Individual. Funny. Empathic.
All the things I value highly in a child and my daughter has them all. I can remember (and it doesn’t feel like very long ago, but in reality it is about 5 years ago) her getting so upset and having me whisper retorts for her to use in the ‘pun wars’ the older kids would have with my husband because she wanted to join in but wasn’t old enough to come up with the jokes.
Its hard to believe now. She has become the most amazingly funny and quirky individual who has had us in stitches all weekend.
Our fabulous (and quite young compared to us at only 24) friend came to visit last weekend and Ash spent quite a lot of time with her splashing in the ocean on rainy days and failing miserably at navigation and trying on her clothes. Well, scarves really. All of them. And mine. All of them. At the same time.
Me (laughing and leaning in to kiss her): “I love you”
Ash: “I love you too”
Me: “You’re so weird”
Ash: (looks down, looks back up, looks down forlorn) “Its my feet, isn’t it?”
Whole room erupts in laughter. It couldn’t be the 12 scarves she was wearing at once making her look like a snowman dressed by small children, must definitely be the perfectly normal feet…
So here’s the thing – I’ve decided to try and crowd fund a celebration of sorts. This year it is my 40th birthday, my husband’s 40th birthday, my son’s 21st birthday and my daughter’s 16th. But more importantly, this year is the first year that it feels like we have finally found the light at the end of the tunnel. At the risk of oversharing, here it is:
I lived 16 years in an unhappy and domestically violent marriage. We don’t need to go into it too much, but suffice to say that I learned early how to keep myself physically safe from my drug addicted, alcoholic ex husband and I minimised the physical side of things. That didn’t stop the emotional, sexual and social abuse from happening and it didn’t make him a good father, but I never forgot how easy it was to find myself in a position where I had ‘walked into a door’.
In 2008 I finally left him. It was to the point where it wasn’t hidden from the children and I was desperately unhappy. So my children and I, and one of his who opted to stay with me, started our lives together by sitting down and deciding the type of home and lives we wanted to create. They wanted fun, laughter, creativity, fairness, stability, bright colours on the walls and lots of family time and I have done my level best to give it to them.
Over the last 7 months I have been trying to get passports for my daughters but their father wouldn’t sign the forms. His resonses to me asking him to sign forms for them have looked a lot like this:
“You want passport applications signed . So for this to happen you need to have the AVO removed….”
“Seems you have raised the girls badly as they refuse tn treat me with the respect I deserve as a parent so they wont be getting passports even though I have the forms sitting here”
“I have nothing to loose by standing my ground and demanding changes . The longer it takes the more I want changed , the list has already grown”
He has also asked for $2,000 to sign the forms.
And sent our youngest child a picture of the signed forms and told her she can’t have them unless she does what he says.
We have had our passport applications with the Minister’s Delegate with DFAT’s Passports Office for the past 7 months. And I have finally received word that they have been approved. Yes, you heard it. My daughters have passports winging their way to us as I type. Regardless of his power and control antics. Over Christmas he decided that he didn’t want to have anything to do with his children ever again also. Sounds harsh, but you wouldn’t believe how our youngest has blossomed since the instability has left her life. Best thing that could have happened after 7 ½ years of trying to work on a peaceable parenting relationship while dealing with family abuse.
So, I want to find an amazing way to let the girls know they have passports. As I don’t have the money to take them to the airport and present them to the girls as we go through check in on the way to a long weekend in NZ, I was thinking about taking them on the cruise we were planning on taking last year when I started making them their beach beds in this post. Unfortunately I became temporarily unemployed and that money bought us food and rent instead. It would be amazing to present the girls with the passports and travel documents at the same time. I should be able to save the final $500 for the deposit by the end of the month to surprise them. Perhaps have a bedroom pizza picnic and have them inside a pizza box. Or maybe put them inside the dishwasher before I go to work and then they would find them when they got home and started doing their chores. Or create a treasure hunt with the passports at the end. I quite like the pizza picnic idea tbh.
Any better ideas? I’d love it to be big and extravagant like an overseas surprise holiday but I don’t have the funds for that.
My crowd funding account can be found here:
Please help me do something amazing for my children and if you can’t contribute, share this page, and my gofundme page on facebook, in emails, on twitter but not on myspace. The only things on myspace are tumbleweeds and crickets.