Archive for the tag 'reading'

A whole new world

NS November 21st, 2010

Tonight, my daughter, you entered another world without me.

Right there at the dining room table, while your brother slept and your father was at work, you sat beside me, your face alight with concentration and joy, and jumped down the rabbit hole with both feet. You never got frustrated or scared or said you couldn’t do it, never sighed or tutted or acted as if your work was a chore.

You sounded out each letter, then each word, on every page in that 6-page book. You did it all by yourself, with only the tiniest prompts from me. You even stopped to comment on and empathise with the dog in the story with the wounded paw on his way to the vet. You can now READ the words ‘dog’ and ‘vet’ without help from me.

I’ll say it again because I believe they are the most wonderful words that have ever come out of my mouth: YOU CAN READ.

Though you perhaps don’t realise it yet, a whole new world so vast and magical and mind-blowing is opening up before you. Like a stone rolling down a hill or a room with endless doors, the potential within you is gathering speed, waiting to burst forth and transport you to places you could’ve never possibly dreamed of before.

And I am so proud I could burst.

One day soon, when you’ve got your nose in a book and aren’t really listening to me, when you don’t need my help at all, I will recount my life-long love affair with books, starting, as you have, with a simple story about a dog. I will try to convey to you how much comfort, knowledge and confidence I acquired through reading and how it changed me forever. I will remember all the times in my life when reading helped me,  sheltered me, saved me.

Hopefully you won’t pay me any attention because you will be too busy reading.

Welcome to the rabbit hole, my darling girl. I hope you enjoy the free-fall as much as I have.

Absorbing

NS August 26th, 2010

Summer draws to a close

Perhaps my introspective period too?

Words don’t flow from me but to me

Books upon books upon books

Words of others, my need

Words of mine, few

Too busy absorbing

like a sponge

The knowledge and the beauty

The wisdom and the love

The skill and the art

of living in the moment

Absorbing words

Absorbing life

Absorbing her before she goes

off to school

No longer my baby

But a girl in uniform

Headed into the brightness

of her future

Destined to absorb

like a sponge

All of the words

that made her mama who she is

Absorbing her smell, her cuddles, her touch

Like a sponge, I soak her up

take her into my pores

The line between mother and child

blurred once more

Good reads: Internet edition

NS July 27th, 2010

Summer holidays and the doula business are kicking my ass, leaving me little time for writing. But I’m still reading, oh yes! And here’s what’s been tickling my fancy and catching my interest lately.

Mila’s Daydreams – A new mother in Finland tries to imagine what her daughter is dreaming of when she naps. Adele creates gorgeous landscapes around baby Mila and captures it on film. Brilliant, gorgeous and utterly adorable.

Color Me Katie – A freelance photographer and street artist in Brooklyn. Draws funny faces on marshmallows and works with an improv group that recreated a scene from Star Wars on the New York subway recently. Cute. And very, very colourful.

The 52 Seductions – A woman and her husband of 10 years set out to improve their sex lives and seduce each other all over again. Funny, informative, touching and honest. And if you’re looking for new things to try in the bedroom, this is a great place for ideas.

Mama Is… - The amazing cartoonist behind Hathor the Cowgoddess, lactivist extraordinaire. Puts into one drawing what many of us ‘Boob Nazis’ waffle on for two pages saying.

Catalog Living – “A look into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs.” Some of these actually made me guffaw. Very funny.

Offbeat Mama – The spinoff site from Offbeat Bride. Its tagline is “Parenting against the grain” and it embraces alternative lifestyles and a diverse range of parents. Specifically, the creator says, “We support mothers integrating their pre-kid identities and lifestyles into their post-kid realities.” Often contains gorgeous photographs and unique stories from real parents around the world.

Underbellie – Written by the fabulous Kelly Hogaboom, Underbellie is thoughtful, spot-on, uniquely written analysis of feminist parenting and culture. You must read this post and this one. Fan-freaking-tastic.

Birthing Beautiful Ideas – A wonderful blog I recently discovered, written by Kristen Oganowski– “mother, doula, graduate student, feminist, and writer.” Aside from the grad student bit, we appear to be twins. She wrote a beautiful post that made me tear up today. Go read it. Bring tissues.

What (or who) have you been reading lately?

Exciting news and a free smell

NS April 14th, 2010

I have a few items of exciting news to share. Well, they’re exciting to me. You? You’ll most likely yawn and say ‘Is that all? This woman needs to get out more.’ And to that I would say you’re right but avoid saying that to my face, especially if I’ve been drinking red wine or whiskey. I’m a pacifist in theory but we all know how theories pan out in practice. Like that communism one that was supposed to make all the world one, big, happy, altruistic family but instead led to people queueing up for miles to get their hands on a McDonald’s quarter pounder with cheese, extra onion and pickle, in Red Square. Need I say more?

Anyway.

Exciting item #1: Inspired by Gappy’s post, with accompanying photographs, about her trip to Hay-on-Wye, I’ve booked myself in for a train ride and overnight stay there, a few days after my birthday this summer. I’ve been dreaming of going away on my own just to read and relax and I knew right away that this would be the perfect place to do that. Second-hand book stores in which there are comfy chairs to sit and cats to stroke? I’m sold.

Exciting item #2: I’ve booked into a doula training course for the end of May. After I’ve completed the course I have to attend four births to become fully qualified. I’ve already got one lined up in August (a good friend’s) but need to find three more. If you, or anyone you know, are due this summer and live in the South West London or Surrey area, and are looking for an inexpensive doula, do let me know! I’m quite excited about this new career path, really. Not only will I get to help women with something I’m passionate about but I can earn a more reliable income from home which will take some of the pressure off of needing my writing to become a paid venture right away. A win-win situation, really! Besides which, I think I’ll be good at it and enjoy it.

Exciting item #3: I’ve entered into the Race for Life to benefit Cancer Research UK, in which I will run 5k a the end of July in Clapham. Me. A woman who has never been a runner and hasn’t done any form of exercise (other than walking loads and chasing the children) for a good four years. I’ve been getting up at 6am and running twice a week (and once or twice at the weekend) for a couple weeks now. I’m feeling good about it. If you’re so inclined to want to sponsor me (thus blackmailing me giving me more motivation), there is a button on my sidebar that will take you to my sponsorship page. Watch out, Clapham! There will a woman huffing and puffing her way through your streets and commons come July 31st, and she will likely be tripping over her shoelaces as she Tweets about it at the same time.

Exciting item #4: My first guest post, in which I give my thoughts on the term ‘mummy blogger/blogging’  is up at Gappy’s ‘Single Parenthood. Tales from the front-line’ blog. In five years of blogging I have never been asked to do a guest post so I was very excited and flattered to be invited into someone else’s space, especially by Gappy whom I greatly admire and like immensely. She’s a real talent and a new blogger so if you haven’t already got her on your list of must-reads, go check her out!

And finally, a sniff. I’ve managed to capture my favourite smell (line-dried sheets) and convert it to HTML. If you move your mouse rapidly over the blank space below, the scent should release itself. You’ll probably have to lean in quite close and give your screen a good sniff but it’s there, I promise.

 


 

Lovely, isn’t it?

Photo credit