My Mum the Shearer

It seems that I’ve inherited my mother’s ability to find, be found by and adopt any lost sheep. In some cases, her ability is literal. We adopted a large, lost sheep. We were in Central Australia, the year I turned 9. We’d been travelling for 6 months around the country and now had taken up residence in a single carriage of a converted silver bullet train (something like this). My bed was over the hot water service in the ‘laundry’; Mum and Dad had a fold out bed in the lounge room so my brother and sister could share the double bed in the single bedroom that there was.

When cattle or sheep were rounded up, little ones would often be brought into the community, almost like a toy, and, as toys often are, they’d be discarded and forgotten. This had happened to Sheepy. He had been around the place for a while. He was no longer little and cute, but full grown, fat and fluffy. Well, he would have been had his overgrown wool not resembled a large and fibrous tumbleweed, complete with spinifex grass and felted matting. Sheepy had wandered into our yard one day and, as I mentioned, Mum is genetically predisposed to be unable to resist something or someone in need of assistance. Sheepy became her personal project. She blunted the few pairs of scissors we had, regardless of their original purpose, trying to create a coiff from a conglomerate. The community thought it was hilarious, but I could understand her concerns. Desert days are not cool and Sheepy was lumbered with inches of filthy thermal insulation. Each day, scissors of various sizes and Mum waged war against Sheepy’s many extra layers.

With time and perseverance, Mum won the war against the wool. Sheepy bore his new, attacked by vicious lawn mower, wool cut with lightness and freedom, if not pride. His accepting personality was overcome, layer by layer, with the more realistic taciturn nature of a scruffy, hot male specimen. So Sheepy left his temporary home and ran off to rejoin the community at large. And, not long after, and not shared with the shorter siblings, Sheepy made a guest appearance at a local barbecue. Such is life, I suppose.

We Are Human

We are all human. We are not girls and boys; we are not young and old; we are not black and white; we are human. Created in a womb and buried in the dirt. We are God’s creation. Skin woven together to hold our organs in does not determine our class. We are blood, sweat and tears, made to speak emotions, not to become a job. We are human. We are united by our similarities. We run on the same energy sources and live lives with the same needs. We wake with the sun and sleep by the moon. Because we are human.

We are not homelessness or poor government choices or malnutrition. We are not words on a page, or enemies or friends. We are human. We are not the clothes on our backs or the clips in our hair. We are not the endless race of who is better and who is faster. We are not broken relationships or torn families.

We are the kindness of strangers. We are the random smiles. We are the endless love that fills new parent’s hearts. We are human. We are the species that has a heart so fragile a simple sound can shatter it. We are one but we are many. There is nothing that unites us more than the feeling of love.

There are insects that spend their whole lives trying to eat children’s eyes from the inside out, plants which can kill us with a small touch; mosquitoes that are only 3 millimetres in length which are perpetuators of some of the worst diseases ever seen; bacteria which cannot be seen, yet we watch them take the lives of our loved ones. And yet what a person has between their legs determines if they are worthy of being paid or not. A person’s age determines their apparent ability. The colour of someone’s skin is the difference between having their say in their life, or not.

We still feel that we are a threat to each other and ourselves. We are our own worst enemy; we destroy ourselves so others can’t. We set up organisations, funds and protection programs with which to save us from us. We have created a world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are.

We are human. We smile with joy, showing white teeth and cry for many reasons with clear and salty tears. Children, reproduced humanity, drink white milk regardless of the hue of the breast by which they lie. Blood, spilled, stored or shared, is still red.

When we recognise our humanity, our similarity, and reinstate dignity and equality, we increase our integrity and solidarity. We create and affirm responsibility and let go of long held, closed-minded thoughts of normality.

We are human and the sooner we realise, recognise and remember, the better for us all.

With thanks and acknowledgement to Tahlya Andersen.

The importance of being social…

I’ve had better days. I was up til 2 am and then awake with a small, bright little person again at about 5:30am. I have a cold; a floor that’s as well used as an outback landing strip; a broken vacuum cleaner; dinner and games for 11 tonight; a barking dog and a bad case of the self pitys!

I feel miserable enough that I’ve made Mr 17 drive to shops with me so I don’t have to get out to buy the crackers I’m taking to a mothers’ group that’s on now. I’ve stooped pretty low. Why not stay home? Well, why not indeed? Sleep could be had. There’s always a teen to request babysitting and housecleaning services from. But I can’t. I literally can’t.

You see, I’ve been afflicted or blessed (depending on the day) with an extroverted personality. I need people. I get energy from people. So to go out and be with people is more energizing to me than sleep. You either get it or you don’t with extroverts and introverts. It’s just one of those things. As well as being blessed with a need for people, I’ve been blessed with a husband and 4 lovely children (and a few ring-ins). All of my delightful housemates are INTROVERTS. Take a moment to let that sink in. I’m surrounded by people who need to recoup their energy by NOT being with people. More ironic than Alanis Morrisette, that one.

So, I got up and went out and had an awesome time with my Misfit Mothers’ Group. We’ve deliberately planned it this way. Probably shouldn’t have a title; that’s how out there we are! They’re extroverts too, so it suits us all. Misfit Mothers are the sorts of people who don’t always talk about their child or want to hear about yours. MMs are likely to laugh when their child (or yours) runs into a glass sliding door. Said sliding door was my offering to MMs group. However, mine is unlikely to be clean, so will perhaps provide less opportunity for accidental walk ins. Cleanliness of house is not important to hosting MMs and I’m thinking of implementing a No ‘sorry for the mess’ policy. I’m not certain that we have room for policies actually, but we do have the underlying idea that we are visiting to see one another and not to determine ‘what does your loo say about you?’

So back to my day. Brilliant time with my fellow MMs, talking about all manner of things, then back home in time to use energy gained from those interactions to clear floor sufficiently to avoid Lego brick fire walking;
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hide dirty dishes in the dishwasher that came with our home and make play dough out of what should have been delightful mushroom risotto. We had chicken pieces and salad instead – salad purchased by a guest after slightly frantic phone call.

After dinner we played numerous board games. If that’s your thing, I suggest you check out Concept, Pix and Anomia. Loads of fun had by all. And my favourite thing? I was surrounded by people, enjoying conversation, and even my introverts enjoyed the time. And if they did scatter like proverbial cockroaches when the light is switched on when the games finished? Ah well, that’s the way of it sometimes.

Veritas,

Eski 👍