Life, Love, and Passports

Posts tagged “parents

The last supper

Tonight we had our last dinner with my parents before they head back to South Africa tomorrow after gracing us with their presence for one whole month. The primary purpose of their visit was to celebrate my birthday with me because apparently it wasn’t just any birthday it was a big birthday.

Counting down made me realise that I spend a large part of my life counting down days and always looking forward to the next big event. So once we wave them off at the airport and have shed those departure gate tears. Have I ever said how much I hate that goodbye gate and just watching loved ones looking back and waving until they disappear into what seems like a vapour. Departure sounds so final and can leave a person feeling empty and disorientated.

We’ve had a great time with my parents and it was good just travelling around the UK. The summer holiday has been full of activity but we’ve also had many pause and enjoy moments. Now for the final goodbyes until we meet again!


The only way is up!

I’ve decided rather reluctantly to add my view on the naming of the latest celebrity baby. I’d like to make it clear from the outset that I’m no fan of Kanye or Kim though I do find her face rather beautiful. Now they’ve had a baby and the public response is they’ve given her a ridiculous name. I’ve given the name North a thought and though it sounds like the result of thoughtless parents. I’d like to suggest that they were actually quite strategic and if North West is typed into a search engine what do you think you’ll find. Trust me the first thing you’ll find has nothing to do with directions!

As a mother of three I know what a difficult and painstaking decision it was to name our girls. Trying to find names that weren’t too difficult to pronounce (still a problem) and ensuring they didn’t rhyme with our last name resulting in them sounding like characters in a riddle. Though we were pleased with our choices our girls still complain but I’m sure they’ll get over it and if they don’t they can change them.

Spare a thought then for these celebrity parents who wanted a memorable, headline grabbing name. It’s worked because that’s what people are talking about. Any publicity is good publicity. Should they have more children I’m afraid the directional choice would just show a serious lack of imagination. For now though they’ve set a trend and for that they should be applauded.

Perhaps we’re accustomed to traditional names and anything out of the ordinary has us doing a double take. Just cast your mind back to the first time you heard a child named after a country, fruit, cars and other unusual combinations. These days nobody bats an eyelid upon hearing Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughters name Apple or Jamie Oliver’s playful combinations which include names like Boo and Bear. I suspect it will be the same with little North West. In the meantime spare a thought for her parents who are desperate for her to stand out in a house where everybody’s name seems to start with the letter K!

Dear Diary

My 7yr old daughter Charis ( though she constantly reminds me she’ll be 8 in about six weeks!). I then remind her that she’ll never be this young and free from responsibility again. With each passing year her responsibility will grow and there’ll be less opportunity to say she didn’t know. She is very wise for her years and we’re constantly butting heads over attitudes and utterances. She has now requested a diary and a promise from me not to snoop. Of course I’ll be snooping that’s what mothers do!

After a discussion about keeping secrets and the difference between good and bad secrets I may just leave her to it. I ask her if there’s anything she needs to know from me. Her response is a nothing really one but then slyly slides in a veiled request for details of my diary. Granted I was almost double her age when I kept one myself I’m left with no choice but to reinvent my diary entries. Truth is I was a sulky teen and no doubt there were numerous entries about annoying teachers, strict parents, selfish friends and perhaps a sighting of an interesting boy specimen to brighten an otherwise sour life.

She’s really excited to get started and I’m worried what I may find. Though I’m hoping the daily record keeping will improve her already creative writing skills. I’m really trying to see the positive side. I shall try my best not to snoop too much!

‘He wanted to be a hero’

Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead have been found guilty of manslaughter following the death of their six children after they started a house fire and the children were overcome by smoke while they slept. I must admit I’m still trying to get my head around such an evil act. It seems it was done as a ploy to blame an ex lover who had dared to walk away with her five children from a very unnatural family set up which saw him sharing the house with his wife and his lover along with their eleven children. He planned to rescue the children and be hailed a hero then be granted custody of the other five. Sadly, that is not what happened.

I’ve long grappled with this very spiteful idea of parents who claim to love their children and then put them in harms way in an attempt to teach somebody a lesson. It is impossible to be a good parent and be selfish. Parenthood requires selflessness. As reports were made of each court appearance it became quite apparent that these parents thought only of themselves. That attitude was a recipe for disaster.

As they await sentencing along with their accomplice Paul Mosley I can’t help but feel absolute pity for these six children who lost their lives in a fatal plot which went totally wrong. Phil has been portrayed as a violent, selfish, lazy, layabout who had as many children as possible to live a comfortable life on benefits. At this point in time and following the tragic loss of innocent lives all I’d like to see is the longest prison sentence to ensure these lives were not cut short in vain.

Rest in peace Duwayne, Jade, John, Jessie, Jayden and Jack

Reflections in the mirror

Whenever my husband or I discipline our girls the first opportunity we get we laugh about how grown up we sound and very parent like. Yes! I know we are parents but it’s hard to imagine that the things our parents said which certainly annoyed me are now my go to lines. I honestly thought I’d have a bit more creativity. Turns out you can’t escape those trusted reprimands.

If you’re a parent and you don’t find yourself sounding like your mother because for some reason the mothers always seem to have an arsenal of comebacks I’m not sure how you survive enforcing discipline. Some days I find myself asking “why can’t you just behave?” then I imagine them thinking to themselves “I’m just a child that’s what we do!”

My methods differ to the ones I was accustomed to as a child.
My first choice is to ban my girls from watching telly but it’s one of those where you should seriously consider the time limit you blurt out. At the moment that punishment is in place until the end of the school week. I do feel rather sad when they start displaying model behaviour and I’m tempted to give them just a little reprieve. Unfortunately at this stage of their little lives I’d also like them to know that my word is my bond even when it hurts me.
The naughty step is also one of my favourites for my youngest and it works great she always seems to just accept her punishment. Supernanny would be so proud of the both of us.

Children are an amazing gift and the responsibility on parents to shape their behaviour not just for now but their future is a daunting task. The challenge for me is to steer them in the right direction with support and occasionally some discipline without stifling their individual characters.Finding a punishment that fits the crime is a constant struggle. Perhaps the time has come for me to face up to the fact that I am a mother and being a bit of a nag bag comes with the title!

The act of marriage

Today my parents celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. An awesome achievement in this present day. Their marriage is a model on which I try to cultivate mine. Admittedly it is not as easy to work on a marriage as I thought it would be. After all falling in love is just so easy-well it was for me anyway. Sometimes I think I sustained a head injury in the process!

I’ve been married for a miserly eleven years and while that is an achievement in itself it hardly makes me an expert. I often think back to the first year of marriage and never in a million years would I like to go back to that place of insecurity and trying to find my place in our union. I’ve heard it been said that marriage is like a fortified city and those who are in want to get and those who are out want to get in. The truth is that nobody knows what goes on inside those walls except for those involved.

I like to think of marriage like potty training. You make the decision to potty train and whatever happens you just have to stick with it until you get the desired result.  Some days will be accident free and some will be a sequence of disasters but you have to reflect on the good of days gone by and be hopeful that the next day will be better. At some point it will seem like your goal is accomplished after weeks of toiling. Then out of the blue there is a mishap and you feel so disappointed but you have to offer encouragement and work through the difficult patch.

The moral of my story is that we all have good and bad days we just have to find ways to move forward and for some people it involves making drastic life changing decisions. Marriage is not easy by any measurement and anyone who says it is surely lives in a fool’s paradise.