Bringing up the boy…why all mums of sons should read this:

one lucky mummy...

one lucky mummy…

I was having lunch with a girlfriend the other week when this gorgeous little tot stomped past us all dressed up in her pink tutu, black booties that came up to her knees (though not in a knee-high-black-boots-are-too-much-for-toddlers) kind of way and had clearly been raiding her mummy’s lipstick drawer. ‘Oh you so deserve one of them,’ my pal gushed. Yes, I’d love to have a girl and it’s no secret Lady Mama G loves a dress up or two, is insanely mad about all things makeup, hair and fashion and can plait hair like a Dutch barmaid but there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 10 years (hopefully a thing or two more but this decade has been somewhat of a patchy one) is that you have to be so grateful for what you’ve got.

I’ve just come back from holiday with a very dear friend who has been blessed with three darling little boys. I’m sure when they’re all awake and banging on her head with a TV remote at 5am, they might not seem like such sweet little potatoes but for the most part they are the most gorgeous, loving, fun and completely rambunctious small men I’ve ever met. They were the butter to my bread on our holiday with their cheeky smiles, funny pig noises and unabashed ‘we’ve arrived’ loudness. She’s often told, ‘Oh you poor thing, you’ve got three boys’…but poor, pig’s arse! Would her burden be any less with three girls? Not really. The thing is we’ve got to be grateful for what we’ve got, though I’ll readily admit this little Dalai Lama-like revelation doesn’t always quell the need to pass down your life lessons on everything Madonna-related (that’s the popstar, not the Virgin one).

I love spending time with my gorgeous nieces and I’ve got oodles of them – some are actual family and some I just claim as my own. Dressing them up, painting their nails and sewing teeny tiny little fairy princess outfits for them with matching sparkly headbands, greedily grabbing at my fill of girlieness from the borrowed tiny precious poppets in my life but boys, lads, dudes and mini men that’s what I know. That’s my degree, bringing up a boy.

My 10 y o has taught me more life lessons in his short decade of a life than I’ve learned in the not-quite-three before he was in it. I love his unconditional heart that is considerate beyond belief. That he worries if he’s offended me and comes up with ways to make me feel better. I love that his creative and imaginative side come out (if only behind closed doors) and he still leaps around the house dressed as a masked crusader of good-doing, whipping his wand toward imaginary villains. I love that he believes – despite my attempts to prove otherwise – that Hogwarts does in fact exist and one day he hopes to go there…he even knows what train he needs to catch.

I love the way he mispronounces words and often uses them in the complete and utterly wrong context that might make meeker humans blush. That he reads books about wizards, witches and giants but just as happily learns of boys in striped pyjamas who were less fortunate than himself. The way he fist punches the air when he scores a goal in soccer, then rushes up to hug his teammates acknowledging the effort that got him there. How his face lights up at the mere mention of magic and that he diligently practices new ideas in his room before unveiling them to us in a show of trickery (even though for the most part you can see exactly what he’s doing) and then falling in a heap of laughter when you discover the secrets behind his slight of hand. That he will fish on any possible body of water and a scrap with his mates is forgotten as soon as it has begun.

I love that he is generous and kind, forgetful and completely useless at making his bed. I love the glint he gets in his eye when he’s planning a secret surprise and is so bursting to tell that he looks as though if he has to keep it in any longer he might actually pop. When he makes up his own jokes and then laughs himself senseless.

I love that he forgets and forgives just as easily as the blink of an eye. That he doesn’t let his past define him and always looks forward to the future. That his family mean more to him than anything on the planet…and that he tells us so. That even though The Vet only came into his life when he was five, he is his greatest and most worshiped hero. That his hugs and kisses come just as freely as the stars in the night sky.

I love how he never minds that I tell him what he has to wear every day and how he rolls his eyes but does as he’s told when I style his hair. How he tells me I’m ‘very good at hairdressing’ when I forget to book the hairdresser and am forced to cut it myself. That he trusts every single thing that comes from my lips because I am his mum. I love how he believes in tooth fairies, santa and that the boogey man will get him if he’s not back home by half-past-five. That one day he will make the most incredible husband, that he will never break anyone’s heart but that I worry how much someone might break his.

And one day I won’t be able to make his decisions for him any longer…he’ll do things that will put his life at risk, driving fast, leaping off perfectly good bridges,  dicing with danger, or traveling to far away lands where I might not hear from him for weeks on end. But I know when he does come back he’ll throw his arms around me just like he does now and I’ll remember why it is I’m so lucky to have a boy.   Love n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox

A mummy to her boy….

my happy lil' vegemite...

my happy lil’ vegemite…

It was a hot and muggy morning on December 15, 2003. With little wind and zero tolerance having hefted a rather large belly (along with 20-odd other kilo’s) around for the best part of nine months, I’d done everything I possibly could – including cleaning the windows on my hands and knees, drinking castor oil backwards and lying on my back with my feet in the air. Nothing worked, he was going to come when he was good and ready. Turns out 10 y o decided at 530am that Monday morning, he was ready to come into the world. There was very little time for mucking about. After sitting in the bath for 10 minutes, I told my private in-home doctor who was staying with us at the time (and also happens to be one of my besties) we’d better start making a move to the hospital, a 10-minute (save from traffic) trip from our home.

My late husband enjoyed a lead foot moment from time-to-time, god bless him and this was one of those times. He thought the baby might ‘pop on out’ at any moment so ambery-red toned lights were not going to get in his way. I wasn’t in the mood to tell him nothing was ever going to just ‘pop on out’. Well, not with the size of 10 y o’s head at least.

Once we arrived at Greenlane National Women’s Hospital and I got acquainted with the bed, the pethadine and a much needed epidural (that I waited far too long to accept, I might add) I’d barely had enough time to get my birth plan in place and hang my shakra crystals in the windows before little Peanut decided he wanted to make an entrance.

‘If you don’t get him out in this push, we’ll have to cut him out’ the doctor tells me. There were two things I was scared of before I entered that hospital – one was the epidural needle (those buggers are big) and the other was a c-section. I wasn’t having my belly cut open for no person. It seems 10 y o was in such a hurry to arrive, he’d gone and got the cord tied around his neck on his way out. Turns out that’s not very helpful. There was every chance he could have got into big trouble. That was the first time I ever tasted true fear. The next would be two and three-quarter years later when his daddy was taken from us.

At bang on 9.30am (he still likes to sleep in) 10 y o came hurtling into this world with a hiss and a roar. All 8 pounds three ounces of milky blonde hair, olive skin and the most beautiful long lashes with fine blonde tips. His very first milestone. Birth. Love doesn’t even begin to describe it. He was perfect. Soft, sweet and cuddly, he hardly made a sound. When you watch a father hold his baby son for the first time there is the most incredible warmth that starts in your heart and then goes around filling your entire body like sunshine. He was ours and he was perfect.

I could swear it happened only yesterday. But then I blink and a whole decade has flown by without even giving me time to fasten my seat belt.

Oh little Peanut (a moniker affixed to you in-utero) how you have made an imprint on our hearts. From the first moment you smiled at us and then never stopped, your hearty little giggle that made everyone smile to your first steps taken only hours after your first birthday. From finally cutting your first tooth – which took forever to come up, to strapping on your Wiggles backpack for your first day of kindy. From the first painting you made us (with beautiful bright ‘presents’) to learning to ride your little orange two-wheel bike all by yourself. From your first day of school – in a bag that almost came down to your ankles, tiny pins hanging out from t00-big-for you shorts and a hat that we could only see you underneath when you tilted your head back to laugh. From your first soccer game to your first school concert. From the first time you told me you loved me to wishing on the brightest star in the big night sky that was your daddy shining down on you. From when you learnt to write your name to when you squealed with excitement that you could ‘tie your shoes all by my own self’. From when your tiny little hands held my face and told me to ‘please stop being sad, mummy’ when your own head didn’t understand what happened to us, to when you held my hand in the taxi on the way to our wedding. From your own rendition of Gang’em Style to wearing your nude coloured skins on their own. From your first school award to topping your best in subjects you love. From the time you held my hand and told me I was brave, kissing my head to the biggest and bestest hugs you are still not afraid to give. Every. Single. Moment since 9.30am on Monday, December 15, 2003 has been the best moment ever.

Big 10 y o boy, I love that you’re cheeky and charming at the same time. I love that you’re not afraid to sing, dance or leap up in the air. I love that you’re happy to still be a kid. I love that your imagination sees you believe in the greatest of dreams. I love that your heart is so big and your mind is so kind. I love that you’re generous even though there’s only you. I love that you love The Vet so much that you always put him first. I love that when you smile, it takes up your whole entire face. I love those times when you tell me I’m beautiful and the best mummy in the world, not even winning lotto could beat. I love that you still let me dress you and fix your hair. I love that you’re strong even though you’ve been through a loss that’s so much bigger than you. I love that you’re honest and say things even when you probably shouldn’t. I love that you’re so very clever and witty yet humble enough too. But most of all, do you know what…? I love that you picked me to be your mummy.

You were my greatest gift ever. Thank you my baby boy. Love n’ hugs, Lady MamaGxox



Seven years…70,353 words…two-hundred and forty-five pages

Before tragedy struck...

Before tragedy struck…

It’s done. I’ve been waiting to exhale for a long long time but now I can finally put it up on a shelf where it belongs and breathe a big fat old sigh of relief, while high-fiving myself. I’ve been on a long and winding road of love, of loss, of grief and of finding love again. I’ve laid bare my inner most feelings on The Day That Destroyed My Life. I’ve poured out the things that were inside my head and put them all down in front of me – the bad, the terrible and the heartbreaking. I’ve spent seven long years riding a journey through grief that I’ve often wanted to get off. It’s been cathartic and at times down right bloody annoying. Not to mention the pain that hurts my heart every time I relive that day.

I’ve read it, re-read it and re-read it again. I’ve lived memories and felt goosebumps. I’ve chopped and changed and cried and laughed. But now I can truly say I’ve finished. I hope it does him justice. I hope it helps someone else who ever has the misfortune to walk in my shoes. I hope my son grows up and one day reads it for himself, learning of how we made it through together. Holding hands. Mother and son.

Love n’hugs, Lady MamaGxox

Here’s a little synopsis…

The Sweetheart Widow


We’d only been in Australia three years. We moved over in January 2004, packed up our son, the dog and all our belongings and shipped them from Auckland to the Gold Coast.

My husband was running a large earth-moving machinery company on the outskirts of Brisbane and motor racing in the weekends. I used to be a magazine editor but had given that up when I gave birth to our little boy. Ours was a strong marriage built of stone – we’d been together since we were 16.

I didn’t go to Bathurst that weekend. Our son was two and getting too fidgety to be kept in the confines of a pit garage so we went up to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast instead. When the phone rang that October Friday two years later, I thought it might have been to invite us to a weekend barbeque or a play date with the kids. It wasn’t. It was a call that made my whole world stop.

It’s taken seven long years for this story to take flight and there’s been a lot of heartache, love and happiness peppered throughout the days, weeks and months that have slowly made up that time. Being a widow isn’t something you get to choose. There’s no gate where you take a ticket or exit left. Especially not when you’re a mum. I’ll be forced to make decisions I don’t want to make. I’ll have to turn his life support off. I’ll donate his organs. And put the pieces of our life back together without him.

People have said I’m strong, brave and full of courage. I’m all but none but of these. I’m just a girl whose story started out like something out of a movie and then went terribly horribly wrong. I was thirty years old and left on my own to raise our little boy who will never know his dad even though he’s exactly like him in every way.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have expected to have a child, lose a husband and find a new one all in the space of a decade but this is a tale of love and survival…because you can’t have one without the other.