Art from trash

Two years ago I was lucky enough to go with Kramstable’s class on an excursion to, among other things, the Art from Trash Exhibition.

20170601 Art from Trash 01

It’s an annual event run by the Resource Work Cooperative at the Long Gallery in the Salamanca Arts Centre, which “encourages the reuse of discarded materials in the production of amazing visual art”. I didn’t go last year, but found out about this year’s exhibition in time to make sure I set aside a lunch hour to go and check it out.

20170601 Art from Trash 12 - Toolbox by Stcott Fletcher

Toolbox by Scott Fletcher, made from recycled tools

It was fascinating to see what people can turn stuff that might normally be thrown away into.

20170601 Art from Trash 02B - 20th Century Dolls by Pirjo Juhola

21st Century Dolls by Pirjo Juhola,made from rusted wire, electrical wire, rock and other discarded materials

20170601 Art from Trash 03 - Tennis Racket Ukulele 2 by Mark Lleonart

Tennis Racket Ukulele 2 by Mark Lleonart, made from wooden tennis rackets and Huon pine scraps

20170601 Art from Trash 04 - Three Bags Full by Irena Harrison, Liz Toohey, Bec Williams The Three Weavers

Three Bags Full by Irena Harrison, Liz Toohey and Bec Williams, made from single use plastic such as pet food and coffee bags, and remnant leather

I really loved these bags (there were three of them) and the way The Junk Weavers have used old scarves on the handles of this one.

There was a separate section for schools and some wonderful artwork by primary school students.

20170601 Art from Trash 10A - More Than A Rooster by Grade 2 Albuera Street Primary

More Than Just a Rooster by Grade 2 Albuera Street Primary School

This piece recognises 2017 as Year of the Rooster and was the result of the students integrating their studies of Chinese, sustainability, art, science, maths and visible wellbeing through the inquiry questions “what happens to our rubbish?”, “how can we reduce, reuse, recycle, or rethink our daily actions?” and “what materials make up our rubbish?” They asked further questions on the disposal and decomposition time of plastic and decided to collect their plastic waste and create a rooster.

20170601 Art from Trash 06 - Our School by Grade 5-6 Lenah Valley Primary

Our School, by Grade 5 and 6s, Lenah Valley Primary School, made from coloured pencils

20170601 Art from Trash 05A - Bitsabot by Grade 5-6B Albuera St Primary School

Bitsabot, the class robot of 5-6B at Albuera Street Primary school, made from bits and pieces from electronic devices and appliances. 

This is the most creative use of a vacuum cleaner brush I have ever seen!

20170601 Art from Trash 07C - All That We Share by Young Migrant Education Students Tas TAFE

All That We Share, by the Young Migrant Education Program TasTAFE students, made from recycled paper bags and other assorted recycled materials

20170601 Art from Trash 08D - Mirror of Maleficent by A TAste of Togetherness Mosaic Support Services

Mirror of Maleficent by A Taste of Togetherness Mosaic Support Services, made from a mirror and old toys (Creepy!)

20170601 Art from Trash 09 - Necklace by Jeka Kaat

Necklace by Jeka Kaat, made from washers, jumprings and clasps

Ever wonder what do do with old Christmas cards you feel bad about throwing out? Wonder no more.

20170601 Art from Trash 11 - Ghosts of Christmases Past by Jen Duhig

Ghosts of Christamases Past collage by Jen Duhig

If you get a chance to call into the Long Gallery before the exhibition closes on Sunday, it’s definitely worth a visit. There’s lots of very cool and interesting art on display, and creative re-use of materials that were probably destined for the rubbish heap.

 

 

Spreading our wings

Until this year, I had taken Kramstable in to school every day that I went to work. In his early days at school, I’d stay until the bell went and we’d read stories, look at work he’d been doing, and talk to his classmates, their parents and his teacher.

As the years passed, the time I stayed with him decreased, until by the end of last year I was seeing him to the door of his classroom, and he’d be off. I think by Grade 4, I was one of not many parents who would actually go into the school with their child, but I really liked it. I liked seeing his classroom, looking at what he’d been doing, and catching up with his teacher.

But it was time for a change, and at the end of last year Kramstable said he didn’t want me to come with him to school any more. I knew this was coming, because most of the other kids weren’t being walked into school, but I still felt I like I was losing something that had been a big part of my life for six years.

He said I could walk him to the school gate, so that was OK; I’d still have a chance to go in if I needed to, but I had a feeling that as this year moved on, his drop-off point would get further and further away.

It did, but it happened so suddenly – only two weeks into term – that I’d not had time to recover from not going in with him, before he asked me to leave him at the end of the street.

Ok. That was unexpected.

And last week we’re walking from the bus stop, and we get to the place where Slabs had dropped Kramstable off the day before.

He says, “I got dropped off here yesterday. Bye.”
That’s even more unexpected. I say, “I think I’ll walk with you a bit further.”
We walk on a bit to the next intersection, him skipping ahead as always. We stop and look for cars. I say, “Don’t you want to be seen with me?”
“No,” he says, and starts to cross the road. “Bye.”
“See you this afternoon,” I say, feeling incredibly sad, but also slightly amused.
I watch him cross the road safely, and he’s on his way.
“Bye,” I say to myself.

I know that he has to become independent. I know it’s my job to equip him so that he does become independent. I know I’m not going to walk him to school forever. I’ve always known this, but it’s never been real until now.

Of course he’s not going to want to be around me forever. He’s growing up and, as he grows, he’ll need me less intensely than he has done. And that’s the way it has to be; the same way I needed my mother less as I grew up; the same way every child does.

But he’s been the main focus of my life for so long – over ten years – and it’s hard to accept that this is changing, and changing fast. He has depended on me, and I’ve given as much of myself to him as I’ve had to give.

I feel like I’m bonded to him in a way I can’t imagine being bonded to any other person, because he’s my son. He has made me laugh, made me cry, made me so very grateful and feel so very blessed. I can’t imagine life without him.

It strikes me now as I’m writing this that I’ve spent his whole life making him ready for when he’ll be able to leave me and make his own way in the world, but that I’ve done nothing to make myself ready. It’s a minor thing, leaving him to walk a bit further to school. It’s such a small thing, but it symbolises so much more than that. I wasn’t prepared for how much this would hurt.

The worst thing in the world would be for me to be clingy and to deny him the freedom he needs. To try and stifle his growing independence. He needs to grow his own wings and fly. And while I’m so proud of the young man he is becoming and I love watching him learn and grow, I am also feeling deeply, intensely, painfully his gradual transformation away from the boy he has been. The boy that called me “Mummy”, the boy that would always hold my hand, the boy that was happy for me to come into school so he could show me what he’d been working on.

I cannot, will not deny myself this pain. I acknowledge it. It is real. I accept it as part of the transformation that I too must go through over the next phase of his life from being his provider and his care-giver into a role of adviser, supporter and (I hope) positive role model. Perhaps it hurts so much because it’s such a slow transition that will continue over many years to come. I can’t just rip the bandaid off and have a fully functioning adult before my eyes. I wouldn’t want to be able to do that. We have a wonderful journey still ahead of us.

He’ll still need me, even if he thinks he doesn’t. I treasure every moment he wants to involve me in what he’s doing, perhaps even more so now than when he was younger, because there are fewer of those moments these days, so they start to mean more.

And it occurs to me that, while he is still the centre of my universe, his decreasing reliance on me gives me my own freedom to focus on becoming the person I want to be outside of being “Mum”. So while this awareness doesn’t lessen the pain I feel, at the same time it inspires me and fills me with enthusiasm for how I might create my own future. In loosening the apron strings, I’m making room for my own wings to grow.

As I’m trying to figure out how to end this post without rambling on uncontrollably, I scroll through Twitter. This quote from Maya Angelou appears in my feed:

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty”.

It seems highly relevant right now. The destruction of the old, the massive upheaval and transformation, and the eventual recreation into something new and beautiful.

2011 FOLIO 19 Butterfly

Even though there’s no actual end to this transformation – Kramstable won’t wake up one morning and be a butterfly, any more than I will – this quote still rings true in relation to the changes I’m going through. People say that it’s heartbreaking and difficult to let go, but it’s hard to convey to someone else how much it hurts until they experience it for themselves.

I’ve laughed and made jokes about how this has affected me, and have tried to carry on. I think that mostly we’re expected to accept this type of change, because our job is to prepare our children for the “real world”. There isn’t anything in the job description about taking time to reflect on different stages as our children move through them and to acknowledge how we feel.

I know it’s part of the job, but I’m not an automaton, I’m not a position number. I’m a person, I have feelings, and the process of letting go is upsetting me.

I think there’s value in acknowledging any kind of transition like this, rather just sucking it up and pretending we’re ok when we aren’t. This is the first time I’ve sat down and acknowledged how I really feel about it, and I’ve been surprised to find out how much it’s deeply affecting me.

It’s not the first time that a transformation has been painful, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. But I’m ok with this. I’m grateful to have had an experience in my life that has meant so much to me, that moving on from it hurts this much.

Counting and running as I go

Counting and running as I go
New Norfolk, Australia

New Norfolk, Australia


In February 1979, our family packed up my father’s baby-spew green Datsun 180B (apparently the actual name of this shade is Datsun Spring Lime. Who knew.) and embarked on the biggest adventure of my life up to that point.

(Thank you Wikipedia for the image of the car.)

Our destination: Adelaide, where my father would be spending the whole year at university, and we were going with him for a two-week holiday before he packed us on the train to Melbourne (from where we’d catch a plane home) and headed off to campus life.

The trip would take us two days, and all I can remember of the planning stage was that my mother kept telling us how hot it was going to be (the 180B had the classic 480 aircon), and we saved up all our spare change so we could buy ice creams on the way. I seem to recall that Golden Gaytimes were quite the thing back then.

We’d booked a self-contained beachside unit across the road from West Beach near Glenelg. For some reason, I still have some of the paperwork and tickets from this trip, and according to the internet, the units are still there – or if it’s not the same ones, they have the same name, Sea Vista.

We travelled over on the Empress of Australia. I don’t remember much about this, or even the drive. We took the inland route rather than the Great Ocean Road, and we stopped overnight on the first day in Mount Gambier. I can remember the stunning Blue Lake we saw while we were there. I can also remember we went via the Coorong on the second day, which was exciting for me because the movie Storm Boy was filmed there, and I wondered if the kid who had been in the movie would be there and if we’d meet him. (Not surprisingly, he wasn’t and we didn’t.)

My memories are fairly hazy of the trip, but I know we went to the zoo and a marine centre, we took the tram, we went in some pedal boats on the River Torrens, we bought lollies at Darrell Lea, and we spent most mornings on the beach. Lil Sis and I befriended a cat, which inspired us (in our father’s absence) to wear our mother down about getting a cat once we were home. I can also remember quite vividly Lil Sis ‘barking’ back at a dog that barked at us, and it being completely bewildered by this.

The reason for this wander down memory lane is that in 2002 Slabs and I thought we’d do a similar trip on our honeymoon, but take the Great Ocean Road, as neither of us had been there. For reasons related to the Ansett collapse it never happened, and we did something completely different. But we always wanted to drive the Great Ocean Road, and after we fulfilled our New Zealand dream last year, we decided this would be the year.

We’re doing the trip in July rather than the September school holidays because it’s winter, so we’re hoping it will be less busy because everyone will be in Queensland to escape the cold. (Right?) We’ll have a couple of days in Bacchus Marsh first with Slabs’ family before we set off. This will include a trip to Sovereign Hill, where I vaguely remember going as part of a school trip to Victoria in primary school. (I’m yet to figure out how this happened, because I don’t know anyone before or since who has had a primary school trip to the mainland, and it seems now that school trips, at least in primary school, are pretty much things of the past. Ahhh, Camp Clayton, Port Sorell, you are the stuff dreams are made of.)

Post Great Ocean Road, we’ll go through some of the places we passed through when I was a child, so it will be interesting to see if I remember any of them. I doubt it, and expect they will have changed a lot. I have vivid memories of the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier, but suspect this is because I have one of those old off-centre square photos from the old camera (with the 126 film cartridge) I took with me, rather than an actual memory of the lake.

Today’s packing day. I’m giving my trusty Midori a break and trying out a different travel journal for this trip. That’s the one on the blog title. It’s by Mark’s, and must be the first journal I’ve ever bought that has instructions on how to use it (in Japanese). Kramstable will also be keeping a travel journal, and making a video of our trip. He’s decided not to do a travel blog this trip, so it’s all up to me.

Book 13/24: Mindset

I’ve skipped a few book posts because this one is important to me starting out my second #steppingonthecracks challenge next week.

I had never heard of the growth mindset until recently. A few weeks ago, I saw it mentioned in three unrelated things I was reading, which made me want to find out more. (Either it was the universe telling me something, or it was an example of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.) All three articles referred in particular to the work of Dr Carol Dweck. Dr Dweck is a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, who has discovered how the power of our mindset can bring us success.

In the book Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, and her website, Dr Dweck distinguishes between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

Book 13 - Mindset

Basically, people with a fixed mindset believe that things like intelligence and talent are fixed and that success comes from talent without putting in much (or any) effort. People with a growth mindset believe they can develop their basic abilities by working hard and that brains and talent are just the starting point. They believe that to achieve success they have to put in a lot of effort.

Dr Dweck observes that “this view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

She says that people with a growth mindset look at their mistakes, use feedback they get and alter the strategies they are using so that they improve their performance. Unlike people with a fixed mindset, they don’t feel “esteemed by innate talent”.

After explaining what the two mindsets are, the book outlines what the implications might be for people that have these mindsets. For example, it compares school children who are praised for being smart and for achieving good results because of their intelligence or talents, and those who are praised for effort, overcoming failure and learning new skills.

Dr Dweck notes that studies have shown that the kids who are praised for intelligence (for “being smart”) develop a fixed mindset and focus on continuing to display their intelligence and have a tendency to avoid challenging tasks so that they don’t fail. They tend to blame failure on “being stupid” or on factors outside their control (the teacher, the noisy classroom). This contrasts with the kids who are praised for effort develop a growth mindset, where they see making mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth, they relish the challenges of difficult tasks and they show a high level of resilience.

Dr Dweck provides several examples of people of each mindset type in sports, business, relationships and schools.

She writes of John McEnroe, who was exceptionally talented, and rose to the top because of this, but who was unable to take responsibility for his own failures and rather than learn and work on his game and try to do better next time, he’d throw a tantrum and blame someone or something else.

She compares  fixed mindset people like McEnroe with someone like Michael Jordan, who went from being cut from the high school varsity team to being one of the greatest basketballers in history – and he achieved this by getting over his disappointment rather than labelling himself as hopeless, working even harder than before, a trait which he continued throughout his career.

The book cites research that found that people in sports with the growth mindset:

  1. Found success in doing their best, in learning and improving. (In the fixed mindset success comes when you establish your own superiority – being worthier than the “nobodies”. For these people effort isn’t something to be proud of. Rather it means that you’re not talented enough.)
  2. Found setbacks to be motivating, informative, a wake-up call. (I interpret this as them being resilient.) (With a fixed mindset, setbacks label you.)
  3. Took charge of the processes that bring success and that maintain it. (I interpret this as them being proactive.) (People with the fixed mindset don’t take control, rather they look to their talent to carry them through. In instances where it doesn’t, it’s not their fault that they failed – they have to “protect themselves, lament and blame” rather than take responsibility for what happened.)

Dr Dweck provides similar examples of CEOs of companies, and how those with fixed mindsets put their own egos and a sense of being better than everyone else above everything, including ultimately the success of the company.

Some of the most compelling stories in the book are those about teachers tasked with teaching kids that many considered to be unteachable. These teachers instilled a growth mindset in children who had believed they were stupid and who had showed no interest in learning. The teachers refused to give up on students who were labelled as “dumb”, and didn’t believe that they had no influence on the ability of their students. One such teacher had his fifth graders reading Of Mice and Men and The Diary of Anne Frank, and his sixth graders passing algebra tests that would stump most eighth graders. Dr Dweck reports that this was “achieved in an atmosphere of affection and deep personal commitment to every student”.

I loved the story of the college student who had been late to maths class, seen some problems on the board and assumed they were the homework assignment. He found them challenging and they took him a few days of hard work to solve, but he finally did, only to find they had been previously unsolved equations!

Many of the examples, and the end results, Dr Dweck uses in the book are extreme, but I found the patterns of behaviour were easy for me to identify with, even if the results weren’t. I’m no John McEnroe or (Enron CEO) Ken Lay, but I recognised some of the elements of their mindsets outlined in the book.

On a level closer to home, I recognised myself in a lot of the statements that the kids with fixed mindsets made throughout the book, and some of the things those kids did when things got tough at school are pretty much what I did.

I also found the chapter on parenting especially enlightening in terms of the messages I might be sending by the type of praise I give and the things I praise Kramstable for. It’s something I’ve been paying a lot of attention to ever since I read this article on Dr Dweck’s website.

This book was a real eye opener for me, and I think it fits in perfectly with the theme of my #steepingonthecracks project – that I don’t have to be defined by my beliefs about what I can or can’t do.

But more of that in the next post. All I will say for now is that this book has made me change how I’m going to start my project. It has introduced me to one of the most powerful concepts I have ever heard of and made me determined not to be the person who has “She had potential” on their headstone.

Recommended.

a day out with kids, trash and plastic

On Wednesday I went with Juniordwarf’s class on an excursion all about rubbish.

The other parents who had volunteered for this task joined the class and one of the older classes in the morning for a walk to Salamanca. Moving 50+ kids in a walking train is no easy feat, especially when you have to get them across major roads safely. It is, however, considerably easier than moving a group of 5 and 6 year olds. Trust me, I’ve done this too.

The classes split up when we got to Salamanca, and after a quick fruit break, we headed into the Art from Trash exhibition in the Long Gallery.

This was the last day of the exhibition, which I hadn’t realised or I’d have gone to have a look last week. Run by the Resource Work Cooperative, Art From Trash is “an annual community event that encourages the reuse of discarded materials in the production of visual art”. The Resource Work Cooperative, among other things, run the South Hobart Tip Shop.

The exhibition has been held each year since 1995 and its aim is to promote reuse and to get people thinking about the amount of stuff they throw away.

IMG_1843

There were some fascinating exhibits. I was particularly drawn to the dress that included osso bucco bones. I love the fact that someone could look at bones and say, “hey that looks like lace,” and work out a way to use them as lace. I later found out that the artist, Diana Eaton, is a local Derwent Valley artist.

Fashion from Food

Fashion from Food

There were some really cool things in the exhibit. I loved the repurposed shoes. Juniordwarf wondered if they were like Cinderella’s glass slippers. I think they probably were.

Shoes and Vegetables

Shoes and Vegetables

The kids were given a task to draw something. Juniordwarf decided to draw the vegetable garden that one of the Hobart primary schools had created.

A couple of the kids chose to draw this piece called “A Waterless Garden” by Alan Culph, which I quite liked too, so I tried to draw it as well. I didn’t have much time, and I think they did a better job than I did. (In my defence, I was standing up when I did it and I didn’t have anything to rest my notebook on!)

A Waterless Garden by Alan Culph

A Waterless Garden by Alan Culph

After we’d finished at Art from Trash, we wandered over to the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, to have a look at the Vanishing Point exhibition.

This exhibition is “an arts/science collaboration to raise awareness about the issues surrounding plastics pollution in the oceans and its ecological, biological and social impact”.

We met Dr Heidi Auman, who talked about the impact of plastic in the ocean and on the birds and animals that ingest it, and how it’s working its way up the food chain, as the larger animals eat the smaller animals that have eaten small plastic fragments. It’s heartbreaking to hear about how mother albatross will eat plastic items that look like the food they normally eat, feed it to their chicks who then fill up on plastic and die because they aren’t hungry and don’t eat.

And a lot of this plastic is single-use plastic that something’s packaged in and thrown away as soon as we open the packet. It doesn’t decompose, just breaks down (eventually) into smaller pieces of plastic so smaller animals will eat it.

The exhibition came about because there’s a lot of science on the effects of plastic, but it’s often hard to present a scientific message to the public that isn’t too overwhelming or complicated. The concept was to present the ideas through art that would get people’s attention. “By combining this skill of the artist with the knowledge of the scientist, it’s possible to engage viewers through visual beauty and simplicity, then lead them through a deeper story to raise awareness of the issue at hand.”

Plastic not fantastic

Plastic not fantastic

According to the exhibition website,  8 million items of litter enter the marine environment every day – and around 7 billion tonnes of plastic gets into the ocean every year. 7 billion tonnes! My mind can’t even begin to imagine that much stuff. It’s just too big a number. It is estimated that 3 times as much rubbish is dumped into the world’s oceans annually as the weight of fish caught. Horrific.

Heidi has  written a book, “Garbage Guts”, to help children to understand some of the issues and to encourage them to think about their use of plastic and the effects that it can have on our marine life. The class asked some interesting questions afterwards, ranging from how long it took her to write the book (about a year) to how long have plastics been a problem (it all started in the 1950s but has increased exponentially since then).

The exhibition is running at the Institute until mid-July.

I was talking about it later, and one of my school mum friends mentioned the Plastic-free July challenge,  where you attempt to eliminate your use of single-use plastic during July. Another challenge I found online was an ongoing challenge called the Plastic Trash Challenge, where you begin by behaving normally for the first week so that you become aware of how much plastic you actually buy, and then work on reducing that.

I think this is a fantastic idea, and I’m going to do it. I’ll enlist Juniordwarf to help as well. The first week will be interesting.

The final part of the excursion was an A-Z treasure hunt around Salamanca Square. I was assigned to be a bouncer on one of the laneways to make sure none of the kids escaped. According to the role call at the end of the morning, I was successful.

All in all it was a very rewarding day that I’m glad to have been able to be a part of.

And so another school year begins

Today Juniordwarf started Grade 3.

I don’t know about anyone else who has kids, but these holidays seemed to fly by. Yet even though the holidays have zoomed past us, last year (when we were wishing his Grade 2 teacher all the best for her retirement) seems like a lifetime ago.

Time’s a funny thing. Something can go past in the blink of an eye, yet seem like it started foreverago.

When I was Juniodwarf’s age the summer holidays seemed to drag on and on, and I’d get incredibly bored. Yes, in those days the summer holidays were longer than they are now we’ve got a 4-term system but, even so, the holidays seemed to last forever.

I expect my mother, at home with 2 kids, felt the same way.

And I don’t know if I’d been at home with him the entire time if I’d feel the same way about these holidays too. But I wasn’t. I spent most of January at work, with a few days here and there for our little getaways and then towards the end, I took some time off to spend with Juniordwarf.

He never seemed bored while I was with him, but leading up to school going back he started to get excited about going back. He was especially excited about seeing his friends.

Even if there were periods when he got bored, he never seemed to experience that excruciating, neverending boredom that I remember from my childhood.

Yesterday I told him he was my big Grade 3 boy, and he told me seriously he wasn’t a Grade 3. Not yet. Not until tomorrow. Until then I’m Grade Zero. I’m not in a grade yet.

OK. If you insist. Who am I to argue?

I guess I got a bit sentimental last night.

He’s now been at school for 4 of his 8 years. Half his life. This year is the start of his ‘big kid’ years at primary school. His classroom is in the main building. He’ll have his first taste of the NAPLAN tests. He’s not a little kid any more.

I remembered back to just before he started school in 2011. How distressed I’d been about putting him into this system we call education. (I wrote a post about it here.)

This time wasn’t like that. This time was more reflective and wondering.

I watched him sleeping last night and I thought I could see, in the dark, with my crap eyesight, a glimpse of what he’d look like when he was a lot older.

Sleep is honest. It shows you things you don’t see when people are awake.

When my father was ill and Juniordwarf was a small baby, I can remember looking in at my sleeping father and thinking how much like a sleeping baby, how like Juniordwarf, he looked. So peaceful.

The same feelings came back to me last night. I could see, if it wasn’t a trick of the light, the young man he is going to become.

And I wondered . . . Is this the year?

Is this the year he leaves behind some of his treasured playthings and companions?

Is this the year he stops wearing his exotic headwear?

Is this the year he tells me not to come into school with him?

Is this the year he doesn’t want to hold my hand any more?

Is this the year?

I don’t know. A part of me doesn’t want any of this to happen. I love who he is right now and I love the things he does, the things he wears and his assortment of companions, real and imaginary.

But I know that, just like he’s moved on from Ben & Holly, he will – when he’s ready – move on and grow up. He’ll find new interests, new things to delight and amuse me with, and new people to be with. Eventually he won’t want me around as much (or ever).

None of this might happen this year (I hope it doesn’t) but, even though I know it has to happen, it’s going to be hard to cope with.

Perhaps one reason for feeling like this is that every first for me is a last as well.

With only one child, every first wobbly tooth will be the last first wobbly tooth. Every first day at school will be the last first day at school. When he grows out of something, there won’t be anyone else to love it, play with it or do it any more.

And so I tell myself to make the most of the moments I have because I won’t have these chances again. So at the times I’m with him*, I’m trying to fully enjoy the quirky things he does – even the ones that are annoying (remember Ben & Holly?) – to be present and engaged, to observe when he’s entertaining himself and to participate when he needs me.

I owe it to him, and I owe it to me.

 

 

* Opens discussion about boundaries and me-time, which don’t quite fit here!