Monday, February 13, 2017

Blocking Family: Asshole Move

Some of my immediate family have "blocked" us on Facebook, which ultimately means a long term loss of our relationship.

Un-following someone is the nice way to not see something you don't agree with. I've un-followed lots of people during this Trump period because I disagree with them, but I do not want to hurt them by blocking.

Blocking family? That's a whole new level. That's "We are done being family". And I really don't know that we will ever get over that.

Nice work family that blocked us. You just royally destroyed our relationship.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Danny at 8

He's eight! How did that happen.

He's a tall, skinny, picky eater whirlwind. He dresses himself, and always chooses his own things. So independent.

Loves Loves Loves Pokemon. Likes Nerf guns and other toys....But LOVES Pokemon. Knows them all, knows all the cards, the characters, the points, the powers, the evolved characters. All he wanted for birthdays and Christmas's the last 18 months has been Pokemon.

He's an awesome roller skater, runner, and soccer player. He refuses to ride a bike, eat an egg/meat/salad/veggies/beans/soup and any other food he doesn't like the look of. He's the same with clothes. Who knew there was so much vetting as to the virtues of certain underpants. 

He takes his own sweet goddamn time. I once called him "Danny 20" because it takes him 20 minutes just to move but then immediately stopped as I know kids become what they are called (crap parenting moment). But good grief he's slow to get going.

His heart is HUGE. He has empathy. He notices things I never notice.

My hope for Danny this year is for him to love himself more, to stop saying negative things to himself. To step it up a bit with the chores and try a bit harder with reading & writing. 
But mostly, to continue being himself and to have fun with his friends. He has a good soul this one. A really good soul.  Love you Danny x

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Fierce and Strong Nana

I had a conversation with my mum at the weekend about women in my family. I'm going to be "marching" soon and wanted to know if my Nana was a suffragette. Since women didn't get to vote in the England till 1928 I thought she might have been an activist. I had visions of her as a trail blazer and a feminist because I know that she was strong as nails.  Turns out she was both of those things (and much more) but didn't march.

She was the mum of 7 kids and beloved by all. My Granddad was a horseman in World War 1 and had the most terrible experience that left him shell shocked and never the same (if you have watched "War Horse" you will know what he endured). He died just before I was born, in 1969.

Smithy Lane - the road my Nana & The Mission is on
My Nana was amazing. She brought up seven kids and did so during great hardship. She cooked food over the fire (imagine, no oven), hand washed everything, grew vegetables and fruit in the garden. She worked hard. I remember her house clearly - a semi-detached house on Smithy Lane that was always safe & felt like home when you visited.

Even though I was young when she died I remember a few things:

  • Putting on a singing & dancing show in her back garden to the family with my cousin Julie and charging everyone 50p to watch.
  • Going to The Mission (named The Good Shepherd in this Google map image) next door to her house each Sunday, for Sunday School. That place was our family church and I spent most of my childhood at services or at fetes or decorating the harvest window. 
  • My Nana teaching me how to fold and criss-cross paper so that it burned slowly in the fireplace.
  • Nana letting me borrow a craft book on the day that she died.  
  • The terrifying, awful night time phone call, informing my mum that her mum had died in a car crash.
  • Her funeral
She died in a car accident when I was 9 and I wished I had known her more.

I was wondering what I should put on my sign at the march but I just got my answer. I'm going to celebrate this kick-ass, strong, kind Nana of mine. 

Nana, Uncle Harry, Auntie May, Auntie Ada & my mum


Nana & mum

My Beautiful Nana

Friday, January 06, 2017

The Girl at The Dollar Store

Last week I ran to a dollar store to pick up some supplies for our NYE party. It was bitterly cold and windy. Jack tagged along, hoping to score some sweets or other booty, like he does every time I go shopping.

As we left the shop I noticed a young lady of about 20 yrs, with a toddler and about 20 shopping bags at her feet. She was on her phone and looked upset. The toddler was sniffling and looked cold and miserable. I looked at her and knew I had to help, so when she got off the phone I asked if she needed a ride somewhere. She was so relieved and thankful that she nearly cried. We drove them home to a run-down apartment block with boarded up windows in a rough part of town and we helped carry her groceries up to the 3rd floor.  She had just moved to town from the country and didn't know anyone other than her husband, who was at work. She had walked over 2 miles on a bitterly cold day with her 16 month old daughter to buy food. She's living in a dump and my heart ached for her when I said goodbye & drove away.

On the way home Jack was pretty quiet and thoughtful, which is completely out of character for my chatterbox. We talked about how fortunate we are as a family to have each other, to be safe and warm and have food. Even though he helps me feed the homeless each month I think it's the first time he's truly seen how some families live and how hard they have it. At aged 10 I'm fairly sure he isn't going to lose much sleep over it, since children generally have no concept of empathy or needs beyond their own. But I'm hopeful that he has an understanding at least of how fortunate he is and how to treat other people, given the chance.

I haven't shared this story with anyone other than Craig because it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn. But I want to share it now because I want to let people know that showing kindness and love to someone less fortunate can be a beautiful thing, and not something to be fearful of.