wings and things

Motherhood 2 (a funny story)

The three people I see most of are Anthony, my mother and Ming of course. For some reason I sometimes get their names confused, as if they are identical triplets or something. So I will often call Ming ‘Ants’ and vice versa, but I have also called Ants ‘Mother’ a few times and called my mother ‘Ming’. Do other people do this?

Anyway, last night, just before Ming went off to his shed to go to bed, he gave me a big hug and I said, “You are such a beautiful son,” and he said, “That’s because I’m your mum.”

Obviously he’d meant to say, “That’s because you’re my mum,” but he got the words the wrong way around just like I get the names the wrong way around.

After we stopped laughing hysterically, he left for his shed and, hearing his footsteps outside my office door, I shouted, “G’night Mummy!” and he shouted back, “G’night, darling!”

Still laughing about it!



It has been fascinating to watch Queenie and the peachicks out and about. They roam freely now everywhere and are quite used to my presence. Sometimes they forage on the lawn just outside my office door where I can watch them and talk to them through the fly screen. It’s almost as if they have come over to say hello.




I still haven’t found a mate for Baby Turkey, but I promised him I would by next week and he perked up a little bit.


Godfrey and Zaruma, despite being male, continue to guard the ducklings. They are out and about for much of the day now too, always with the two male mothers guarding them – Godfrey with hisses and Zaruma with a little smile on his funny face.



This morning my mother came over and we cried together and it was like a gift of rain on a rose bush thought dead, but now budding again; it was like a single dewdrop until you see there are hundreds of them; it was like a hidden stream, full of pebbles and tadpoles and lilies and, well (I can’t help myself here!) ducklings.

Motherhood is a powerful thing.


Being a mother

Until five years ago, when Anthony’s health began to deteriorate dramatically, I think I was a pretty good mother to Ming. I kicked the football with him, played games with him, listened to his young teenage philosophies, rescued him from a school he hated and attempted home-schooling, took him to a psychologist when he became depressed, watched Black Books and The IT Crowd with Ming and Ants so we could all laugh together. But at the same time, things got much worse in terms of Anthony’s health and Ming and I began to share the ‘night shift’ of helping Ants to the loo, sometimes 3-4 times per night. I only asked Ming to do this once a week but it still took its toll on him emotionally. For me it took its toll physically and I ended up in hospital for a week with a severe asthma flu caused, the drs said, from exhaustion and sleep deprivation. It was at this point that my job at the university began to curl away from my grasp because, as soon as I was well again, I had to become a fulltime carer for Ants and the rest is history.

Tonight, Ming and I had another horrible row and we talked around in circles until I finally hit the nail on the head by asking him if his anger and frustration might be because I had stopped being a mother. He hesitated before saying to me that it had all been Dad, Dad, Dad, for years.

Oh the heartache of realizing that this beautiful son of mine/ours stopped being a child at around 14 because I unwittingly stopped being his mother and, instead, kept asking for his help with Anthony. Of course he was never neglected or unfed or abandoned. Of course he was adored, appreciated and cared for, but my preoccupation with Anthony’s deteriorating health was all-consuming and, yes, Ming is right – it was all Dad, Dad, Dad, until tonight. From now on it is going to be Ming, Ming, Ming.


Free and easy

This afternoon, Son went for a motorbike ride with his mates. They usually go on the bush trails around here, so it’s not roadbike stuff. On the other hand, this is not the wisest thing to do before having surgery on your back! Oh well – when I’m not intensely anxiety-ridden, I’m a free and easy mum.

Free and easy isn’t necessarily a popular stance, especially when it comes to parenting (and, now, bird-raising!) But I absolutely love it. Let me recap:

In the Christmas of 2010, Husband and I surprised Son with the motorbike of his dreams. Son had no idea, so when he got to the bottom of his pillowcase presents, he was shocked to open a tiny package containing the motorbike key. We had hidden the actual motorbike in the old dairy, so it took ages for Son to find it.

It was joy-at-first-sight – the best moment of spoiled-brattishness ever. Son was so overcome, he cried.

In free and easy mode, I let him go on the ride today, despite the impending surgery to his back. Perhaps I’m an idiot, perhaps not; I want him to be feisty, not feeble; courageous, not cowardly; free, not frightened; resiliant, not (sorry, can’t think of an ‘r’ word!)

Needless to say, but I’m going to say it anyway, this kid is the light of our lives – Husband’s life, my life and, well, Son seems to also be the light of his own life.

He LOVES himself!!

Free and easily yours….