“Your family is great”.

“Your family is great”.

Yes, they are. With such a large sample size (35) you would expect a bad apple – but we don’t have one. Wait, unless it’s me.

Anyway, usually when people say your family is great, they are referring to tightness of relationship I have with my siblings. We are close and they are awesome. Hella & Lucas.

Note: Some of you have families that are horrible: abuse, neglect, bullying, stealing. Some of you have families that are awful: strong differences, disinterest, dismissive of one another. Some of your families have had or are having seasons of broken relationships. Some of you have families that are distant. Some of you have lost loved ones. I’m so sorry for your situation.
I know I’m naive about the wonder and delight of my good family situations. 

Our current living situation has my siblings and I living next door to each other. There’s a lot of intentional and unintentional contact: I wander over to receive fresh coffee grounds from Lucas, I pop downstairs to use Hella’s washing machine. But so far it’s been manageable.

Here are four solid reasons for our relationship.

1. Likeable
We are mostly likeable and share many common interests (there is some nurture in this, we were all exposed to mostly the same things – not a surprise we all love books; deconstruction; language; improving life, quotes, meaningful television).

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Mother’s Day

Bah, humbug.

Today is the day we celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society. All good things. I want to celebrate them too.

But please don’t try to awkwardly make me feel included.
But please don’t ignore that pain and longing and disappointment and anger may colour maternal relationships.
But please don’t try to tell me God is like a mother.
But please don’t ask me to wear a flower in honour of mothers.

Do say motherhood is good and hard and valuable.
Do say we should thank our mothers (and grandmothers).
Do use this as a moment to consider lonely and forgotten mothers who are struggling.

Five things: I value about my mum

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and my mum’s birthday.

Here are five things I value about her.

  1. She loves us intensely.
    As a teenager I yelled at her to ‘f** off’, she burst into tears and gave me a hug.
  2. She adores reading.
    Our house was always full of books, and considered special things (plus now she has a collection to borrow). We read as a family and individually. Even now we enjoy company when reading.
  3. She tolerates teasing.
    Sometimes she is not quite on the same wavelength as the rest of the family. She will often be the butt of jokes, but accepts it graciously (mostly).
  4. She connects with people.
    Mum has friends from each season and place of her life. That means some of her friends she’s been friends with for 55 years! From childhood, high school, university x2, physio times in Victoria & Tasmania, school aged kids, many different work teams within Queensland Health, international colleagues and now Metro North Health Service.
  5. She’s passionate about her work.
    She’s committed to better public health services in our state, country and world.
    I was in the audience as she received the Gold medal from ACHSM. At a recent family dinner we heard a presentation about a new framework for ‘utility cavities above operating theatre’. Yes – we were riveted as well.