I’ve been quite absent the last few weeks due to some issues with technology and also because I couldn’t find anything I desperately wanted to write about so badly that I would sacrifice my thumbs and possibly even my vision in order to write a post using the WordPress app on my phone.
This past weekend we were all coming down from the excitement (and sleep deprivation) of celebrating my cousin’s wedding, when we heard that my brother lost a mate to the grips of depression.
This is not the first person my brother has lost and I’m not going to name names, out of respect for the man’s family and friends who are grieving. However, I did want to take a moment to acknowledge that it’s ok not to be ok.
The world needs to be reminded that even the roughest most “blokey of blokes” needs to know that it’s ok to talk, it’s ok to not be ok. It’s not a sign of weakness to seek help, comfort or to admit you’re not ok. No, not a sign of weakness at all. Sometimes some of us forget this though and even the “blokey bloke” himself needs to be reminded that it’s not weak to speak.
It’s not enough for us to say these things though, it’s not enough for us to say it’s ok not to be ok, we also need to act on it. Observe those around us, ask others how they are doing and really mean it. Asking, “how are you” should not just be a throwaway line, but a true question about a person’s wellbeing.
I’m not saying that we can save the world, but maybe, just maybe we can help to pull someone that little bit back away from the edge.
To all those we’ve lost, who saw no other way out of the darkness, we will always remember you. In your memory we will work together as a family, as friends and as a community, to bring mental illness out of the shadows and let everyone know that truly, it is ok not to be ok.
There’s two reasons for the title of this week’s post, one is discussing the meaning of the song of the same title from, “Fiddler on the Roof” and the other is discussing the quite literal meaning of the two words.
I’ll start with the reflection. This past week I’ve been working at my day job quite a bit and I have returned to a school I haven’t been at for quite some time. As a result, I’ve come across quite a number of students, that I taught in the past, and their parents. This particular group of students I taught in years two and four but I knew many of them since they were in kindergarten. Now they are practically adults at the age of sixteen and are in year ten!
In the song “Sunrise, Sunset”, the two main characters are singing about how grown up their children have become and wondering when on earth that happened. With my daughter turning nine last month and now coming across students I met more than ten years ago who are now practically adults, it is definitely reminding me that I too, have gotten older and wrinklier (and fatter!)
I’m not the young twenty-something I once was. Sometimes I think back and long for those days again, less stress, less worries, but less everything I suppose. Then I look back and think that at the time, I wasn’t as stress and worry-free as I should have been. My worries back then were nothing compared to the worries I have now, but at the time, they seemed enormous, so I guess my ability to cope has increased.
Also, back then I didn’t have my children and no matter how much they frustrate and annoy me at times, I couldn’t imagine life without them. I also wasn’t writing back then, I was a lost girl looking for my path and every day I am thankful to have found it.
Now moving on to the more literal meaning of the words in today’s title. Which do you prefer, sunrise or sunset?
I am definitely a sunset person.
There’s a few reasons I say this without hesitation. Firstly, I’ve said before that I am a night person and definitely not a morning person. Even those students I just spoke of before who are now sixteen year-olds, knew back when they were in year four, to only talk to me when necessary when they first came into class. My husband and I are both not morning people and we can get up in the morning and drive him half an hour to work without saying a word until he’s getting out the car. Nothing frustrates me more in the morning, than a disgustingly happy morning person who’s all smiles and cheery voice. Unfortunately my dad is one of those, fortunately though, I don’t live at home anymore!
Another reason I am a sunset person is this: no matter how crappy of a day I’ve had, the setting sun reminds me that it’s over and the calmness of the night will return. Then we have time to re-energize and gather ourselves to be ready to face another day, whatever it might bring… not before 9 a.m. though, preferably.
Sunrise brings daylight, and in the daylight there’s no escape from reality. Personally, I think reality is overrated and revel in the opportunity to escape whenever I can. Sunset brings the promise of night, when you can take a step back from the real world, even for just a while.
Sunset also means it’s nearly bedtime for my three kids and even though I just said that I couldn’t imagine life without them, sometimes we all just need a bit of quiet time or even simply the chance to use the bathroom without being interrupted!
I’m getting older and so is everyone else around me. And;
I’m definitely a sunset person, sunset brings the promise of night, the end to what might have been a crappy day, with a hint of mystery and escapism. Then, of course, the chance to get a little reading and writing done!
While Hungary is struggling through record low temperatures and the river Danube is turning into slabs of ice, here is Sydney we have been sweltering through the last few days.
When I was in Budapest, I wanted nothing more than to experience a winter snowfall, I may have gotten my wish, but it was only a small amount of snow compared to the amount they have now and the amount they have every other winter I’m not int he country.
Budapest, I thought we had something special and then you betray me like this.
I have said before that if I had to choose between summer or winter, winter would always win hands-down. I know the winter that Hungary is experiencing at the moment is brutal compared to what I experienced when we were there a year ago, but I think I would still choose it over the “hottest January night on record”.
All I can say, is thank goodness for air-conditioning! In Hungary air-conditioning is considered a luxury, but heating is essential. In most parts of Australia, it is the exact opposite.
I know these days people aren’t as “tough” as they used to be. Years ago people sweltered through the Australian summer. My parents didn’t get an air-con when I was a kid until I was almost seven in the early 90s and people survive without it now too. I’m sure people have come up with plenty of creative ways to stay cool in the heat of summer throughout the times and it got me thinking of what it would have been like for my characters József and Anna, leaving the climate of Budapest behind, with its chilly winters and mild summers and arriving in the sweltering summer heat of Australia.
What would they have done to cope with the heat? Desk fans were in existence during this time period, but it wouldn’t be something they would be able to buy or have access to immediately upon their arrival.
Having grown up in Australia, I found the summer weather in Budapest to be quite mild, especially when comparing it to the Australian summers I am accustomed to. Their definition of a heatwave is very different to our own. In Budapest you won’t end up with third-degree burns from crossing the road on a summer’s day in bare feet.
For people coming from Budapest to Australia though, I would imagine they would find the heat even more unbearable than we do. Without modern conveniences though, how would they even cope? How about when you’re expected to wear a corset, bodice, full skirt and stockings? Or trousers and a shirt? Would you cope? I know I sure as heck wouldn’t.
These are some of the themes I’ll be exploring int he next couple of weeks, with the current heatwave for comparison.
So, what are some of the creative ways you’ve stayed cool during a heatwave? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.
Lately I’ve been re-watching the Australia TV series, “Always Greener”. It was made in the early 2000s, if I remember correctly and was sadly cancelled after only two seasons. I know what you’re thinking, I should be doing some substantial writing instead of binge-watching TV series on Telstra TV, but well…. I have no excuse really, but I will do some substantial writing soon, the self-guilt is getting to be too much. Anyway, I loved watching “Always Greener” during its original run and watching it again now is bringing back so many memories of my teenage years. In particular this one,
This particular scene is where fourteen year old Kim is venting her frustration at her parents who, “just don’t understand”, whilst that is totally relatable for my teenage self, that’s not the reason I took a photo of my TV in excitement. I took this picture for a much more important reason… I totally had the same poster of David Boreanaz on my wall as a teen! This was before “Bones” when teenage girls lusted after David Boreanaz because he played the brooding, swoon-worthy, vampire with a soul, Angel (or Angelus, as any true fan knew that was his real name)…*sigh*
Now, besides lusting after my teenage crushes (for the record, David Boreanaz is still totally hot in my honest opinion), watching “Always Greener” also got me thinking.
I know, everything gets me thinking, welcome to my brain!
The phrase, “always greener” comes from the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. This saying highlights our human tendency to never be satisfied with our current situation and that others seem to have it better. Hence the idiom of coveting the grass on the other side of the fence as being greener than your own. Often, when we finally have the “greener grass” we coveted, we realise that we actually had it good in the first place and what we’ve left behind is what we really wanted.
Now I’d like to take a different perspective, what if the “greener grass” was the things we worked towards, the things in life we wanted and not because we wanted what everyone else had and we didn’t, but because it was what we wanted in life for ourselves.
Am I even making sense? I’m not sure anymore, but stay with me.
Each of us needs to find our “always greener” something to strive for to better ourselves, better our lives etc. Not something to strive for because someone else has it, but to strive for it because it’s what we want, because it’s our dream.
My aim this year is to figure out exactly what my “greener” is and to work towards it.
It is human nature to long for greener pastures, but it should be because it is for us, our family, because it is what we truly want and need, not because we want what someone else has, that’s when it backfires and we realise what we left behind was what we really wanted. That was a long sentence, but hopefully you get my point.
Look inside yourself to find your “greener”, not over the fence. Then work towards it with everything you have.
Let’s make 2017 the year for each of us finding our “always greener”, perhaps “The Year of Chasing Dreams”.
It’s always at this time of year that I tend to find myself feeling lost and without direction, not knowing what my next move should be. This feeling often leads to me becoming easily frustrated and annoyed (even more than usual). In one of my fits of annoyance at trying to get something done, something I can’t actually even recall now, my husband said this,
“When an obstacle is in front of you, don’t stand there looking at it asking, “What’s this?” Break it down and go after what you want.”
No, he wasn’t quoting some philosophical figure. These were his words, pretty good from someone whose first language isn’t even English!
What he said really hit me and got me thinking, why do I even do that? When faced with an obstacle my first instinct is often to stop and go, “Wow look an obstacle” instead of breaking it down and figuring out how to overcome it. Sometimes the “figuring out” part comes later, but not always. Most often instead of doing the “figuring out” part, I tend to just find (or create) even more obstacles between myself and my goal.
So here I find myself on the morning of New Years Eve, feeling annoyed and frustrated with myself for not having written anything substantial since August. I’ve done a few poems, short stories and the children’s books I wrote for each of my children for Christmas, but I haven’t worked on József and Anna’s story in four months.
When I consider I wanted to have the first draft completed in 2016, I feel as though I have completely let myself down. Since arriving back in Australia I’ve been busy unpacking and adjusting to living in the “real world” again, but these are all just excuses. Work, unpacking, the craziness of day-to-day life of course all of these things take away from potential writing time, but so does the downloading and reading of countless books on Kindle… which I am definitely guilty of in the last few months.
There are the obstacles that life throws your way and then there are the obstacles that you create yourself. I don’t know why I do this to myself. Yes it was a lot easier to stay up writing when I didn’t have to worry about school, work or anything else the following day, but all because there’s more obstacles between me and my writing, it doesn’t mean I need to stop writing. I just need to stop making excuses, break down the obstacles and write!
I know my husband wasn’t referring to my writing when he said the words above, but as I said, his words got me thinking. Instead of making excuses about why I haven’t written anything substantial in four months, I need to start being creative with ways that I can fit in some writing time. I’m already one of the world’s top procrastinators, so it doesn’t take me much to come up with totally legitimate (sounding) excuses to neglect my writing. At the end of the day though, it just leaves me feeling guilty, like I’ve let myself down, not something I really like feeling, come to think of it.
I’m not trying to tell you all that starting tomorrow there’ll be no more excuses, that I’ll face each obstacle with the strength and focus of a Viking sheildmaiden, breaking down each and every obstacle that lies in my path. No that’s not what I’m saying, that almost sounds like a New Year’s Resolution – and I don’t do that, we always end up breaking it by the 2nd of January anyway.
I’m not magically going to become a non-procrastinator just because I resolve to do so, we all know that will never happen. Instead I’m going to make myself a promise. A promise to try harder to find time to write, to try harder when going after what I want. Instead of focusing on the obstacles in my way, I’m going to try and figure out how to break down those obstacles and get to where I want to be. It might happen, it might not, but the point is I’m going to try.
Happy New Year everyone. May 2017 be the year you chase after what you want.
Recently I saw the Eddie Murphy movie “Norbit”, I know I’m about nine years behind (with the movie being released in 2007) but there was nothing else on TV and as I watched, I found myself wondering whether it was Eddie Murphy’s intention to poke fun at domestic violence.
Now before you click close on your browser, I’m not about to get all preachy and say that everyone should boycott all Eddie Murphy movies because of this particular one. I enjoy an Eddie Murphy movie as much as the next person, however this movie did make me wonder about a few things.
If you’re not familiar with this movie, I’ll give you a brief summary. Norbit (Eddie Murphy) is abandoned as a baby at an orphanage run by a Chinese man (also Eddie Murphy). As a boy Norbit is very close to his fellow orphan (a girl named Kate, not played by Eddie Murphy). Norbit and Kate would have spent the rest of their childhood and lives together, but Kate is adopted and moves away.
Now comes in Rasputia (again played by Eddie Murphy) a girl very large for her age who protects Norbit from the bullies. Rasputia is very domineering and as adults they get married.
Now this is where the “interesting” part starts…
Rasputia is an extremely overweight, domineering and violent adult. As a wife to Norbit she is constantly belittling him, verbally abusing him and even forcing herself onto the timid Norbit in the bedroom. Later in the film, we also see Rasputia physically abusing Norbit, breaking him down both physically and emotionally, even confining him to the basement.
The movie isn’t abuse scene after abuse scene, there are plenty of the fat jokes and racist remarks you’d expect in an Eddie Murphy movie, but the abuse against Norbit is definitely there.
Now I’m one of those people who thinks political correctness is a bunch of bull$h!t and people are often just looking for something to be offended by. I mean, you can’t even describe a person’s appearance without being labelled a racist. The last thing I would expect from Eddie Murphy is for him or his movies to abide by the over-the-top political correctness rampant in society and I’m not saying I’m exactly offended by this movie. I’m just wondering what the point of depicting obvious spousal abuse in comedic light was.
If we take a step back from the “nanny state” for a minute, we can take a moment to consider the possible impact of this movie. When people think of domestic violence and spousal abuse, the immediate image that comes to mind is some low-life scum of a man beating on his wife. Whilst this unfortunately can be the case, with women being at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner (find more stats here), men also are the victims of domestic violence and abuse. Out of every three reports of domestic abuse, one of those is male. In Australia, the One in Three campaign aims to shed light on this often surprising statistic. (Find out more about the campaign by clicking here)
Now back to the movie. In the case of Norbit, his abuse is shown in a comedic light, it makes people laugh (which I’m not exactly encouraging), but could it also make people more aware that domestic violence against men is a thing?
If this is the case, then maybe that’s a good thing. However by showing Norbit’s plight in such a comedic manner, it is also taking away the importance and severity of the issue. Domestic violence against men IS a thing and the statistics only provide a glimpse of the severity of the issue. Men may also be less likely to report cases of domestic abuse, from fear of being labelled as wimps or as less of a man. The stigma is already there and the movie Norbit has the ability to further reinforce that idea.
If a woman says she has been raped, there’s outrage from all sides. If a man says the same, people doubt him (not the professionals, but people in general) some even go as far to say he should consider himself to be lucky.
Domestic and sexual abuse in any form, whether it be against men, women, children, the elderly, whatever, is NEVER okay.
So this is what I’m saying, the movie Norbit, whilst funny in some ways, does have the ability to reinforce the stigma surrounding domestic violence against men. Domestic violence against men IS a serious issue that needs to be spoken about, but not in a comedic way. I don’t think Eddie Murphy purposely went out to poke fun at a very serious issue, I honestly don’t think he even considered it as one and despite the issue of the movie depicting domestic violence against men in a comedic light, if it even makes one person wonder and become more aware that domestic violence against men is a real issue, then I say go ahead, watch the movie (even if it’s not that great). It’s just a movie, after all.
But never forget, in the real world domestic violence in any form is never okay.
These past couple of weeks I’ve been busy with work and family life, but also busy trying to find my direction in life.
With all of that, I’ve unfortunately had little time (or energy) for writing, even though my mind has been working overtime with all my ponderings.
Now I don’t consider myself to be a “Grammar Nazi”, I often make many mistakes and typos in my writing and even when I speak (I’m blaming the students, I hear how they speak and I think it’s rubbing off on me), but I am, however, able to recognise my mistakes and I do enjoy taking the “mickey” out of friends and family by pointing out their own errors, all in good fun, of course.
Now one particular thing I would like to discuss in this post is “Can I…?” versus “May I….?”
For example, when a student asks permission to go to the bathroom during class time, they will often phrase it as, “Can I please go to the bathroom?” rather than, “May I please go to the bathroom?”
When I am in the mood to confuse them a little, my response is usually, “I don’t know, can you?” when their request is phrased as, “Can I…?” You see, the first example raises questions of a person’s ability to complete the task they are attempting to request. The you of, “Can I..?” is not entirely incorrect and is perfectly acceptable in the English language, but as I said, it can raise questions of ability.
“May I…?” is in fact a more formal style of request, therefore would not usually be expected from my students in the classroom, but it is fun to mess with their minds every now and then.
As the post discusses, once upon a time “can” was used when discussing ability and “may” was used in regards to a request for permission. However these days the two are used rather interchangeably.
Now, moving on to other things…
Even though my writing of József and Anna’s story has taken a back seat at the moment, I’m currently in the process of writing a You Be the Illustrator! Personalised Children’s Storyfor each of my children for Christmas. This is one of the many products and services my new business Creative Freedom Freelance Writing Servicesis offering and I thought by creative one for each of my children, it would not only be a beautifully unique Christmas gift, but also a good way to play around with some ideas to offer clients. Each story will be a personalised children’s Christmas story featuring my children as main characters, as well as incorporating their own likes and interests into the story.
Writing shorter pieces of work is a good way to exercise those writing muscles and to experiment and explore different ways of writing. Whilst I normally write when an idea hits and then follow the characters on their journey, with the personalised children’s stories, there are so many things I need to incorporate into the story and I need to try and make it as seamless as possible, as if the details were meant to be there as part of the story rather than a tokenism of inclusion. To try and achieve this, each story is drafted and written for each specific child and it is not simply adding the details to an already written story template. So this can be a challenge, but definitely makes for a more unique and much better written story, in my opinion.
I’m hoping to get all three stories finished this week and arrange to get them illustrated and bound with some time to spare. So wish me luck, especially considering that Christmas is less than a month away now!
After all that is said and done, it will be time to move on with József and Anna’s story! I can’t wait to connect with them again and figure out the details of the amazingly daunting adventure they are about to set out on.
I will no longer question my ability by asking, “Can I be a published writer?” nor will I ask permission by asking, “May I be a published writer?” I’m just going to keep moving forward, I’m going to keep writing and I going to grasp every opportunity with both hands.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found a lot of things I had completely forgotten I even had whilst unpacking. Some of the things hold many fond memories, others are useful and some other things evoked the response, “Why the heck did I keep that for?!” Seriously, why on earth did I have around twenty copies of of wedding mass booklet? Yes, for the memories and sentimental value, but surely one is enough, right?
Anyway, moving on. Another awesome thing I found in the midst of unpacking and sorting through things was a story I wrote in Year 6, at around the age of ten or eleven. I remember the writing task clearly, of aim was to take a well-known fairly tale and reverse it, so the good guys were the bad guys in the story and vice versa.
With this in mind, my primary school self wrote “The Three Bad Pigs vs. the Small Kind Wolf” and I’d like to share it with you now in all of it’s bad punctuation, spelling and grammar glory.
Here’s the full transcript, in case it’s too hard to read in the above image.
Once upon a time there lived a very small wolf. When he was 19 he moved out of home. The wolves mother warned him, “Beware of the 3 bad pigs.” Then the wolf went off to build his house. While he was walking along he came by some straw, he said, “I shall build my house of straw.” The straw house was finished by sundown and the wolf went to bed. During the night guess what happened…. The 3 bad pigs came into the wolves house and put tacks all over the floor and when he woke up he stood on the tacks and yelled his head off. Then the wolf decided to make a stronger house made of sticks, so he did. When the wolf was finished he had dinner and went to bed. Then when the wolf was fast asleep dreaming about his girlfriend, the 3 bad pigs crept into his new stick house and this time they put mouse traps all over the floor and they left. Later during the night the wolf was still dreaming about his girlfriend and he fell out of bed and landed on the mouse traps he screamed and yelled his head off. Then the 3 bad pigs opened the door and said, “Ha Ha.” Then one poked his tongue out. The wolf said, “It’s those stupid pigs.” Then he yelled out, “keep out you stupid pigs.” The next morning after breakfast the wolf made a house of bricks and he phoned the locksmith to keep the pigs out. Then that night the pigs tried to get into the wolves house but couldn’t. Then they saw the chimney and decided to climb down it. One of the pigs said, “Wow I feel like Santa Ho, Ho merry Christmas.” The smart wolf put a pot of water over the fire to boil. Then the pigs fell K, SPLASH! into the pot. Then the wolf sang, “Whose afraid of the 3 bad pigs, the 3 bad pigs, the 3 bad pigs. Whose afraid of the 3 bad pigs tra la la la la la.” Then the cops came and took the pigs away.
I think it was a pretty good effort for a kid still in primary school, illustrations and everything! Although can some please teach primary school me a little more about apostrophes of possession and contractions? Also, who needs paragraphs, am I right?!
Even the teacher liked it I suppose, because the only constructive feedback I got, as you can see, was to improve my handwriting.
“Katherine a very funny ending to the 3 pigs. Neater writing would have increased your marks. 7.5/10”
– The Teacher
Although for a child who was ambidextrous and had low muscle tone in my hands, I think that the fact that my writing is completely legible when being forced to write in cursive was an absolute miracle!
Now let’s talk about the title of today’s post, “Egyszer Volt, Hol Nem Volt” is the Hungarian equivalent of “Once Upon a Time”. Of course like most things though, it doesn’t directly translate as exactly that, but it’s the Hungarian equivalent of the common phrase used at the beginning of many much-loved fairy tales.
In keeping that in mind, here I have another story for you….
Once upon a time, in a land not very far away, there was a little girl who loved to tell stories. She would tell stories to her mother, she would tell them to her father, she would tell them to her baby brother. Basically she would tell her stories to anyone that would listen. Sometimes she would even write them down, so she could read them later on over and over again, because she loved to read stories as well. Perhaps even as much as she loved telling them.
Somewhere along the way though, the little girl grew up. As the world began to change around her, she began to forget how much she loved to tell stories. The little girl was now a young lady, she still enjoyed to create stories in her mind and to create worlds and music and things, but her days of storytelling seemed to get further and further away.
The young lady grew into a woman and work and everything else began to take over. She felt lost and unsettled, as though she were trapped in a strange world, her future uncertain.
For many years she tried to find her way back to her stories, reaching towards them with an outstretched hand, but they were just out of her reach. Then one day she awoke from a dream, filled to the brim with words, worlds, characters and stories just waiting to break free.
Then she tentatively reached out towards her stories again, first with just one hand and then with both hands and before they could slip away from her again, she grabbed at the words, worlds, characters and stories and grasped them close to her. Then vowed to never again live through the days without stories that she had been living those years.
She embraced the writer within.
Of course there were times in the years without stories that a glimpse of one would make its way to the surface. Where beginnings were made and worlds began to form, reminding her of her love of stories, but nothing was ever finished and the worlds and words would slip away again.
Now though, she vowed that things would be different. If she ever felt lost, unsettled and uncertain, she knew what to do to find her way again. She would reach out, always with both hands and pull the words, stories, worlds and characters close to her once more and let them show her the way.
A thousand apologies for my erratic posting schedule lately. Things have been hectic beyond words, but I am trying my darndest to get back on track and hopefully now that I have finished my library/office space I will be able to get back into it and tackle the world of writing head-on once more.
Today I have a bit of a reflective sort of post for you all. You see, last weekend was my middle boy’s 6th birthday and tomorrow will be my youngest boy’s 4th birthday and here I am sitting in front of the computer trying to figure out where on earth all the time has gone.
No matter how many years fly by, even if I wake one day to find that my babies are now grown and have babies of their own, they will forever and always be my babies. My boys will be My Boys and my girl will be My Girl (a great movie, but not what I’m talking about here). The bond between mother and child is often the strongest bond there is, but there’s something different about the bond between mother and son. We are the first woman they will ever love, the woman that they will compare all others to, I only hope that I can live up to the hype.
Even though there is two years difference between my boys, they are similar in many ways, not just in their appearance. They are each other’s best friend and one seems to be slightly lost without the other, especially now that the middle one has started kindergarten.
Yes, they are quite similar, but on the other hand they are two completely different people. My middle boy loves to solve puzzles, to figure out the answer to the problem and to analyse the situation. He can be sensitive and sweet, but only shows affection to those he is very close to. He can be confident, even in front of a crowd, but is also very stubborn. He likes when things are either right or wrong, so much so that he has the tendency to “freak-out” and be overwhelmed when required to explore his creative side in areas such as art or music.
They both look up to their big sister, often turning to her for help or advice (even if it results in misinformation) and most of the time, they enjoy simply being in each other’s company.
My youngest boy is quite a character, he is the clown of the family who has the ability to change the mood of a room from somber to hysterics in a mere moment. He can cry at the drop of a hat is things don’t go his way, but it’s all an act because as soon as it changes he stops crying just as quickly as it began. He enjoys exploring the world around him through the eyes of his alter egos Swokie and Xanagog. Don’t ask me how he came up with these two characters have been around for quite a while, with Swokie being the first to appear. Swokie is an outgoing, rough and tumble sort of character who can be quite cheeky at times and hides his sensitive side behind his rough exterior, where as Xanagog is more reserved alien sort of character (not alien as in little green man, alien more like a Star Trek of Star Wars character) who is very inquisitive. I’m been informed that I am invited to the premiere of my youngest’s first movie titled, “Swokie, the Goodest Bad Guy” so be sure to keep an eye out in the cinema for this box office hit in around twenty years or so!
Whatever the future holds for my boys, I just want them to be happy, to know that they are loved unconditionally and whether or not my youngest becomes the movie star he desires or my middle boy becomes the scientist or engineer I believe him destined to be, doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are happy, loved and respected, being whoever they are supposed to be, whoever they wish to be.
Be yourself and you can be whoever and whatever you want to be.
So to my boys (and my girl), know that I love you. Always, forever and unconditionally. Let your light shine and shine brightly in the world of your creation.