Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A decade without dad.

Today marks a milestone for me - the ten year anniversary of my father's passing.  I'm not really sure why it feels like a milestone.  Maybe because ten years is a significant amount of time - nearly a third of my life that I have been without my dad.  And there have been so many moments that my father has missed - graduation, marriage and the birth of Maya being the most significant.  Plus we've missed out on ten years of conversations, hugs and moments to see each other.

I wish that my dad knew that the guy he met ten years ago became my husband in the future.  I wish he knew that we had a child together.  I wish I could have just five more minutes with my dad.

So today I visited my father's grave to mark the occasion.  I also took Maya to 'visit' my dad and told her about him.

I love you Dad forever and always.  Always missed.  Never forgotten.  xxxx

Monday, 18 January 2010

Maya takes off.

As I said in The Stages of Walking post, Maya has been 'walking' for a very long time now.  She started back around her first birthday in October, cruising furniture, walking with a walker and holding on to hands.  We were also able to encourage her to walk between two people without holding on to anything.  And there were times when Maya really wanted something and stepped across the room to get it.  It seemed like (and everyone who saw her said it too) that she would be walking on her own in no time.

I was just beginning to wonder if I would be holding her hand indefinitely when on Saturday 16th January she took off on her own.  She walked and walked and walked all day long.  With a bit of running thrown in!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Changing names.

I have never understood why the majority of women change their name as soon as they get married.  It's not that I mind if women change their name or not. It's that it seems like women do it without much thought.

So, why do women change their names and not men and why do children take their father's name?  The answer is because it has always been done like that.  Also, upon marriage women used to become their husband's property and that's why women had to take their husband's name.  If someone back in the past had decided that men should take their wife's name then that's what would happen now.

Of course now women have choice, but the vast majority of women still take their husband's name, which actually surprises me in this day and age.  I was never going to change my name.  Greg and I even discussed that if we had two children one would have his name and one mine.  Perhaps that sounds confusing but I actually know of a family who did this and it works for them.  I also know of a man who took his wife's name and whose children take her name.  So there are changes happening, just not many yet.

Up until the day Maya was born we still didn't know which surname she would have - mine or Greg's?  When she was placed on my chest and I saw that beautiful face my heart welled with love for this precious girl and suddenly I realised that I couldn't give her my name.  Even though I have come to like my name for it's unusualness, I grew up hating my stand out, unpronounceable surname and suddenly I couldn't give my little baby girl this name I had despised as a child.  So I gave her my husband's easy, normal surname instead.

Since then I have taken an about turn and I am seriously considering changing my surname to be the same as my daughters. I want to be as connected as possible to her.

But it is MY name. It is who I am known by.  It is my identity.  It is mine.

But I have this new life now and I want to embrace it as fully as I can. I am her mother and I want the world to know it.

It's a hard decision for me.

Friday, 8 January 2010

A reflection on 2009.

Unfortunately 2009 was marred by my awful illness (Meniere's Disease) and that's what I find myself mainly remembering about 2009.  Looking back it was a tough year with learning how to look after a baby, dealing with a lack of adult company and support, worrying about Maya's health, moving house and then becoming extremely ill and feeling like I had no control over my own body and being unable to care for Maya at the same level I had been.

On the flip side, I have loved watching Maya grow and develop.  Her emerging personality and cheekiness has been adorable to witness and I am glad I have been able to stay home with her for so long.

Moving house was a big plus and now we live in much roomier accommodation with much more natural light, a nice sized garden that Maya loves to play in and a great park near by.  I started getting more support living closer to family and I found a great mother's group near by.

Finding out that Maya is perfectly healthy was a huge positive and big weight off my mind.

In 2009 I also learnt to appreciate the healthy periods because you really never know when it could be taken away from you.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Christmas 2009.

This Christmas Maya, at 14 months, still lacked an understanding of what Christmas was all about but she was able to interact a lot more with people and things.  What Maya probably enjoyed the most was playing with her cousins - one of whom is 10 months older and the other is about 2 years older.  She loved watching them walk (and run) on their own (as you can see in the video I posted the other day).