Monday, 8 December 2008


i haven't felt much like blogging over the past week, and things have been quite hectic as well. i guess it's just that time of year, with lots of "end-of-year" functions and lots of things to get done and wind up before the holidays.

not much in the mood for serious blogging today either, as i've had something that came out of left field, which took up my more serious writing skills. but more on that later in the week. needless to say, my mind has been occupied to the extent that i even forgot to tune into the opening of parliament today, and the swearing in of MPs. which is a pity, as there are several friends from the labour team that i would have liked to watch. and i've also missed raewyn's funeral as it was just not possible for me to get to wellington today. and somehow, i don't think i would have been able to cope with it if i had gone.

i received news today via peace movement aotearoa of the death of bob anderson. bob was a peace activist who i've only met once (that i recall), and he was kind enough to send me a free copy of his book "the ultimate war crime", about the effects of depleted uranium bombs used in the iraq war. definitely well worth a read, if you can get hold of a copy (but very depressing).

yesterday i dropped my older child off at a science camp. i really hate doing this, and it's one of those activities that i routinely get their father to do (the other notable one being childhood vaccinations!). i've not got any better at it since the first camp, which was only an overnighter when she was 7. i said goodbye to her at home, and made sure i didn't cry until she was out of the house.

at 16, it should be much easier to let her go, even if it is for a 5-nighter. but somehow it isn't. the house feels empty, and i started missing her the moment i walked away. even though i know she's safe, and i know she's having a fantastic time & not missing me at all, and even though i know she'll be back in a few days. i can cope quite happily these days with them being away one night, i can manage ok with 2 nights, but anything more is a real struggle. when it comes to being a mum, i guess i'm a real wimp!

which got me thinking about how often we have to say goodbye in modern life. my siblings live in different countries (even from each other), and i've lost count of the number of close friends who have moved away. of course they're still emotionally close, but knowing that i won't be able to see them regularly is just sad.

i'm not one to look back at the past with rose-coloured glasses, but one aspect of life in days gone by was the notion of a village, and of staying put. of having your immediate family and friends around you all your life. that security of relationships seems to me to be a good thing; this constant movement seems so much more isolating. but of course, the reality is that you would have been more likely to have women die in childbirth, men die in wars, children die of now-preventable diseases. so those villagers had their share of goodbyes as well.

it won't be long before my own children will be moving away from home, especially the older one. i'm wondering how i prepare myself mentally to let them go. i know i'll have to do it, i know i have to let them follow their own dreams and fulfil their own destinies. i just don't know how.

well, never mind, i don't have to deal with that today. i can pretend that it's in some long-distant future. and my baby will be back with me briefly tomorrow night, as she has special leave from the camp for the eid-ul adha celebrations. i'd better have an early night, cos we have prayers at 7.30am. to those of my muslim friends reading this, eid mubarak. and to the rest you, well i hope to be a better blogger this week!

p.s. if you're in or near hamilton, don't forget to take part in the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the universal declaration of human rights. we've got heaps happening from 11.15am to 2.30pm, then again from 7pm to 9.30pm.

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