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anxiety

Courage in her pocket

It began as a secret. A small, quiet act of defiance to carry her through the day. As she walked (tarried, resisted) out the door to go to school she would feel for the little zip in the side of her school dress. She’d pull, frustrated, as it stuck, and then, just as it seemed we were all in for a hard morning, the zip would release, and our eldest daughter would calm as she set about her self-made act of survival: stowing away chosen items in her pocket that reminded her of home.

Read More
Faith

Slow Growth: A Parable in Basil

She lies awake in her bed by the window, sheets tossed away to fight against the heat of the night. Our restless firstborn. All the churning inner energy and  frustration of Dr M and I channelled into one small body. Next to her, less than a foot away lies her brother J. J the forever baby of the family. J the Jack-in-a-Box boy full of playful alertness.

Read More
pregnancy and parenting

Letter to Fellow Parents with Stretched Hearts

Does every mother, every parent feel like this when their child faces new milestones? Nervous, excited, unexplainably fragile? Our path to parenthood was perhaps longer, more complicated than some. Does that make a difference? All I know is, being a parent is simultaneously amazing, and hard, buoyant-brilliant, and mountain-rugged climb. Today, our eldest took her first small black-sneaker-clad steps to her school career,beginning kindergarten. Some reflections on my complex feelings below, in a form of letter to other parents…

Read More
family adventures

Going Deeper

December 31, 2016. It was an impossibly hot day. The sky a blaze of blue. New Years Eve sizzled off ashphalt and skin long before any fireworks sparked. We’d spent the morning —Dr M and I and the three kids—wandering Mudgee, the country town we were holidaying in, lunching in a lovely cafe that afforded a natural green canopy where pinpricks of light filtered magically through. It was all going very well. Until it wasn’t. One by one we started to deflate like tired party balloons, some noisily popping, exhaustion running off our faces along with perspiration. ‘Into the car,’ Dr M announced. ‘At least we’ll have the aircon.’

Read More
Amazing Grace

Angel Words for Earthly Fears

Our daughter has recently acquired a new fear. I say acquired as we tend to collect fears in our family, like some people collect stamps. Ever since a seagull swooped down and took a chip —not even her chip, mind you, but a chip in the hand of someone standing nearby her— E has convinced herself that every bird, at every time, in every environment, is a chip-stealing, beady-eyed vigilante.

Read More
Amazing Grace

To all the Weary Mess Makers: Love has your Back

I’ve been doing a lot of washing lately. On first read this may sound virtuous, or, depending on who is reading this, downright depressing. But for me, when I start hitting the laundry, say, several times a day, it usually means my arms are trying to process what my heart can’t, won’t, or doesn’t want to yet. Sure, it’s not a glamourous or romantic form of escapism. I’m not driving into the sunset, windswept tendrils flying, shirking my responsibilities. I’m bending over a machine, perspiration on my forehead, swirling my confusion in with the powder and dettol. Because, sometimes you just want things to be clear, to see results. A load of dirty, crumpled washing in, a load of clean, fresh-smelling clarity out. Resolution. Achievement. A basket of chaos to a line full of order.

Read More
Faith

You have your Brother’s eyes

I didn’t intend to go to the meeting.  These days Dr M does most of these things alone, reporting back to me later in stolen snatches, in precious together-breaths caught above or between the perennial kid noise of our household. But my parents were over helping, and the thought of going out together —anywhere—was appealing. On the way there in the car, Dr M and I attempted to catch up. It occurred to me recently that our marriage  can feel a bit like speed-dating, or, perhaps a better image, like a scene from one of our all time favourite shows, The West Wing…

Read More
anxiety

When the world wants to disorient you

That’s my first thought as daughter E and I run-walk through the school’s side gate, awkwardly steering the double pram containing Baby J and the combined chaos of our morning…all the while trying to look cool as we kick up dust. If it feels big to me, it must feel enormous to her.

Read More
Amazing Grace

You are not your Anxiety

In an earlier post I called anxiety the great imposter. It’s a class-A actress. If anxiety were to audition for a role, especially one that involved threat of death or insanity, suffering, and plain-old-pain, anxiety would secure the lead. Because anxiety doesn’t just effect your mind, it inhabits your body too. Something a lot of people might not realise about anxiety is just how much it hurts physically…

Read More
Amazing Grace

‘Let’s Start Again’

Even with the windows open, and the late summer breeze coursing through, the atmosphere in the car was thick with it: our back-and-forth, black and white, your-wrong-I’m-right barrage. Because isn’t it the tragedy, that as well as the best, we reserve our very worst for those we love the most. Those closest to us, we often push the furthest.

Read More
anxiety

Courage in her pocket

It began as a secret. A small, quiet act of defiance to carry her through the day. As she walked (tarried, resisted) out the door to go to school she would feel for the little zip in the side of her school dress. She’d pull, frustrated, as it stuck, and then, just as it seemed we were all in for a hard morning, the zip would release, and our eldest daughter would calm as she set about her self-made act of survival: stowing away chosen items in her pocket that reminded her of home.

Read More
Faith

Slow Growth: A Parable in Basil

She lies awake in her bed by the window, sheets tossed away to fight against the heat of the night. Our restless firstborn. All the churning inner energy and  frustration of Dr M and I channelled into one small body. Next to her, less than a foot away lies her brother J. J the forever baby of the family. J the Jack-in-a-Box boy full of playful alertness.

Read More
pregnancy and parenting

Letter to Fellow Parents with Stretched Hearts

Does every mother, every parent feel like this when their child faces new milestones? Nervous, excited, unexplainably fragile? Our path to parenthood was perhaps longer, more complicated than some. Does that make a difference? All I know is, being a parent is simultaneously amazing, and hard, buoyant-brilliant, and mountain-rugged climb. Today, our eldest took her first small black-sneaker-clad steps to her school career,beginning kindergarten. Some reflections on my complex feelings below, in a form of letter to other parents…

Read More
family adventures

Going Deeper

December 31, 2016. It was an impossibly hot day. The sky a blaze of blue. New Years Eve sizzled off ashphalt and skin long before any fireworks sparked. We’d spent the morning —Dr M and I and the three kids—wandering Mudgee, the country town we were holidaying in, lunching in a lovely cafe that afforded a natural green canopy where pinpricks of light filtered magically through. It was all going very well. Until it wasn’t. One by one we started to deflate like tired party balloons, some noisily popping, exhaustion running off our faces along with perspiration. ‘Into the car,’ Dr M announced. ‘At least we’ll have the aircon.’

Read More
Amazing Grace

Angel Words for Earthly Fears

Our daughter has recently acquired a new fear. I say acquired as we tend to collect fears in our family, like some people collect stamps. Ever since a seagull swooped down and took a chip —not even her chip, mind you, but a chip in the hand of someone standing nearby her— E has convinced herself that every bird, at every time, in every environment, is a chip-stealing, beady-eyed vigilante.

Read More
Amazing Grace

To all the Weary Mess Makers: Love has your Back

I’ve been doing a lot of washing lately. On first read this may sound virtuous, or, depending on who is reading this, downright depressing. But for me, when I start hitting the laundry, say, several times a day, it usually means my arms are trying to process what my heart can’t, won’t, or doesn’t want to yet. Sure, it’s not a glamourous or romantic form of escapism. I’m not driving into the sunset, windswept tendrils flying, shirking my responsibilities. I’m bending over a machine, perspiration on my forehead, swirling my confusion in with the powder and dettol. Because, sometimes you just want things to be clear, to see results. A load of dirty, crumpled washing in, a load of clean, fresh-smelling clarity out. Resolution. Achievement. A basket of chaos to a line full of order.

Read More
Faith

You have your Brother’s eyes

I didn’t intend to go to the meeting.  These days Dr M does most of these things alone, reporting back to me later in stolen snatches, in precious together-breaths caught above or between the perennial kid noise of our household. But my parents were over helping, and the thought of going out together —anywhere—was appealing. On the way there in the car, Dr M and I attempted to catch up. It occurred to me recently that our marriage  can feel a bit like speed-dating, or, perhaps a better image, like a scene from one of our all time favourite shows, The West Wing…

Read More
anxiety

When the world wants to disorient you

That’s my first thought as daughter E and I run-walk through the school’s side gate, awkwardly steering the double pram containing Baby J and the combined chaos of our morning…all the while trying to look cool as we kick up dust. If it feels big to me, it must feel enormous to her.

Read More
Amazing Grace

You are not your Anxiety

In an earlier post I called anxiety the great imposter. It’s a class-A actress. If anxiety were to audition for a role, especially one that involved threat of death or insanity, suffering, and plain-old-pain, anxiety would secure the lead. Because anxiety doesn’t just effect your mind, it inhabits your body too. Something a lot of people might not realise about anxiety is just how much it hurts physically…

Read More
Amazing Grace

‘Let’s Start Again’

Even with the windows open, and the late summer breeze coursing through, the atmosphere in the car was thick with it: our back-and-forth, black and white, your-wrong-I’m-right barrage. Because isn’t it the tragedy, that as well as the best, we reserve our very worst for those we love the most. Those closest to us, we often push the furthest.

Read More


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