Day 29: A Letter To My Son

Hello There Boy,

This is your letter. It’s a special one. I’ve been baking it, pondering it and at times wrestling with it for a few weeks now. I knew I would get it here eventually, it’s just been a process. One day you will understand what a process is, for now don’t you worry about it.

A decade, that’s how long you’ve been around, and from the moment you entered our lives you have been loved, treasured and cherished, that won’t ever change, no matter what the future holds, your place in our hearts is secure and safe and growing daily.

Some days I catch myself looking at you and just shaking my head because I cannot believe how fast time has flown! My memories are so fresh that I can still smell the powder and wipes scent of your nursery.

I love it that you remember special things too! Like the time I imprinted you with the scent of lavender!! I guess it was a form of brainwashing – making you smell the crushed flowers as I smothered you with kisses and hugs, telling you to remember how much I love you every time you smell lavender – but I don’t regret it, not when you still bring it up every now and then when you find a lavender bush!

You also remember some of my less stellar parenting moments… For all of the times I have let you down, or not done the right thing by you I am so sorry. I promise you I am trying to do the best I can, I am learning and growing every day just like you.

I love how complex you are, and you have been since the day you were born! One of my most vivid memories is of pushing you through the hospital corridors in one of those plastic tubs they put all new babies in. I had just given you a bath, and I looked down at you and there you were; this little bundle with black  spiky hair and dark blue eyes, peering up at me as if questioning my ability to pull this whole mothering caper off! Well, you’re still breathing, so I guess for the most part I’ve done okay.

You’ve walked alongside me through some of the darkest and most traumatic days of my life, and they have  revealed in you a tenderness that takes my breath away. I will never forget that morning when you awoke to me crying, you climbed up into my lap  as I explained that the baby in my tummy had died, you looked into my eyes with an understanding I would have found surprising in a grown man. The feel of your little hand in mine through that long day of hospitals and despair was an anchor that I may never be able to fully explain, but if I suddenly lost every memory I ever had, I am sure that the feel of your hand within mine would anchor me once more.

I love that you have a beautiful respect for life, all life. Especially those without a voice, those who cannot defend themselves, you are a brave defender. There is no cruelty in you, no viciousness or darkness that I see in so many other boys your age. You are an example of what real strength can look like. Kind, genuine, caring, brave and strong, don’t be afraid to be different from those around you, often they are just waiting for the right person to follow. That person is you, be the leader I know is inside of you. Anyone can pick up a weapon and bring death – but it takes a very special person to inspire people to live. It is all within you – keep letting it come out.

You are growing into a wonderful young man, I want you to know just how proud I am to be your mother. While there will be many things that will change over then next few years I want you to know that there are some things that will never change – no matter how much time goes past:

  • I will always be your mum
  • I will always try to kiss, hug, touch, pinch (in a teasing and loving way) and generally show affection at every opportunity
  • I will always see the best version of you
  • I will always try to help you
  • I will always want to talk with you
  • I will ALWAYS know best
  • I will always love you
  • I will always have other things to add to this list!

You are one of a kind. I am so glad that you are mine. Grow big and strong, follow your dreams and know that I believe in you, in everything you can be and will be.

I love you a million hippopotamus yawns.

Always and forever

Your Mum xxoo

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Day 28: A Letter To A Friend I Haven’t Met Yet

Hi,

Image by Christopher Spiewak

I know we haven’t met yet, but I’m just going to write this to you as if I had known you forever. I hope you don’t mind but I have so many things I want to share with you, and to be perfectly honest if I had to stick within the traditional lines of friendship – well, it would take forever and there is no way I can wait that long! So, I guess that’s the first thing you have learned about me, I lack patience.

Another thing you will discover pretty fast is that I tend to jump right into the deep end, I love chocolate and I often have a highly inappropriate sense of humor, there’s probably lot’s of other stuff, but that’s what’s popped into my mind just now.

So, here’s where I  do that whole jumping into the deep end thing.

I hear that things haven’t exactly been going according to plan in your life, you know those plans we make when we are 8 years old and  playing with our Barbies or Cabbage Patch Kids? Did you have a Cabbage Patch Kid? Personally I preferred my My Child but that’s not important right now. What I was saying about ‘the plan’ is, that we only ever saw good things: a wonderful man, a beautiful wedding, noisily pushing out babies like they did on TV… It never enters into our mind that ‘the plan’ can make a major left turn and lead us along a path we never imagined. Yet here you are, in a place that you never pictured yourself, dealing with issues you really have no clue how to address. Perhaps have never felt so alone in your life, please don’t read that the wrong way, I know that you are surrounded by people who love you, people who care and are devoted to you in the closest way possible. But I figure, if I were in your shoes, there would be so many things floating (or bashing – which is more likely the case) around in my head – things that I couldn’t talk to any of those people about, so what do I do with them?

I don’t know the answer to that, but heres some stuff I have been thinking about lately instead.
Have you ever noticed how many people refer to hard times in life as storms? Heaps right? I think greeting card companies have made a fortune off that analogy! So, here are some of my own thoughts about storms:

  • Storms aren’t all bad – Sure they whip things around, they make a bit of a mess, but they always serve a purpose, even if we don’t know what that purpose is.
    I was in Beijing in 2007 and the smog got so bad at one point you couldn’t see more than 500m down the road, then there was this huge thunder storm, the kind that flash and rumble all night, while a steady deluge just buckets from the sky. Eventually it did end though and for the first time since arriving in China, I saw the blue sky. Yes, I know this is dangerously close to cliché but just bear with me. The storm cleansed a city, I’m sure it made life hard for many people while it rained, but that same rain cleaned the air that everyone breathes. It accomplished something that was completely beyond our ability to do for ourselves.
  • There’s an awful lot of space between raindrops – People don’t drown in the rain! I suppose this is a ‘glass half full/empty senario’. I mean, sure – yes it’s raining and there is no doubt that you are stuck in the middle of the downpour. You are dripping wet and surrounded by muddy puddles. But you aren’t swimming, so you aren’t even close to drowning, the reason you can feel where every drip hits is because of all the places they aren’t hitting! I have to admit, this thought made me want to go and dance in the muddy puddles and feel all the places the rain was missing me!!
  • Storms are a contrast, not a conclusion. They are a shadow that passes over a landscape, they are not the landscape itself. They are transient, no matter how fierce – they may impact, they may make a mess but they do not last forever.
  • There’s no point yelling at the storm, it can’t hear you.
    Imagine when Hurricane Katrina came rolling in, what person would waste their time on the shore, raging at the thunderheads? What would that achieve? So, when ‘storms’ strike in our lives why is it that we stand there impotently shaking our fist at circumstances we can’t change anyway? Yeah, I don’t know either.

I can get carried away, so I will stop there. I guess what I’m trying to say is, that I know you are having an awful time at the moment and I don’t know why. I don’t think anyone ever knows why bad things happen. I do want you to know that even though we haven’t met, and even though you might think this is really weird and strange – this letter is completely for you. 100% because I want you to know that I am thinking about you, praying for you and supporting you. I am a bit quirky, and I can ramble on, but I hope I have said some things that you needed to hear.

If you ever need to talk – especially about those things you feel you can’t share with anyone else, or if you just want to rage at the storm – you can talk to me. I am close enough to care but distant enough that you needn’t worry about upsetting me or hurting my feelings, most of all I want to be there for you. Because that’s what friends are for, and we are friends (great friends) even though we haven’t met….Yet

Love Always

Amelia xo

amelia@ameliahunter.com (just in case ;))

Day 27: A Letter To A True Friend

Hi,

Have you noticed that whenever we talk or write to each other it feels like we are just picking up our conversation wherever we left it last? I guess that lot’s of people feel that way, but it’s one of the things I like best about our friendship – that, and Matt Damon movies, and Zoolander, and iPhones, and Apple products.

You were a bit of a surprise really, certainly not what I expected when I first met you. To be perfectly honest I don’t know that I had any expectations at all.  You just showed up and promptly turned my world on it’s head, kicked me out of my rut, and pushed me back into the traffic flow of life (thanks for that!). You did all of this, and I’m still not sure that you even realised you were doing it at the time! But that’s just the person you are, you activate people, you flip their switches and push their buttons, you get them onto the path they need to be walking in order to reach their goals – or find their goals – or think about finding some goals to reach. You’re good at it too, don’t ever doubt that.

I love it that our friendship hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns , or beer and skittles, or paddle pops and milky ways either (I made that last one up). We have weathered a few storms, and believe me when I tell you, I thought a couple of them were the end of us. Yet, somehow we managed to navigate our way through them. I like to think that Matt Damon would be proud, in a Jason Bourne kind of way – you know, we triumphed in the face of insurmountable odds and all that. Seriously though, I’m glad we did make it through, because those trials – those times when instead of communication it felt like we were hacking at each other with samurai swords – yep, those trials somehow managed to transform into something beautiful and strong. A friendship that goes beyond the pop-culture brand of friendship and becomes something closer to family.

Not many people can honestly say they have a friend who has seen them at their worst. Now, I’m not talking about 6am bed hair, morning breath and panda eyes worst, no I’m talking about full meltdown, tantrum throwing, I want to scoop eyeballs out with a spoon worst  – just raw unadulterated ‘ugly-you’. Well I believe congratulations are in order, we have both been there – and survived! (can I have my spoons back now please?). There are lots of warm and fuzzy inspirational quotes which are applicable to this sentiment, but since you spend even more time on the internet than I do, I won’t bother repeating them here. I know you understand where I’m going with this.

Essentially, at some point you went past the parameters of friend and you became family. I don’t know how you did it, I’m impressed you survived to be honest, but now that you are family there’s some things you need to know.

  • You can never escape – I will hunt you down and bug you till you come back again, because that’s what a family is meant to do – stick together.
  • You never have to go far to ask for help – with anything (except body disposal, you know how I feel about your  homicidal tendencies) I will always be there to give you my best, even if my best is completely useless, it’s yours!
  • You will never be alone, you will always have someone alongside you – now read that carefully because it doesn’t say I will always be on your side –  what happens if I have to play against you in Monopoly or Scrabble?

In short I guess what I’m trying to say is that alone we are awesome, but together… WE ARE FIERCE!!!

I love you

xxoo

Day 24: A Letter To Someone Who Is On The Path

Dear Traveller,

You know there are some places that are just filled with profound treasures? The Matrix is one of them! This is a quote that just smashes through your thought processes and dumps the truth right at your feet.

“There’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path”.

I wonder though, if you realise how much this applies to where you are right now? In case you don’t I am going to try to break it down for you real quick okay? Okay.

So the world is filled with billions of people, but let’s just look at the general population you’re familiar with for now. Every person has within them the potential to be, achieve, attain, anything they set their minds to. Yet for some reason, most of them achieve very little. They finish school, enter the workforce, start a family and tend not to wander too far outside of this pattern for the rest of their lives. Now, I’m not saying that this is wrong, far from it. This is in itself a ‘path’, but what my question is, is this the path they always knew for their life?

What I notice happens within the framework of ‘growing up’ is that responsibility and reality evict dreams and aspiration. They simply crowd out the space where vibrance and adventure used to live. Replacing them with an anesthetized landscape that has all the personality and potential of an elevator. Sure, you think your moving, but in reality you’re just visiting the same floors over and over again.

Now I am not saying that those who live with responsibility and reality are creatively castrated, remember I’m both a mum and a wife and I have more than my fair share of both! I am just saying that it has taken me a long and often very bleak journey to rediscover some of those dreams and to recapture that vibrance that I allowed to be choked so many years ago. Those destinations that I knew existed and were integral to the landscape of my path.

‘Knowing your path’ doesn’t mean you’re going to know every step, every pebble and pot-hole. What it means is that you should know the landmarks, those things that you have a passion for: writing, aircraft, caring for the sick, tapestry! It really doesn’t matter what the landmarks are, you just have to make sure that they feature upon your path. Today it’s too easy to know your path, know what you love, know what you dream and then allow yourself to be detoured by doubt, insecurity and sometimes, open opposition. Walking your path will take courage, it will take conviction and it will certainly take choice.

Look at the choices you have made so far, celebrate those which have led you further along the path you know, and perhaps look at road-blocking some of the choices that you can see aren’t really getting you anywhere. Choosing to go after your dreams might be hard, it might mean hours of study late into the night, it may mean ignoring the mocking of those who are close to you, it might mean years of financial sacrifice, but those are your steps to take. You have to remember it’s your path, no one else’s.

I look forward to watching your path unfold. Remember, always choose the red pill! While ignorance might be blissful for a while, eventually you will see that you’re simply wasting away in a bubble of frustration. At least with your eyes wide open, you can see where you are going!

 

 

 

 

 

xxoo

 

 

 

 

 

Day 18: A Letter To Someone Who Wants To Give Up

Dear Weary One,

I don’t know who this letter is for, I just know that it’s has been rattling around inside of me for the last 2 days. I know you must be out there somewhere, so if you’re reading this and it’s hitting home, then please take it to heart. I would tell you these things in person if I could, but for now letter form will have to suffice.

I get the feeling that you are just so tired. You’re tired of fighting through the same rubbish every day. You’re tired of the act, the monotony and the endlessness of it all. You’re just plain tired, in fact no one in the history of the universe has ever been as tired as you are right now. That’s right, no one. Ever. Ever.

You don’t want to keep reading because you think I’m going to get all pep-talkey on you, well I’m not making any promises but I will try to keep the sunshiny rainbow stuff to a minimum, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that things can always get worse. You could be forced to spend the next 3 minutes with a rainbow pooping space traveling pixel-cat with the worlds most irritating soundtrack! Observe.

Now that I’ve shown you that life can in fact always get worse, let’s get back to discussing you. I have no idea what’s bought you to the place where you no longer posess the vision, the desire or even the energy to face your future, all I know is that for some reason todays letter is for you. The least you can do is read it, it can’t be as bad as another 3 minutes of Nyan Cat up there!

So here’s what I want to say to you.

If you’re still breathing, then there’s still hope! – In the words of the uberwise Kung Fu Panda “Yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present”. Now, you can’t get cross at me for how corny that is, it was uttered by a panda. No one can be mad at pandas, they’re way too cute!

Seriously though, you need to understand that if there’s still life left in your body, then no matter how bad you feel right now your purpose in this world is not complete. There is an incredible plan for you, you’ve just wandered away from the path a little bit! I get it I have been there so many times I’ve lost count, but I have also taken my own and other very smart and loving people’s advice and just kept on breathing. Eventually you will find your way through! Dory had it right all along!

 

Yes, I am quoting cartoons an awful lot in this post, but you know what? When my 2 year old falls down, even when he has really hurt himself you want to know what he does? He picks himself up, runs over to either myself or his daddy and presents us with his injury. He expects us to press a gentle kiss upon the ‘owie’ so that it can be made all better and he can continue on his way.

Yes, life is really that simple! It really does come down to a few very simple points.

  1. Stuff Happens – It can really suck sometimes, it can make you cry, it can even make you bleed, but if it doesn’t kill you, then I guess that means you’re not out of the game yet. Awesome!
  2. Take your ‘owie’ to the right people – Can you imagine what would happen if my child took his injury to another injured and crying child instead of coming to his parents? It would turn into the loudest, saddest, most unhappy place in the playground! A hurting child will not have sympathy and tenderness required to care for another hurting and crying child. Instead they will feel the need to cry even louder to ensure that the real caregivers can hear them and help. Don’t try to get the help you need from someone who is in the same place as you are! Take yourself to the people who have what you need to get yourself through this time!
  3. Once you have what you need, don’t just sit there afraid of getting hurt again – get back out there and laugh and play! Simply enjoy the feeling of the wind in your hair as you go down the slide, or the giddiness of the merry-go-round. Life happens in the simple pleasures. If you have forgotten that, then you will forever   feel that you lack what you need to live a happy and joy filled life.
  4. A smile changes everything and everything can change with a smile. Start there and the rest will follow.

Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!

Love you

xo 

Day 16: A Letter To My Afflictions

** Before I begin, I should take a moment to clarify just what I mean when addressing my  ‘afflictions’. I’m not referring to any chronic illness or devastating disability (for which I am truly grateful), I am simply referring to those parts of my make-up for which I am constantly making, apology, allowance or restitution.

Dear Afflictions,

You really outdo yourself at times. Honestly, I have no idea how it is I have managed to live as long and fruitful a life as I have. I am astounded (and reluctantly impressed) by the tactics you employ to hijack my body and hurl me into all manner of awkward and usually embarrassing situations. Thank you for your excellent tutelage in the subtle arts of the delicate backpedal, the nonchalant recovery and the barefaced confession. Whilst my education continues, I really feel those of you who work hardest in my life deserve some attention of your own.

I’ll begin with my old friend ‘Inappropriate Curiosity’. I honestly can’t remember when you first came into my life, I do know that the older I get, the more aware of you I become.
I love the way you blindside me with your arrival, you bypass every filter between my brain and mouth in your quest to suck details straight from the source. The concepts of boundaries, manners or even good taste earn little more from you than a scorn filled scoff. So far you have had me:

    • Ask strangers “So, why did you have to go to the doctor today?”
    • Interrupt friends who are clearly in the midst of a deep and meaningful conversations with “Oooh, what are you guys talking about?”
    • Ask off duty policemen to recount their horror stories
    • Exclaim over a newly coiffed male friend, “Oh, look! You got new hair, was it through Ashley and Martin?”
    • Upon noticing a couple who looked especially in love “Did you get lucky last night?”

Every one of these cases has been followed by a moment of awkward silence in which neither party can quite believe what has just occurred. It is solely because of your tireless persistence that I have the slap-hand-over-mouth-eyes-wide-in-horror move down to perfection. I am also great with the follow up, “I’msosorrythatwassowrongpleasejustignoreeverythingIjustsaid”.
I wonder if anyone else is as familiar with you as I am?

Another great teacher over the years has been ‘Spatial Dysfunction’.
When you came stumbling into my world is anyone’s guess, perhaps I was dropped one too many times as a child. Perhaps it was because I never learned how to do the monkey bars properly as a child. Perhaps it’s because I’m really a size 8, but I’m stuck in a size 22 body….
Regardless of your origins, due to your constant and untiring attentions I can lay the following achievements at your feet:

      • 16,784 items knocked from shelves, racks, tables and displays.
      • 9,827 feet stood upon.
      • 22,456 tripping incidents, of which 11,001 were in public and 8722 involved me landing on another person.
      • 4,366 missed steps.
      • 1,283 children knocked over 1,008 of whom ended up crying.

There are so many more credits I could give you, I haven’t even mentioned the instances involving food. Suffice it to say I am well schooled in the ‘find-a-corner-and-stay-there‘ method of dealing with crowded rooms. I am also good at the ‘bump-and-freeze‘ move, this is especially useful in avoiding the ‘domino-disaster‘. That cataclysm of clumsiness, where one bump leads to a trip, followed by several spilled drinks and crescendoing with a squashed child and underwear on public display. After the ‘Wedding-gate’ incident of 2007 I have never been able to look at a dance floor without breaking into a cold sweat.

Indeed, as far as afflictions go, you guys have been my constant companions ever present reminders of my propensity for disaster. I do want to thank you for (so far) avoiding all video recording devices, for the record, I would like to make it clear that I have no desire to become part of the next ‘overweight-woman-should-know-better’ montage on Australia’s Funny Home Videos.

So cheers for the memories, and here’s to the future!

Thanks for teaching me to laugh at myself.

Amelia

xo

Day 12: A Letter to Someone who Procrastinates

Dear Procrastinator,

You wonder why you feel so frustrated some days. Seriously? Take a look at yourself and be honest, you waste time like a Die Hard movie wastes buildings, cars, helicopters and the F-word. At least you don’t use the F-word! You wander around with your eyes closed pretending that you aren’t avoiding doing all the things that need to be done. What you seem to forget, is that while you’re busy avoiding the little things you are also avoiding life. Life exists within the small things, it happens when you are doing something, whether it’s washing clothes, doing homework, or writing a letter a day for 30 days! It’s the little things that lead you to those amazing big moments in life. Those special, momentous, memory-worthy moments in life only happen when you’re actually living not just existing. There’s a big difference

There are two types of people in this world, the watchers and the do-ers. The do-ers live their lives engaged, active and switched on. Sure they aren’t always climbing mountains, building skyscrapers or saving lives, but they are moving. They’re getting the things done that enable them to achieve incredible things – when Sipderman’s Spidey-Sense tingled he didn’t spent 15 minutes turning his house upside down looking for his Super Suit! No! He didn’t spend his down time watching funny cat videos on You Tube, he did his laundry!

Then there are the watchers. The ones who always seem to be on the sidelines watching the do-ers do life. They content themselves with being up to date with everyones else’s lives, all the while bemoaning the fact that their own life is so severely lacking. They crave adventure – so rather than cleaning the kitchen and then going to a park they haven’t visited before, they sit on their couch and watch a new action movie (downloaded illegally). They crave connection and relationship, so instead of having a shower and meeting up with a friend they haven’t seen in a while, they spend their time in chat-rooms and web forums complaining about how genuine friendships no longer exist.  These are the people who sit on Facebook, forever commenting on the status’s of those who actually have a status, yet never have anything worthwhile to share themselves!

The irony of the division between the watchers and the do-ers is nothing more than a choice. There aren’t any excuses that can prevent a watcher from becoming a do-er! Not money, not transport, not time. The fact is the change happens in a split second. Some call it motvation, some call it inspiration, but really all it is is the choice to finally make something happen and get it done. It begins with the little things, but those little things are actually the foundation upon which the big things can happen. Begin to change the first and soon enough you become the one with a status people want to comment on!

So, what are you waiting for? quit reading this letter and go and get something done!

Love you lots, you are amazing and incredible – I can’t wait to read your new status!

xxoo

 

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