A thousand thank yous


This little message popped up in my feed last night and I’m pretty chuffed!

ZimmerBitch started out last September as a bit of a giggle – a side-project from my family history blog Shaking the Tree. I wrote a couple of posts then forgot about it until earlier this year.

But thanks to you – visitors, readers, likers and comment-leavers – ZimmerBitch has become really important to me. It’s become my space to think through and get feedback on issues that matter to me (like learning to parent my teenage son). Your generosity in reading my musings and offering thoughtful, funny and helpful comments is humbling.

And – quite unexpectedly – ZimmerBitch has re-awoken my interest in photography. The weekly challenges posed by The Daily Post, Lens and Pens By Sally, Where’s my Backpack and A Word in Your Ear have all inspired me to dust off my camera or whip out my iphone and pay more attention to the world I live in. Not only am I taking more photos, I’m also editing them (especially those from my phone) to create images that I am proud of.

So thank you all – my blogosphere whanau*. A thousand thank yous in fact.

su for blog

*Whanau is a Maori word that means family, but not merely or necessarily in a biological sense. It’s about the communities of care that we build, and I feel very connected to this community.

Tropical dreaming

It’s cold this morning; ugg boot cold. So I have quite mixed feelings about Sue’s Word a Week being “tropical.”

On one hand, I look out of the window and see two or three more months of winter; on the other hand it is nice to remember the last time I had a tropical holiday – in Tahiti almost three years ago.

As there is no tropical escape on the horizon for me; today is about dreaming.

My bitten hand

“There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feeding the hand that bites you.” Peter De Vries

The boy-child had a hissy fit the other day. A real storm out of the room, “I don’t have to listen to this shit from you” hissy fit.

For the purposes of this post it doesn’t matter what it was about (shoes, actually), because of course it was what parents and kids generally fight about – boundaries. It was a territorial dispute, a skirmish into the no-man’s land that constitutes much of the space between teenagers and their parents.

What matters is that I felt hurt and angry and I handled it as badly as the boy-child. The skirmish was on the brink of becoming a war.

Normally, I remember that I’m the parent and I go and make things better. I apologise for my shitty behaviour, and he apologises for his and détente is achieved. But this time we were both too pissed off. We didn’t talk to each other for the rest of the day, and only really made up because the big T. couldn’t stand the thought of the two people he loves best being so mean to each other.

When I say we made up; we both apologised and (I thought) listened to each other’s point of view and agreed some compromises. Turns out we apologised, I listened to his point of view and I made some compromises.

Now, just short of a week later, we’re back in the same place. Only this time I feel really hurt and angry. War is looming! Continue reading

Vibrant: “full of energy, colour and life”*

I’ve always been drawn to the bold, the colourful, the energetic; in short, the vibrant. Food, people, colours, clothing, art (but not music strangely); I like to really see, taste, feel.

The boy-child has been encouraged to enjoy good food his whole life – and in recent years to cook it. His efforts are always healthy, tasty, fantastic-looking and, I have to say, beautifully plated. Everything about them shouts “vibrant”.

Eating the meals he prepares is a joyous experience.

Tofu, broccoli and cashew nut stir-fry.

Tofu, broccoli and cashew nut stir-fry.

Tuna steak, cherry tomato and egg salad.

Tuna steak, cherry tomato and egg salad.

Thanks to Sue at A Word in Your Ear for the word a week challenge.

* And thanks to Your Dictionary for a nice definition of vibrant that fits the post I wanted to write.

Weekly Photo Challenge: curving towards reality

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” ― John Lennon

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
― John Lennon

The delicate curves of this sculpture remind me of ballet; of a dancer rehearsing – probably something like The Maple Leaf Rag.

I can imagine the  upright piano in the corner, with a long-haired, wild eyed young man playing for a solitary dancer who moves about the floor.

sculpture2Of course, my image is not real. But neither is the sculpture. It is virtual; a clever piece of engineering design, mathematically modelled, rendered in 3-D and located in a photographic space.

The designer is my partner. He’s an engineer by profession, and an artist in his soul. His mastery of the technology allows him to imagine works of art, and create them in a virtual world – but one that can intersect with reality.

Where has the time gone?

The other day I was doing the nostalgia thing … looking at old photos of the boy-child. I guess I knew it, but until confronted with the evidence I’d forgotten just how long skateboards have been part of his life.

I’ve lost count of how many times people have asked me how I cope with his hobby.

Am I not afraid he’ll hurt himself?

Yes, but I’m more afraid of trampling on his dreams, closing down his passions, stifling him and making him afraid – of pain and worse – of failure.  I don’t ever want to see my son hurt, but I also don’t want him to grow up being afraid to challenge himself.

I know what that is like and if I could have my childhood again, I’d take broken skin and fractured bones  any day.

And, on the plus side, my son has discovered that his niche in the skating world is largely as the film-maker, documenting the crazy antics of his friends.

Here’s a teaser from his latest project; a “feature” length film called Illusion.

Weekly Photo Challenge: fleeting moments in a day; fleeting years in a life

The sun rising over Larkings Landing, Beach Haven, Auckland. From Hobsonville Point.

The sun rising over Larkings Landing, Beach Haven, Auckland. From Hobsonville Point.

The boy-child has now abandoned his photographic project involving sky trails, sunrises, late nights and ridiculously early mornings. I guess that means an end to those frantic drives across town wondering if we’ll make it to whatever beach he’s decided on in time to capture the intense colours of a new sun sliding up from the horizon.

I’ll miss those drives; fleeting moments of togetherness with a child who’s becoming a man faster than the night sky transforms into day (metaphorically, ok).

This week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “fleeting”