A few things on my mind

Archive for September 2013

I have for long time been telling my daughter that she has super powers and as she grows older, it was getting harder to demonstrate how these powers actually work. I then came up with a brilliant plan, I told her she can open robots and keep them open for me so I don’t get stuck in traffic – something that she know I hate with all my heart.  So she has taken to these powers like a duck to water and something she is very proud of that she can do to help me. This I have to mention takes special skill from me, I  need to anticipate the ones that are going to open soon and ask for help in time, and for the ones I know we are not going to make them, blame the motorists in front of me for driving slow and wasting her powers. It is hard work making someone feel special.    

This past weekend she had a friend over, same age and as we are driving together, my child straps herself in, ensures that her friend is strapped in and gets on robot opening duty. Sitting in front I cringe as she says this out loud. Her friend is going to hear and reveal that not only that she not have those powers but I am a big fraud. All good friends are the ones that oust your parents.

Surprisingly enough, her friend believes her and the ride becomes an experience – and she is amazed by her friend’s powers to a point where she asks if I can give her the same superpowers. When I was telling my friends about this – I said they were naïve, but was corrected that no, children are just innocent souls – and we should let them be innocent for as long as possible.

Our ride was to go see two friends of mine that I have not seen in a long time. She could not remember who they were and to jog her memory, I said, they are the ones whose wedding we went to and there is a photo of you, me and daddy at their wedding –“Oh the one where I am wearing my purple dress? I remember” Now in my explanation, I made reference to these two friends’ gender and now their wedding. I know my daughter well enough to hear the wheels turning in her head while trying to solve a complex problem. Few minutes later she says, “But mommy you said she and they are married, are they both girls?” “Yes baby, they are both girls” “But how can they be married then?” “Cause some girls who love each other marry each other” 

Yes I am aware that I botched that one big time. Never thought I would have to explain gay relationships to my seven year old and that was my attempt – feeble as it was – to make sure she got the right message. Her final word on the subject was “Mommy, I am so confused right now” And it was fine for now – I thought, I will go buy a book and read up on explaining your aunties are gay;-)

When we got to their house, they had their house painted blue – which was an immediate hit. When their the dogs came out they were over the moon, then they brought out a box of costumes for dress up – which transformed them to witches and aliens in blue hair. The day was a success – tucking them in at night, I got “Mommy that was the best day ever!”

Raising children is hard but with good friends, some magic and of course gay aunties, it is a little less so. 

I don’t like kids. I like my friends kids and mostly because I like their parents. I met this little boy a few months ago called Hudson. His mom, Andrea works with me and is my friend. I am fortunate enough to work with great people – making the place where I work quite cool. So she brought Hudson over to the office to meet his extended family. We were all made to sanitise our hands – washing them was not good enough;-) See Hudson was little over 4 months and he had just survived his first heart surgery. He had been diagnosed with CHD. I took a peek at the scar across his chest and thought ‘SJB’.  His dad, Nick, was parading him around the office – had never seen a man so proud.I know I said I would not mention names, but this is going to be an exception. I need to tell you about these extraordinary people. 

Hudson died a few weeks after I met himWhen I heard, my heart went out to Nick and Andrea, mostly because I could not possibly imagine how one deals with such shit. But where this story normally ends, this would be the beginning of Andrea, Nick and Hudson’s journey. 

In honour of Hudson, today Andrea and Nick launched the Hudson Initiative – go to hudsoninitiative.org – aimed at creating awareness on CHD. I was looking at Andrea and Nick this morning and watching them speak of their son, I thought what extraordinary people these are. Andrea comes to work everyday and manages to laugh and behave normally. Nick remains a beautiful human being and one of the nicest people you will ever get to meet – and I wondered what shit are these people on. Nonetheless, I was inspired today, I saw the true strength of the human spirit. And then dear old Hudson, only 4 months old in this world and he is going to save many other little souls.

I guess it is true,  that “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” 

So I am going to ask you to  go on that site and sign the petition to have this test be made mandatory so we can help Hudson save lives.

 

 

 

Following a conversation with a colleague about my son still breastfeeding, she sent me a Time magazine’s article on mother’s who breastfed way past the date – well I think that was what the article was about – did not get to read it – but the cover had a woman with a 10 year old on her boob, enough said, I decided to put an end to this madness.

Not wanting to procrastinate, I decided to wean him off last night. We are both very stubborn people – but I have a few years on that boy – so not sure if I won, but I started the process. In the middle of this battle, sometime after midnight – daddy was woken up – who advised that such activities are best left for the weekend, “Because we are going to be cranky at work tomorrow from sleep deprivation” He then headed for the couch to make sure ‘we’ salvaged what was left of the night. No ‘we’ or ‘us’ in partnership, that is one thing for sure.

While trying to show this little shit head (my son) that I meant business, I have been sleep deprived since I came back to work in January- so what is one more night;-) I started thinking of the service delivery protest I found myself stuck in last week in Kya Sands. You would not have heard of it – it did not make the news – I looked. The police were there, trying to keep calm and not shoot anyone, we all know how that ends up – the traffic was redirected. I live a few street away from Kya Sands so took a short cut through the neighbouring squatter camp. Had to drive through Kya Sands and noticed the damage that had been caused by the protesters. Just out of interest, how angry must you be to pull out a concrete dustbin out of the ground?

Anyway, so while trying to find my way out of Kya Sands and into the squatter camp that I don’t know what its called, it was unreal. Kya Sands and the squatter camp with no name were chalk and cheese. Have you read the book, ‘There are people living there’ its about a people that society had forgotten and they just kept on going.  There were multitudes of ‘shacks’ made out of plastic bags – which had people in them.  Shit is so tight, that people cant even afford to have proper shacks.

These people’s protest did not make it to the news – you know what they say, if you don’t want black people to know about it, put it inside a book – but that white dude that went to spend a month in Mamelodi to get the ‘experience’ made it on the news. So he got the attention, he was on national radio stations and being asked what it was like. Take a fucking walk oops drive around any squatter camp and you will know. I saw this man being interviewed last night about his involvement in the protests and he said “I am hungry”

Then I started thinking about the millions of Rands that have been looted by our public servants. Every second day now you hear of another official that was found in the midst of some corrupt deal worth millions. Millions. Are these Zimbabwean dollars. It makes no sense how someone can spend R200 million on a house when people are living in shacks made out of plastic and no one says anything about it. Shame on those public servants who have been found with their fat fingers in the cookie jar – shame on you.

But shame on us tax payers for saying nothing and turning a blind eye. I understand though, we can’t say anything about corruption in this country lest we be seen as racists. I know I am going to get my fair share of the lynching. I have made reference to two things we don’t take lightly in this country,  JZ’s sexuality and racism. Say whatever you like about South Africa, we do not tolerate those who poke fun at JZ’s sexual prowess and we cant stand racists – ask that lecturer from Pretoria University.

Well salvation is in sight, while driving around the squatter camp with plastic houses – I saw posters getting everyone ready for the big day next year – reminding them to make that mark for a better life for all.

 

 

 

In my old age, I am trying something new. For the past year I have been going to different churches – trying to find one that suits my make up. Two have come close – but they are too far to travel – petrol is R13.32 a litre. And they don’t preach in Sesotho and I don’t know their hymns. There is something about praising the Lord in your language. 

Well my recent visit was Rhema Church – despite my reservations, I went. My friends convinced me to give it a shot. All preconceived notions etc out, I went open-minded.  I was with my son and daughter – I need to do right by my kids. So my son being his cute self- was making all the right cute sounds – admittedly a tad high pitched – but am praying his voice will break. He is even clapping for Jesus on cue – if you have ever been to Rhema, you will know that they clap for Jesus.

I look up and the usher is standing by our row calling me and him out. I am sitting there thinking she is going to hold him – which is a common feature in my life now, strangers just walk up to me and ask to hold my son. This was not to be the case. This lady had no smile on her face (for someone who was clapping for Jesus to seconds ago) and asked us to go to the mothers room until my son calmed down. What ugly treatment is that I thought.

After spending sometime in the holding cell called the mothers room – twice now- I started thinking – what kind of church forbids its most innocent members the opportunity to be in that atmosphere. Churches are made up of loud screaming happy children. When did we get to a place where those sounds were an annoyance?

I can’t go back to Rhema cause now my option is to leave my child behind, and he is one of the reasons I started on this mission.

Please can you helpI am looking for a church that is:

1. Accepting of all its members

2. Preaches in Sesotho at some point – or there must be a fair mixuture

3. Has the old good common hymns

4. Ideally not too far

let me know…

When I decided to start this blog, I was going to share moments in my life that are significant but would probably not make the most interesting blog posts, and I was going to title my blog, ‘How the mighty have fallen’ and mainly because I have realised that I moved from being a super cool chick – and yes someone has said that to me to being…..not sure, still defining that one – will get back to you.

But back to the boiled eggs. My daughter (turning 7) is pretty smart for her age- and I am being very objective. If I wasn’t, I would say she is a genius, but courtesy demands some modesty – so we will go with pretty smart.

Yes yes the boiled eggs. So I boiled myself some eggs which she asked for one. Packed it nicely in her lunch box, asked her if she knew how to break an egg and she said “Of course..” which sometimes feel like there is a ‘dumb ass’ missing at the end of her answers. 

In the afternoon, I pick her up, after we exchange pleasantries – including how was her lunch, she says ” I could not eat my egg”. Surprised, I asked her why.

And she replied, ” I could not find anywhere to cook it” 

 

 

 

I spent half my childhood and adulthood hearing this saying from my aunt. And it was until recently that I realised that she was telling the truth. A week ago I was having my hair done, by someone who has become very close to me, and I had my children with me.

They were obviously in the way and demanding my attention. Out of frustration, I said to her “You know when they say God giveth tenfold, this is a classic example of that. I spent half my life asking for someone who would love me and I was the centre of their universe – and here I got just that!”

And what started off as an irritation, turned out to be my moment of clarity. God had answered my prayer. I asked for one, he gave me three, and then I started counting, and I realised, but wait..there is more!

This is a tribute to all of you who, who played and continue to play an integral part in who I am today and will be tomorrow.

Love you