The middle…

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The story starts where ever you want it to. It could be from your childhood where your formative years developed you, it could be in your later years when you have had children and grandchildren, it could be those golden varsity years filled with self discovery.  The beginning is just the beginning of a much bigger story. The end is also relative, because in a weird way you have the power to choose where a story ends, or rather what parts of the story you want told, however the end is still definitive and there is no more to be told after the ending. The middle is always the part that intrigues me. This is where the story develops and can really be shaped into a romance, comedy, action, tragedy, drama, thriller etc.

Every person’s story  has all of these elements. While you are in the middle of your story you can still change things, and yourself or your circumstance to influence the way the story will be told. Even in times of tragedy you can have a silver lining, perhaps a message that you can learn from. In the middle you can change things, learn things, get better at things, fix things. In the middle we have the potential to grow, ask for help, help each other and we can change to the point where the story is completely different to the one envisioned at the start.

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LoVe… PrAy… Eat

Ramadaan is upon us. Alhumdilullah… The best most revered month in the muslim calendar. Roughly, two billion people collectively embark on a commitment to fast (no food or water) from sunrise to sunset for a month. This is an extremely beloved month for muslims around the world.

Ramadaan is a beautiful time of year. People are calmer and kinder and more mindful of what they say and how they say it. We constantly strive for Sabr (patience), humility, graciousness, and an attempt to be able to have a peek into the life of the poor. This is the month that most Muslims use to reconnect with God and ask God for guidance, forgiveness and express our gratitude through prayer. Most people commonly associate fasting with the body, depriving the body of food, however the month is more attuned to the soul, replenishing the soul with mindfulness, practicing good deeds and fulling our spiritual needs.

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Happy Endings…

I have been a bit preoccupied of late hence there hasn’t been one of these in a while. So before you get ahead of yourself 😉 the happy ending I am referring to is the feel good moment at the end of a book, a story, a movie, with the ending, the cliché, and the warm soppy stuff all through the middle that just makes you feel so cheerful. This is what this weekend was for me.

My baby sister got engaged. She is the youngest of us four siblings, she is also the caregiver, nurturer to all of us. My boys were slightly traumatized at the news that she was going to get married. But once they got used to the idea they started planning what they were going to wear for the engagement party and speculating on when the wedding will be. I think they are all slightly nervous of having to share their precious aunt with someone else. They have had exclusive access to my sisters up until now. My sisters are the first pick for teams at family get together’s and sleeping partners’ at sleepovers or vacations, they are the ones they want to see their favourite movies with and they are the number one choice of babysitters. None of that will change but I think they did worry a bit 🙂

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This is how we do it…

Moms of multiples, twins, or even moms of siblings born really close to each other (you know oopsie right after having a baby) we all share a similar experience. Back then people would ask all the time “How did you do it?” Often when enough years have passed people ask less but still ask “how did you do it?”  When this person asks me this question there are multiple things at play here. So firstly, when I was out and about with the kids when they were small, well, lets just say the tiny stature of my first-born  made them look like triplets. This question “How do you do it ?” or statement  “I don’t know how you do it?” Would be from a person who either had kids evenly spaced apart but struggling or someone who had one kid but struggling or someone who did not have any – was maybe thinking about having some – but then my whole situation looked incredibly scary 🙂  So they would blurt out or whisper or try to politely ask, how do you do it?

The thing is, the answer to that question is quite frankly,  we don’t know.  Recently, I came across and read some of my scribbles on random pieces of paper when the boys were little. I hear the sense of desperation I had at the time. Guilt of having to work. The sleepless nights when they were ill. The endless trips to doctors to try to pinpoint the causes and potential remedies to deal with the severe eczema and allergies that they had (still have). The potty training, the dealing with a toddler facing the reality of his world turned upside down while having twin babies vying for my attention, the guilt of leaving said toddler at a school as he shed tears watching you leave him (again), the guilt of phoning home a couple of times a day while at work thinking people are judging you. The time off work to deal with all and sundry. The double trouble of twins at the age of two! The school days when you missed that it was a theme dress up day and sent your child/children to school sans costume?!

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Liberated Silence

In the moments when you are alone with yourself, in between the work, the family, the friends, the errands, the phone calls, the texts, the lists, the grocery shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the organizing, the packing, the exhaustion, how often do you still look for something to do? We seem to be pre programmed to keep busy and  it is almost automatic to reach for our phones or chat to the person next to us, essentially meaning we are never really alone.

When last have you sat in silence, embraced silence for what it is, perhaps even allowed yourself to be liberated by the silence, by the simple act of being alone and removing the chaos momentarily. Our lives are phenomenally busy occupied with people, family, busy malls, crowded office spaces, bustling school parking lots. Everywhere we go, we bump into someone and engage in conversation or chit-chat. We have interact always, put ourselves out there always. We experience silence or being alone with extreme discomfort, looking around, feeling self-conscious about what someone might think about you being alone. I often do solo shopping expeditions and have a coffee or a bite to eat on  my own. I too feel slightly self-conscious but I do it often enough that the uncomfortable feeling passes quite quickly. I enjoy watching the people or I would have my trusty companion – my book or my phone – which saves the day by occupying me when it gets overwhelming, all the people watching you being alone, thinking you’re lonely – ooh – scary.

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My masterchef in the making

I noticed his interest in food when we has very young. He would always be in the kitchen with me. The other two would also want to help occasionally but they would lose interest very quickly and run off to play with the Lego’s or kicking the ball outside while we finished up the cooking. The we, is myself and my youngest, he would stay, he would help stir and watch as the pots simmer. Even as a toddler I would have to give him uncooked pasta, a little pot and spoon so he could ‘cook’ alongside me. This was probably the start of his interest. As the years have gone by he is able to help more and do more with me.

The twins both love to help but more importantly they love good food, and they don’t hold back when commenting on a good a meal or bad. Luckily, my culinary skills are not dismal (thanks to my mom’s recipes) so every now and then they are raving about the food they have just eaten. Saying how I was the best chef in the world and making me feel much more confident in my cooking skills than what’s actually warranted.

I must say I do love food. I find that food is what brings people together. The main attraction to every celebration or family get together. If not through food, how else do we welcome a new member of the family or celebrate those birthdays! Well actually there’s never a shortage of reasons to try out a new restaurant or visit an old favourite. Then of course there is always the need for a braai (barbecue), I mean who can resist the delicately spiced succulence of a deliciously flamed grilled piece of meat, with all the condiments, salads and oh yes please, garlic bread, anyone?

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Game On

Nothing has reinforced the theory that kids really excel and do well with order and some scheduling like the recent introduction of a new activity to our routine. Routines offer children the much-needed sense of security, establishing a comfort level into their lives. In a world where little is in their control, it allows them to have that sense of control. They are able to understand what follows next or how their day will pan out.

They are growing up so fast and it’s so difficult to keep up with them so the new thing that we introduced was ‘Games Night’. An amazing night of fun and family time. We had no idea how effective this element would be to our little household! The excitement already starts to build up the day before when all the arguments start about what we’re actually going to play. And then, when we finally get to a consensus, choosing teams is the next contentious issue. If I let it get to me I would have a very big head because the boys bicker and banter to be on a team with me 🙂

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