love

I am Enough.

I blinked and 2012 streaked naked through my life, my messy house. And then it was gone. Just like that. Hello 2013!

Right, so I’m going to do something revolutionary (for me) this year.  I am not going to start the new year making a list of all the things I hate about myself and how to fix them. Lists for how to be prettier, nicer, smarter, skinnier, friendlier, wiser, neater and all the other kinds of stupid’er things I’m supposed to be in fantasy land. Ha. I am NOT even going to make any fitness and weight loss goals. I am not going to commit to running in any 102km relays. I am NOT going to visualize how happy I will be when I lose twenty pounds. Or get boob implants. Liposuction. A nip. Tuck. Botox. I’m not even going to waste a single minute cursing the science research/medical industry that wont invest money and effort into devising a pill that gives you instant boob implants, liposuction, plastic surgery and botox. A painless, simple, cheap pill. I’m not going to knock down Jenny Craig’s door the minute they open after the New Year holiday for cardboard food I will hate eating. Or buy an insanely overpriced gym membership to a gym I will hate going to.

No. Not wasting a breath on any of that crap this year.

Because this is the year that I turn forty thirty-six. I am not a simpering, eyelash-batting, breathy-voiced teenager freaking out over acne and wondering whether some cute boy likes me. And I am not a self-obsessed, self-possessed, party-going, table-dancing, skank mini-skirt wearing twenty-something year old either. Or a people-pleasing yes-kid starving for affirmation.

 I am a WOMAN, dammit. A 5″10, CENSORED pound woman who’s given birth to four children and tried to stay sane while raising five. A big, brown Polynesian woman with big hips, bold thighs, and lush curves in unwanted unexpected places. I’ve got centipede pattern stitch scars across my non-existent ab’s from triple c-sections. And whispered tiger stripe stretch marks everywhere else that tell their story of baby growing. Breasts that have nourished life – and bled for it. Arms that have rocked a crying child a thousand times, a thousand nights. Hands that have labored over chocolate cakes, kids homework from hell, hair braiding, kids’ eczema, cleaned up puke, poop, paint and parties, given hugs (and yeah, maybe these hands have pinched naughty kids a few times too…wielded a salu…possibly)

 I am a mother with a loud voice who can laugh with her children, cry with them and fight for them.  I am a wife with a patient heart who knows how to love through the good, the bad and the ugly times. I am a daughter who knows that the best way to love her parents – is from a distance – with carefully constructed fences of self-built self-worth. I am a sister who’s made mistakes – and is learning from them. I am a teacher who knows how to make learning a journey of discovery with her students. I am an author who writes Pasifika love stories – and loves it.  I am blessed. I am grateful.

I am all these things and more. I am me and I am not going to waste time on trying to be anything different. This quote from a very wise woman, Marjorie Hinckley is perfect, “We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.” I think I am finally ready to stop trying to prove myself.

This year, I will not be driven by self-loathing. This year I will endeavour to incorporate into my life – more of those elements that uplift, energize and inspire me. For example, I hate running (and dieting). With a passion. But I love love love dancing. (and eating.) With a passion. This year I’m going to sign up for fun stuff like Hot Hula and also finally learn how to tango. (hopefully the Hot Man will agree to sign up to be my Antonio-Banderas-dance partner!) I’m going to make the time to prepare the foods that I love and take a cooking class so I can stop eating cans of tuna for dinner followed by three different kinds of cake (since thats all I know how to make with any kind of skill…) Bring on the seafood extravaganza menu!

I want to (finally) learn to swim. Go to a Coldplay concert. Meet up with fabulous author friends at the RT Convention in the US. Write more books about lots of luscious, bold Pasifika women (and beautiful hot guys…of course) Take the Fab5 to Disneyland. Get my NZ driver’s license so I can actually drive OUTSIDE West Auckland, see more of New Zealand with my family.  Get out of my hermit cave more. I will try new things and search for new experiences that will bring joy to my life and the lives of those I love.

My resolutions for 2013? To be fierce, fiery and bold – in person and not just on paper. To love better, dance and laugh more. To be content with me.

To say, ‘I am enough.’ And mean it.

What do you hope for from YOUR 2013?

Christmas – Moments of Joy

In two more sleeps it will be Christmas 2012. Bella has been counting on her fingers and reminds me every half hour. Her Dad took her to buy presents for everyone and she can’t wait for people to open them. (Even though each person already know what she’s bought for them because she accidentally whispered it super loud when that person was standing right there…) She keeps reminding me what Santa needs. What his reindeer need. She wants to know when are we going to bake Christmas cookies and deliver them to all our friends? (Yes, yes I am aware that this family has yet to bake a damn thing this December and very soon, if I’m not careful – the Christmas Baking Gift Delivery will become the Happy New Year’s Baking Delivery….or the Valentines Day baking Gift Delivery…So whats your point?! ) She is excited and happy. And that is the way it should be. Because she’s five years old and that’s what a child should feel at this time of year.

But I’m not really feeling excited and happy. I’m still sad that families in Connecticut, USA are having funerals for twenty children the same age and size as my Bella because somebody shot them in their elementary school with a military style assault rifle. And lots of other children the same age and size as my Bella who were in that same school that day had to endure that experience.

And I’m sad that at home in Samoa, so many families are still camping in evacuation centers because their homes got wiped out in Cyclone Evan. Some are mourning the loss of loved ones. Some are trying to salvage their personal belongings – and have to see neighbors walking past wearing their clothes, making off with their tools and appliances. ‘Finders keepers, losers weepers.’  I’m sad that so many small businesses are still cleaning out the mud and sewage from their stores, racking up all the losses from this disaster and trying not to go bankrupt, trying to decide whether or not they have the resources, the will to rebuild. To try again. Businesses like Coaches Corner, Pacific Jewell, JN Woodworkers and so many more. I’m sad that some homes still have no running water or electricity and I’m worried to hear about the growing number of typhoid cases.

So yes, two more sleeps to Christmas and there is much to be sad about. This will be a more restrained celebration this year. No excesses. Or over-the-top frivolous stuff. It doesnt feel right to drown in food and gifts and festive gatherings – when so many are facing great challenges. Instead,   I am sad, and in that sadness, I am reflective. I am grateful.

Why?

Because this week my little sister had a baby. There were some complications after the birth and my sister required surgery but she and the baby are home now, resting and recovering. I haven’t met my new niece yet because they live in the Cook Islands, but as I look at the photo of this child, so perfectly beautiful and serene in her newness – I am grateful. For the reminder that even though lots of bad things happen, life can still be entangled with moments of joy. Sacredness. For the reminder that Christmas (for many) is about honoring the birth and precious gift of another baby, born long ago with a divine mission. So yes, there may not have been any herald angels singing over the Cook Islands for Emaraina – but she reminded me of celestial glory.

Because shortly after finding out that his daughter Emilie was one of the victims in the Sandy Hook shooting, Robert Parker, made this statement of love and compassion, “I’d like to offer our deepest condolences to all the families who were directly affected…this includes the family of the shooter and I want you to know that our love and support go out to you as well…my daughter would be one of the first ones giving her love and support to all of the victims because that’s the kind of person she is.” I don’t know if I could have that kind of strength, testimony and forgiveness had that been Bella. His example moves me. Reminds me that in the face of darkness, it is still possible to see the light – if one is looking for it – with faith and an eternal perspective. A grassroots campaign started this week on Twitter and has spread to many parts of the world called #26Acts of Kindness where individuals commit to rendering ‘random’ acts of service and generosity in memory of the slain, with only the plea to “Pass it Forward”. I’ve been tracking some of the service acts as they are posted online and they are diverse and widespread. Meaningful. Parker made an emotional plea for that spirit to be the legacy of this tragedy. “Let it not turn into something that defines us, but something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate, and more humble people.” I am grateful for this reminder.

Because  after they lost everything in the cyclone and only escaped with their lives by climbing on the roof with their small children – Vanessa Nieuwenhuizen wrote, “We are starting to feel that Heavenly Father has a better plan for us. We so appreciate all your prayers….love and concerns. We really do. We no longer cry over the things we have lost…instead…we cry because of the immense support from all of you. So thank you. In return, I express great love and continue to pray for Heaven’s blessings to be upon each of you. Here’s us Wishing you all the happiness in this Festive Season!” It is this kind of spirit that weathers storms, carries one through trials and makes it possible to still hope for the joy of a Christ-focused Christmas. I am grateful for this reminder.

Because of these things, I will rejoice in my daughter’s happiness this Christmas as she hangs up stockings and puts out carrots for reindeer. I will watch her eyes light up when she helps her brother open her gift to him – because she cant stand to wait another minute for him to (pretend) to be surprised and super-gleeful about the deoderant she bought for him. And I will smile a lot when children make a mess opening presents and make lots of noise playing with them.

But most of all, in two more sleeps, I will be grateful for the sacred opportunity to be a mother and to have my husband and children with me in peaceful, safe surroundings. Grateful for the gift of the Savior. Grateful for all that reminds us to be better, more compassionate and more humble people.

It is my hope and wish that your Christmas be the same.

Manuia le Kerisimasi.

O Holy Night – A Song for Your Christmas

What Makes Good Romance?

What makes good romance? We all have different answers because what counts as ‘romantic’ is different for different people. I write YA fantasy romance and that can be fun. Especially when it comes to figuring out what will set spines tingling. Hearts racing. Spark a smile on even the most unwilling of faces. I’m no expert, but here’s some things I’ve found to be true about romance…reflecting on some of the most romantic things that I’ve seen in my long (non) illustrious life?

* Romance = Spontaneity. The unexpected. Flowers help too. I was a high school senior walking down the road in Washington D.C with a friend when we noticed a car following us. Driven by a strange boy. A cute strange boy. A smiling cute strange boy. Hoping he wasnt a killer scoping out potential victims, we hurried back to school. He caught us there, hopped out of the car, told me I was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen and gave me a dozen red roses. *Cue mass swooning, giggling, fluttering hearts from all my school friends.* I never saw that boy again. Never got his name either. Maybe he drove around all day giving roses to random chicks all over D.C. Who knows? Either way, Im really old now and remembering that still makes me smile.

* Romance = Thoughtfulness. Poetry. Music.  When I was fourteen, a boy would write me notes. Written inside intricately folded origama ninja stars. Many times, they contained poetry or song lyrics. I loved those and saved them for years afterwards. (Even though that boy went on to be the very first to ever break my heart.)  And can I just say that in a world of instant messaging and texting – a boy who can take the time to WRITE a note on a piece of paper? Like Daniel does in the first book? A rare treasure. Grab that boy and tie him up. (ok, did that sound a little Fifty Shades to you? or was that just me….)

* Romance = Originality and creativity. Picnics. And blindfolds.  Dating in Varsity years usually consisted of lots of dancing in sweaty, crowded nightclubs. Which is why it was extra memorable when a young man went to all the trouble of preparing a packed picnic lunch AND blindfolding me while he took me to the picnic destination in the middle of nature reserve park. Reason for the blindfold there and back? (No, nothing Fifty Shades about it…I KNOW that’s what you were thinking!)  Because, “this way, it will always be a special place that you can only find again, with me. Because it will always live in your memory as a special place that we shared together.” No, I didnt marry that boy. He never asked me. But I’ve never stopped wondering – where in heck IS that nature reserve park anyway?!

*Romance = Food. Sorry, but this is me. And MY list. So of course, food plays a central role in everything. The boy who baked me a chocolate cake gets an honorable mention. As does the bestest dinner menu on a date. Ice cream dates. Dessert outings. All made for very sweet romance. And the moment when the Hot Man cooked us a steak dinner to perfection, could very well have been the moment I decided we should be together forever.

So yeah, romance is lots of things. My definition of romance though, has changed as I have gotten older. Wiser. (And more tireder.) All the flowers in the world can never equal the feeling when you get to sleep for six hours straight because the love of your life has taken the premature baby for not one but TWO night time feeds and changed disgusting diapers. Even though the man has exams the next day. You wake up to find him soothing that baby, singing to him softly in the gentle moonlight. That’s romance.

All the poetry of Shakespeare and Keats can’t surpass the compassion, kindness and love evident when – you’ve been cut to pieces for a c-section delivery, you’re bloated with two hundred pounds worth of toxaemia, utterly miserable – and he bathes you, helps you dress, brushes your hair, dries your tears and whispers, “You’re the most beautiful woman in the world.” That’s romance.

When he shows up at your workplace with a surprise gift – a desktop fan for your sweltering teacher’s cubicle. Because he was LISTENING when you complained endlessly about how miserably hot you were at work. When he brings you Diet Coke, champagne glasses AND ice in a mini-cooler as well? That’s romance.

When he goes to the Twilight movies with you, even though he hates them. When he agrees that you two will only spend ten dollars each other for Christmas gifts, so you buy him a pair of cheap shoes – and he gets that leather suite living room set that he saw you sighing over and has it delivered when you’re not home and then blindfolds you before you walk in the house. That’s romance.

When he forgives you of the worstest things. When he sees the nastiest sides of you. When he endures the saddest times with you. And loves you even more because of them.

When he gives up the most divisive vices.  Sees his weaknesses and strives to overcome them because he wants to love better. When he cheers you on  to pursue your dreams even if he doesn’t quite understand them.

That’s romance.

Which is why, my Fantasy Romance series is dedicated to the Hot Man. Always and forever.

What’s the most romantic experience YOU have had? Please share…and inspire us because I think everyone could use more romance, more love in their lives!

Women – why do we always put ourselves last on the list?

*I make sure my kids eat several servings of fruit and vegetables a day. You can’t have a cookie until you eat that banana. No Xbox if you don’t have that brocoli.  – But I can’t remember the last time I ate a vegetable. Not unless carrot cake counts.

* I am the Enforcer of Bedtime because it’s important for children to get a good night’s sleep. But if I go to bed at midnght, that counts as ‘early’ for me. If I get five hours of sleep a night, I count myself lucky. I am perpetually tired.

* I chase children outside “for fresh air and exercise” on a daily basis. Turn off that TV and go play/run around the block/weed the garden/jump on the trampoline… They need to move and groove to be healthy. But too many times, I will cancel my run/water walking/gym visit because I HAVE to cook dinner / supervise homework / clean the kitchen or even rearrange throw cushions on the sofa.A zillion other things take precedence over me getting ‘fresh air and exercise’. Most of those things involve house and family. Contrast this with the Hot Man. He can get up and go for an hour long run even though the house is a mess, there’s no food cooked and the laundry is piled up to the ceiling. Is it because he’s ‘lazy and doesn’t care’ about the housework? OR is it because, as he so frequently reminds me – ‘your health is more important than dirty dishes. The children and the house are fine. Forget all this and just GO FOR A RUN.

Which begs the question – why am I so good at taking care of my children, and so rotten at taking care of myself?

As women, we are often raised/taught to be the nurturers. The caregivers. The multi-tasking, multi-talented organizers of homes and families, not to mention workplaces, church groups and community organizations. On the list of priorities, we often place ourselves last. After partners, children, extended family and even pets, dishes, and an unscrubbed bathtub. Otherwise we feel guilty, like we are selfish creatures. The problem with this is that eventually, our bodies, minds and souls suffer. We are run-down, stressed out, overworked, out of breath, and what’s worse – we are seething with resentment as we brood upon all ‘all the sacrifices I’m making for this family/job/partner /church /goldfish’. When I’m exhausted and none of my clothes fit because I haven’t worked out in months – yes I hate myself. But I’m also angry at my children – for ‘making me’ fat in the first place with all the demands they place on my time. And annoyed with the Hot Man because he can go running oblivious to mess while I can’t. (and of course he’s the one who gave me all these kids in the first place…I used to rock with the body of a supermodel dammnit! Before these children destroyed it.) Yes, that’s right – it’s everyone else’s fault that I put them first on the list. Totally.

You want to know the crazy thing though? My husband and my children WANT me to exercise, sleep more and eat better. They WANT me to go watch a movie instead of cleaning out the pantry. Relax with a book instead of re-arranging their drawers. ‘Mum, did you go to the pool today? I think you should go now. Mum, what time did you go to sleep last night? Why don’t you go have a nap? We’ll take care of things…’ Why? They want me to bump myself further up on the Priorities List because when I am rested, energized, and fit – I am a happier, nicer woman. They love me and want me to be happy.

So why can’t I love myself enough to want the same thing?

Enough. This madness has got to stop. My gift to myself this Christmas is the gift of “selfishness”. Of love. I will love myself enough to start taking better care of me. More sleep. More ‘fresh air and exercise’. More balanced and regular meals.More down-time. I will re-arrange my list of priorities so that it better reflects how much my family loves me. And how much I need to love myself.

It starts now. The place is a mess with post-Xmas debris. Who knows what they will eat for dinner? But me? I’m going to have a nap. And when I wake up, I might go out and join Bella on the trampoline.

How about you? Where are you on YOUR list of priorities?

Possessive "Angry Face" Love

                              Show your angry face!
There are cousins staying at our house. Which we are really enjoying because there are children all the same age as my Fab5 so plenty of fun, laughter and festive season spirit around here right now.

Except for Bella. Her place as the youngest has been usurped by her 3yr old cousin Isaiah, a gorgeous little boy with near blonde hair and an impish smile. It’s difficult to be the spoilt rotten, Princess of the house when there’s another child younger than you are. Last night as I was putting her to bed, she confided, “I love you and Dad and everybody. But not Isaiah. I don’t love him.”

“Oh, that’s not nice. He’s your cousin and your friend. I love him.”

She burst into tears. “No Mama, don’t love him. Dont!”

It was getting late and I wanted her to hurry and go to sleep so I could do very important things. Like read Game of Thrones Book 3. So I rushed to shush and agree with her. “Ok, I won’t love him. I only love you. Now go to sleep.”

That wasn’t enough for her. She needed more. “Don’t smile or be happy to him. You have to show him your angry face. Your mean face.”

I wanted to protest that of course I don’t have a mean face. How dare! But like, I said, I really needed to get to that very important task that was waiting for me. Finding out what Jon Snow was up to. And who the Dragon Queen was blowing up next with her dragons. “Ok, ok, I wont smile at him. I will only look super mean and mad.”

That wasn’t enough for her. She still needed more. “Practise it Mama. Go on. Practise your angry face so I can see it.”

So we did a few practise ‘angry face’ demonstrations until finally she was satisfied. And went so sleep. Finally. Game of Thrones!

I thought the matter was resolved. Bella was feeling a little neglected and just needed a little bit of extra reassurance and love. She would be fine. She would forget all about this conversation. Ha. This morning I walked out into the kitchen where Isaiah was having breakfast. I smiled and said, “Good morning handsome!”

Bella frowned. Burst into tears. Stamped her foot. “Mama, where’s your angry face! Don’t be nice to him. Show him the angry face!”

I think dealing with a pack of angry Wildlings or even a Dragon Princess would be easier than soothing the troubled waters of Bella’s little cousin rivalry. Possessive love. It’s vicious. I wonder though, do we grow out of it as adults? Hmm, have you ever been guilty of a little ‘angry face possessive love’?

Can I kiss you?

                      See? this baby looks happy to hug!


One of the nicest things about children is that you always have someone to get your daily requirement of physical affection from. Children give the bestest hugs and the nicest kisses. Especially when they’re fresh out of a shower and NOT dirty/sweaty or sticky with peanut butter and jam. But unfortunately, children have a tendency to grow up. They become 6yr olds who are impatient to run and play and they start wriggling away when you hug them.They become 10yr olds who will only kiss you if none of their friends are looking. And even then, they will grimace as if you are subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishment. They become teenagers who are happy to hug and kiss you…when they want something, when they’re actually on a covert mission to weaken your defences, get you to lend them money, go to that movie with their friends, or buy them that new shirt they don’t even need. So every time Big Son greets me with enthusiasm and a generous hug, I’m instantly on guard. What do you want?! And he gives me that aggrieved, innocent face, Nothing! Can’t I just hug my mum because I love her? Ha. I’m on to you….

Thankfully, my ‘baby’ is still only four years old, so I have a few more years of abundant hugs and kisses. Or do I? The Bella Beast is getting far too smart and independent because already, she is getting irritated with abundant physical affection. As these examples show…

“Can I hug you Bella, please?”
“But I hugged you the other day.”
“Yeah, but can I hug you now?”
Big sigh, rolls her eyes. “Alright.” Face lights up, aha moment. “So can I play XBox now?”
I have to pay for my 4yr olds hugs. With Xbox. Just stamp L O S E R on my forehead…

“That’s not a hug Mum. That’s a squash.” Bella reflects and deflects my enthusiastic love.

“Let’s play animals. I’ll be an elephant. What are you gonna be Mum?”
 I really dont want to play this game. It’s 7am and I’m not ready to be anything other than a sloth. “Umm, I want to be an ant. A sleeping ant.”
“Ants don’t sleep. They work all the time.”
“Fine. I’m awake. I’m a kissing ant. Can I kiss you?”
“No. Ants don’t kiss.”
“Don’t they kiss their mums?”
“They don’t got any mums. Just a Queen who’s the boss. I’m the Queen Ant and I say no kiss.”
When did this child get so smart?  Queen Ants? Worker ants? When did she get so bossy?  And since when did Queens not want a kiss?

“I love you mum. You’re a big, fat beautiful Princess Mum. Here’s a hug for you. But ONLY one. That’s enough for you. ” Bella masters the art of a double sided compliment. And institutes hug rationing.


“Good night Dad. I love you.” Big hug for Dad.
“Hey, what about me?”
“Good night Mum, I love you.” Walks away. “I already hugged Dad. Tell him to share it with you.”
More hug rationing. My child is putting me on a hug diet. Thank you. Thank you very much.


The future of abundant hugs and kisses for me does not look bright. I can’t have anymore children and I do NOT want any grandchildren showing up anytime soon. (do you hear me Big Son and Big Daughter!)  What am I going to do?….Bella, do you want to play XBox?!

"You’re my bestest friend forever."

The family was in the car heading home after church when I told them that I had invited another family over for dinner. The Hot Man explained to the Fab5, “Your mother has made a new friend, isn’t that nice?”

Right away the older lot started laughing. Jeering. Teasing me. “Awww mum’s made a friend. Finally after 10 months of living in New Zealand, she’s got a friend. Poor mum!” I told them all to shut up  be quiet or else they’d be hitch-hiking their way home. “Yes, I have made a new friend and I know I dont have many (“Ha, you mean any!” scoffed a disbelieving child) but there’s no need to be so derisive.” But they were not so easily silenced and the onslaught of mockery continued. Until, the Bella Beast put a stop to it all by bursting in to tears. And when the Beast cries – we all listen. (Spoilt child alert.)

“What’s the matter darling?” I asked.

She was sobbing as if her heart was broken. “I’m your friend mama. Nobody else. I’m your bestest friend.You and me mama – we friends forever.”

Now this not a post about how lame I am at making friends in real life. No. This is a post about how love – huge, gut-wrenching, breathtaking love – can take you by surprise. It’s about how I felt – and now I’m crying as I write this –  as Bella uttered those words, as she  looked at me, choking back tears. My very last baby. I get tired of being a mum (a lot.) Maybe because I started being a mum when I was a very young 22. I look forward to when they’re all self-sufficient and doing fabulous things…somewhere else in this fabulous world. I get impatient because dammnit, I’ve got things to do! And they’re getting in my way.

But here now is the very last child that will ever, ever want me to be the center of her universe. The last child that will want my hugs and kisses in public. The final, last child that will love me with that overwhelming, crushing kind of love – the kind of love that hasn’t had time to get tarnished by the realization that no, your mother isn’t perfect. Isn’t the coolest woman on the planet. Doesnt know everything. Makes tons of mother mistakes. And can’t make donuts as good as Dunkin.
 
No. This is my last baby. Reminding me that she is “My bestest friend forever.” Reminding me that being a mother is a breathtaking, gut-wrenching and blessed thing to be.
 
Thank you Bella. You’ll be my bestest friend forever too. (Even when you fall in love and run away into the sunset with some dreadfully unsuitable boy.)

Your Partner vs Your Children. Who wins?

Seventeen years ago I ran away into the sunset with the Hot Man because I wanted to spend every breathing moment with him. I wanted every thought to be entwined with his. Every word to only ever be uttered in his presence.We could talk for hours the Hot Man and I. About everything and nothing. We could dine on bread and Diet Coke – and every meal was a banquet. Bus to cheap movie nite with our home-made popcorn and cookies stuffed into our bag and still revel in the richness of just being together.  I married the Hot Man because I really couldnt imagine being without him.  ( and I most definitely didnt want to have to creep out of my house every night so I could ka’a with him and risk my mum’s eternal wrath…)
So we got married. And the ‘every breathing moment together’ thing really was bliss.

 And then came school. And work. And more work. And then some children fell out of the sky. And then came a house, a business, a mortgage. And some more children fell out of the sky. ( Dammnit it’s just raining babies wherever we go, whats up with that?!) And that ‘every breathing moment’ became…a moment here and there as babies grew and demanded more attention, more money, more energy, more patience. And now?

Well, now if I’m being completely honest – the Hot Man is not the focus of my life anymore. Now, life is all about the Fabulous Five as their needs, foibles and fables consume me. ( and drive me up the wall.) Now, it’s their joys that entrance me. Their pains that hurt me. Their dreams that make me wish for magic so I could make them all come true. And yet, I was never a girl who wanted to have any children. I was just a girl who wanted to be with that super hot – super bad boy that she was crazy about.

Now, me and the Hot Man are like ships passing each other in the night. I have to call him at work to chat so I can get a word in edgewise without some child butting in. We are like two people on the run from stalkers as we seek to evade our own children so that we can…talk, laugh, or chill out WITHOUT ONE OF THOSE INVADER CHILDREN TALKING, LAUGHING AND CHILLIN with us. (Whether we want them to or not.) We have to schedule ‘hot moments’ or else they won’t happen. We have to make Date Night appointments for movies, dinner, a gym class.

Sometimes it can get so crazy around here that I say to him, “You know, I married you so I could be with you all the time in forever. But now, I hardly get to be with you at all. I married you because I wanted to be with you but now – I have to share you with all these other people! What the heck is up with that? Who said all these other people could butt into this relationship?!”

Sometimes I have to remind myself that even though life is all about the Hot Man’s children (yes, they belong to only him when I’m annoyed with them) – we still need to put our relationship first. Take the time to make that date, schedule that chat, find the energy to listen to each others complaints and be inspired by each other’s goals. Because, if we fall apart? Then who will tag team as slaves parents to this raggedy mob? It’s the strength of OUR relationship that matters the most to the happiness of the raggedy mob.

Besides, one day all these Fabulous Five will grow up and move out. And it will be just me and the Hot Man left in this house. In this relationship. And it’s going to be pretty lonely and miserable around here if we’re not used to talking to each other, if we cant stand the sight of each other…hmmm.

So, if you’re new to the partnered/married thing and dont have children yet? Enjoy every moment of being together while you still can! And if you’re co-captaining a ship that some little people have stowed away on? What tips do you have to share on how to still keep that Hot Buzz hot between you two? What do you do to make sure your Significant Other – still knows they’re Significant? How do you escape your demon wonderful children?

‘Bella the Beast’ whom we all Adore and spoil rotten – asks
Mum, why would you want to run away from such a gorgeous, cute, ballerina fairy like ME? 

He Doesn’t Love Me!

He doesn’t love me! This is what my mind, heart and soul were screaming when me and the Hot Man moved into our first apartment. Because he didn’t lock all the doors, check all the windows and turn on the outside light. No. Instead he just got into bed and went to sleep. What the heck..?! I shook him ( not very gently) and asked, ‘Umm, did you check the doors? Windows?’
“No.”
“But I looked and they aren’t locked!”
“So if you saw that, then why didnt you lock them then?” And then he went back to sleep. Puzzled by my idiocy.

I stomped off to lock doors, windows and turn on lights. Once the house was secure, I then sat at the dining table and cried. Because the man I had married, clearly did not love me. Did not care about me. Was not the man I thought he was.

Why? Because when I was growing up, that was my Dad’s nightly ritual. He would do a security guard check of the perimeter with his torch and only when he was sure the house was locked – would he then go to bed. I grew up believing that yes, that’s what a MAN does. He locks the house. Keeps out the burglars and zombies. He always has a torch by his bedside for when things go bump in the night and the electricity is off. Sure I did my degree in Feminist Theory, but still, I believed in the sanctity of the security guard man of the house. I looked at my sleeping husband who didnt give a stuff that the back door had been unlocked, who didn’t even have a fudging’ TORCH by his bed and I asked myself, Why did I marry this man!?

The Great Door Locking Debacle was one that caused us a lot of strife in those early days. And it took me a long time to see it for what it really was. In HIS home growing up, the Hot Man’s father didn’t go around locking doors at night. That was something his mum did. So the fact that he didn’t think to go and safeguard my body, heart and soul by checking our fortress security – was NOT a sign that he didnt care about me. It was a reminder that we were two very different people who were bringing to our relationship, two different backgrounds, value systems and childhood experiences. And then somehow, that thing called love is supposed to overcome the differences, meld you two together and make you that Happy-Ever-After couple with butterflies and lovesick birds fluttering around everywhere you go. Bleugh. (No wonder so many relationships crash and burn.) No, after x-amount of years of wedded bliss, I know the secret to making it. Its called compromise. Its called forget all the crap notions/stereotypes you grew up with and commit to forging new value systems, habits and a solid foundation together. (No matter how painful that may be…)

I am reminded of this every night. When I go do my perimeter security check of all the windows and doors. And check my torch batteries before going to bed. Because in this house, in this relationship – that’s what the Hot Wife does. (dammnit)  And there aint no zombies getting in through the house security perimeter on MY watch.

        This Hot Wife has got everything under control.

     

Marriage Can be such a Gamble

Sometimes I’m not sure how me and the Hot Man have stayed together for so long. We are such different people that I’m amazed we actually grew up on the same island and speak the same language. For example, winning the lottery. We were watching the lottery draw on TV and he said, “Imagine winning a million dollars? I just wouldn’t know how to spend all that money.”

Excuse me? Are you kidding? Did you inhale too much welding dust at work today? A measly ONE million dollars has your mind boggled? I would have no trouble spending that money. No trouble at all. In fact, I would have no trouble blowing 2,3,4…20 million dollars.

He is bemused. “But what would you spend it on?!”

Honey, what wouldn’t I spend it on? I could walk into the shopping mall right now and blow a million dollars in one afternoon. Not a problem.

He persists, “But what would you buy at the mall? There’s nothing there to spend a million dollars on!”

I am disgusted. He’s obviously been drinking too much Diet Coke. (Or gazing in delirium at my beautiful ever-shrinking luscious self…HAHA. Excuse me while I eat a donut.) How can he not remember that at the mall there are clothes, books, shoes, makeup that costs more than my car ( but will make me look like a supermodel), all new furniture for my house so it will look like Vogue magazine, rumnraisin ice cream and an iPad waiting, all with my name on it? And yes yes, some of the stuff has the childrens names on it too ( I’m not that selfish.) But the Hot Man doesn’t get it.He’s talking about savings accounts and sharing money with all our twenty thousand relatives ( I dont know why. Dammnit, tell them to go buy their own lottery ticket) And I’m wasting my breath trying to explain it. It’s impossible. We are chasms apart when it comes to spending money.

How did me and this man ever meet, date, fall in love, get married and then stay married for this long? Hmm, one thing I do know for sure – it’s a very good thing that our religious beliefs prevent us from buying lottery tickets. Because if we ever won a few million dollars? We would probably have to separate. Amicably. At least until all the money was spent.

(Which, if it was up to me, would only take one afternoon.)