant. You bite down on that weird sense of fear when your offspring are not well and wait for them to improve so that your heart can resume its normal rhythm. You watch the hours tick past, a part of you begging for sleep but the bigger part alertly serving the child you love, knowing that if you had to stay up all night, you would. And finally, the sky lightens. The weary blond head on the pillow stays quiet and still. And you at last can slip into rest for a time until the household stirs. You are a great dad Greg - thank you for being the one on watch and letting me creep back to my bed and leave you with this. Ten stars.


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