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 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 14: A Letter to the Last Person I Kissed

My Dear Little One,

Kissing you is a language in itself.

There are kisses of tenderness. Given in the quiet moments just before sleep, or those precious seconds when you are safe and secure in my arms. Those kisses are filled with endearments whispered straight into your heart, they capture every devoted thought and pour them out upon you so that you will never be in doubt of you value.

There are kisses of comfort. Given when something hurts, because sometimes life just hurts. I wish it didn’t, I wish I could send you off into the world, indestructible and fierce, but I can’t. Instead I can only promise, that whether your pain is through injury, discouragement, frustration or sadness – no matter what, that I will always be there to kiss it better.

There are kisses of joy. Given in those spontaneous moments of laughter that bubble up from inside. They shower down when you discover something new and gift us with your brightest smile – dimple and all. These kisses are sweet like sun-ripened strawberries, they are the perfect celebration of the moment.

There are kisses of reassurance. Given to impart faith and trust, understanding and encouragement. These kisses tell you that I see what is making you uneasy, whilst still giving you the courage to venture forth into the unknown. They are given to appease your fears and to strengthen your character. You can rely upon these kisses in those times when you doubt all else.

There are kisses of apology. Given when I make mistakes, because I know I make mistakes. Sometimes I don’t understand what you need, or I miss what it is you are trying to tell me. For the times when I fail to give you the right kiss in the right moment. These kisses will try so hard to make up for the ones I miss.

There are kisses of forgiveness. Given when you make mistakes, because you will make mistakes. Because you are only learning that lipsticks aren’t for eating, and washing powder isn’t for making sand castles. I will give these kisses freely, even when I’m cross because they remind me that every moment is precious and not to wast a chance for even a single kiss.

The last kiss I gave you was a good-night kiss. I gave it to you as I lay you down in your cot. It was a kiss of peace and prayer. It was a kiss to fill your spirit up until I can begin to give you all kinds of kisses again tomorrow. You are everything that is cherished and priceless, you are sunshine and rainbows and Vegemite smiles.

There are a million more kisses that could be named, but let’s just call it LOVE.

I love you little boy, sweet dreams.

Mummy xxx

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Day 3: A Letter to My Sister

Dear Amanda,

I could cheat, and get people to just click over to the last letter I wrote for you here; but I figure that’s not really in the spirit of the exercise.

I like letters that start with the word ‘Dear’. As opposed to other options such as:  ‘Attention’, or ‘Oi you!’, or ‘Listen up, I have something to say’. ‘Dear’ has such a embracing vibe, not to mention it rolls off the tongue more smoothly than any of the others.

So. Again…

Dear Amanda,

You’ve been my sister for 32 years and 10 months, give or take a few days. Somewhere along the way we’ve become grown-ups! You walked the path of childhood 4 years ahead of me and in some ways you made it easier for me when I came along behind. Thanks for that – I know at the time you would have preferred to make it as difficult as possible for me, but, well, sucks to your asthma!

Through my childhood eyes you were always so ‘ finished’, the antithesis of me. Your room was the clean to my mess. Your Barbie was always dressed down to her shoes, while I have a feeling mine was moonlighting as a topless barmaid somewhere in the seedy underbelly of our toy room. Your wardrobe was couture to my hillbilly ho-down. You were diligence to my disorganised. City to my country. I could probably go on but I know you get the picture.

The thing is, as a kid this used to drive me insane. I was forever measuring myself against your shadow and I never matched up. I hated always feeling like I was second best. When you think about it, that kind of sentiment could have spelled disaster for our future relationship. That, and the time you were in year 8 and I announced that you had blackheads in your ears  in front of the most popular girl in school 😉 (I took my shots when I could).

Instead we have somehow managed to not only escape the temptation of inflicting an  ‘accidental death’, but we have become two parts of a whole. It’s ironic just how close we are in adulthood. In fact, it’s downright weird

We have survived so much together, I don’t need to go into any of them because you know what they are! You are my confidante, my counsellor, my stylist and on occasion my padded cell. You are my Oprah, Dr Phil, Sloth and Lonestar. You are my industrial strength hairdryer and I can’t live without you!

You are gentleness and kindness personified. Sometimes it makes me cross the way people tread over your spirit, but I see you learning to find a deep well of strength that I always knew was in there. I look forward to seeing you ‘gently’ kick some butts when the opportunity presents itself! You have taught me about elegance, and poise and graciousness. You also taught me how to pick my nose when I was 3 – Thanks for that too.

They say you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.  We chose to be far more than family, and far more than just friends. We are sisters, a relationship that has created an infinite circle, an alloy of family and friendship that no other person can understand or share. It combines history and future, joy and pain, strength and weakness. It is a language, a soundtrack, an obscure movie line. It’s ours.

It’s only been 32 years so far, you and I have a lifetime to laugh, cry and read regency romance novels together before we are through with this ‘sister’ gig.

You are Dear Amanda, you are my other 1/4 of the m&m.

 

I just have one last thing to say….

I love… I love… I love you 

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xxoo

Day 2: A Letter to my Parents

Dear Mum & Dad,

I guess I have to start at the beginning and say thanks for having sex 32 years ago. It was a defining moment for me. And also, thank you for never doing it again – except for that one time when you forgot to turn off the intercom system in the house. My sister and I have finished counseling and we are now reasonably nightmare free.

These letters really make me stop and sift through my memories, it’s a bit like gold panning. I scoop up a big bunch of stuff from my mind and swish it around to get rid of the boring bits like school, cleaning my room, homework, housework, nappies, chocolate. Then I spend snatches of time exploring the memories and emotions left over; every now and then a sparkle of gold catches me.

Some memories make me laugh. Like the time I threw that fake spider at Dad while he was driving on the freeway. Or when Mum would phone from some distant country town because she had slept through her train stop. Again.

Other memories make me shake my head and wonder what on earth you were thinking! Like the time my sister had to do an assignment in primary school about the dangers of smoking. Mum you thought it would be funny to parade us up to Dad’s butcher shop with real lit cigarettes in our hands (purchased for the authenticity of the poster) just to freak him out! Yeah, that didn’t have any lasting affects!

Then I think about our pets: ducks, dogs, cats, horses, sheep, a turtle, fish, cows, guinea pigs, rabbits and tadpoles; have I missed any? If there was an animal that needed a home and I found out about it, I was headed straight to you Dad – because I would feed it, and I would look after it! Anyone who visits the hometown lake can still see the descendants of Mr & Mrs Rubberface swimming merrily upon it’s water! I am so glad that my boys have inherited that same love and respect for animals that you nurtured and encouraged in me.

I think I can attribute my love of big words to you Mum. You once furiously admonished (big words 😉 ) me for ‘contradicting you’. From that point on I figured, “hey, if I’m going to get into trouble for it, I should at least understand what I did!”.

I also remember being homesick whenever I was away from you. School camp, horse riding camp, school holidays with Granny, a sleepover at a friends’ house. I longed to be home, where I was harboured and anchored. You sheltered me and accepted me, creating a world  for me that was safe.

I think more than anything, the abiding truth of your parenting is that you worked so hard for us to be happy. For us to have the things we needed, as well as some of the things we wanted so we could thrive and follow our dreams. I wonder if sometimes you doubt that you really gave that to us. But you did, and both of your daughters are now in their own way finding and following their dreams. We will always be held in the knowledge that you are proud of us, proud of the people we are as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and friends.

This letter feels weird, suspended somewhere between funny and emotional, like it isn’t complete. There are so many things I would love to write but this just isn’t the place for it. The good thing is that I know I can say those things to you in person. I can tell you how much I love you and hug you. You will always be ‘home’ to the little girl inside of me and there is something very special about just being with you. Anytime and  every time. I know I have been gifted with strong, loving, encouraging, loyal and supportive parents. I hope that I reflect the wonderful example you have always been to me.

I also hope Mum, that I never contradict you again.

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I Love you both.

xxoo

Day 1: A Letter to my Best Friend


Dear Shaun,

I know I said I wouldn’t use names, but I changed my mind. Everyone should know that this letter is about you, you deserve that recognition. You are my best friend. The best of the best.

I know I have more than I deserve, somehow the most incredible people are a part of my life. There are several people I can call ‘closest friends’; but when I have to write a letter to my best friend, well there is only one choice. It’s you.

You have known me since I was 11, you came to my 12th birthday party and ate more of Mum’s lasagne than we thought possible! You frowned at me through my rebellious years, and flirted (using a dictionary) with me on the bus when you were 17. The word ‘brushed’ will always make me think of you.

You have taught me so much. How to argue – because out loud is always better than inside my head. You have taught me how to laugh at myself, how to use the whipper snipper, and how to play with our beautiful boys. You have taught me to believe in myself the way you believe in me, in a way that makes all dreams a possibility. You showed me how to be slow to speak and quick to forgive. Because of you I’ve learned how to let go of the small stuff and fight for what matters.

You make me laugh as no one else can. A gift that comes from a lifetime of shared experiences, some more bizarre than others. Like that time you were digging a grave for my guinea pig while our neighbour looked on making all kids of ‘witty remarks’ about the small dead creature in my hands – not realising it was dead of course. I will never forget the look on his face when you told him why you were digging the hole!

You were the first one to call me Milla, and now everyone does. Although no one else calls it out across the shopping centre in the style of a baby crocodile – only you do that.

Yours was the only face I saw as I walked down the aisle, Yours was the hand I held  while I delivered both our boys (sunroof style). You are strong. You are kind. You are faithful. You have picked me up when I fall down – both figuratively and literally. You are my fearless leader, my muse and my greatest gift. I thank God for you.

I am smart, I chose a best friend that will always be in my life. The last person I see before sleep and the first person I see when I wake – unless Sam gets in first! I chose the one who knows the worst of me – wobbly bits and all – and loves me regardless. One who challenges me to be better than I am and isn’t put off by my complaining. I chose you. The one I will grow old with, the one who’s socks I wash (sometimes). The one who has my heart.

You are my best friend.

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I Love you – Milla xo

30 Letters In 30 Days…

I call myself a writer, but really lets face it, my last post was in May… What does this mean? I guess it means that I have issues. Lots of them, but then again who doesn’t?

When my issues raise their ugly heads I go into hiding. Like the proverbial turtle, I tuck myself away in my tough little shell until I get cabin fever, until I run out of chocolate or until I am poked with a stick enough times to make me come out snapping. Usually my hibernation doesn’t last this long, perhaps I’m getting better at it (oh yay me!).  No, that’s not true, I’ve just had plenty of stuff to keep me distracted. You know what it’s like, your ‘life’ can be an awesome camouflage for your strife. That is where I have been living for the past while.

Don’t get me wrong life has been incredible, I have been places and done things in the past 5 months that I never EVER dreamed possible. However it’s the stuff underneath the surface that undermines anything happening on top. You know what I mean, those things we can all struggle with: doubt, depression, procrastination, guilt, frustration, fury. The sludge and tar and cesspit inhabiting parts of being alive. Yeah, I have that.

Now, I mentioned being poked with a stick earlier? Yep, that’s my friends and family. They just lurve to get all up in my grill (Yes, I am a part time gangsta) and needle me with questions:”What are you doing?”, “What have you written?”, “Why haven’t you written?” “What’s going on with you?”. They do it because they love me, know me and care enough about me to get me out of my shell, back in the sunlight. Even if I do come out snapping.

So here I am. Again. Disheveled, sun blinded, and a bit shaky. I am getting back out there. Again.  This time I have a bit of a plan though.

I was procrastinatingwasting timeavoiding reality, researching *read StumbleUpon-ing online the other day and came across an idea that snagged my anesthetised imagination.

30 Days.

30 Letters.

Over the next 30 days I will write 30 letters to different people past, present and future and I will post them here (no names though). I got my inspiration from here and I have to say I am relieved. An odd emotion I know, but I will be writing something each day over the next 30 days and that is a he-eck of a lot more than I have been.  So yes, I am relieved.

So stay tuned, read if you wanna and leave me a note to say hi. I have missed you all. I have missed me, I have missed words – and more than likely punctuation and grammar, but that is why God invented editors. I just don’t have one yet.

Love Love xxoo

 

 

 

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