May 16, 2013 § 2 Comments
Growing up on this island, I only knew what was around me.
I knew there to be families made of a man, a woman and children. I knew there to be priests and nuns, widows and widowers and a few orphans who were friends of mine. That’s all. I didn’t know any children from broken families. I didn’t know of any single parents. And I certainly didn’t know about the existence of homosexuality. Then I moved to the larger island to attend university and my world expanded that little bit more. I travelled as much as I could, making friendships as I went along and the world that unfolded in front of me was beautiful. I wasn’t surrounded by the familiar anymore and that made me come alive.
I was, and still am, hungry for knowledge. It used to be intellectual knowledge that made my world go round. Now it’s more knowledge about the people around me, about the story of their life, about their happy endings and the twists in their tale that brought them to where they are today. I want to know the story of the lady who waits for her daughter outside her school all day. I want to know where the old man sitting next to me in church got his scars. I want to know the story of the two men holding hands at the supermarket.
I believe that having children changed my outlook on life in many ways, but mostly in this one. My biggest priority is for them to know that they are part of the human race, not just the tiny population of this island. I want them to feel proud to be part of this planet, to know that the world is their home. Growing up on an island has its perks but it also has the biggest drawback I can think of: that of having an insular mentality. Luckily, our children are exposed to a lot more variety and reality than we were. It’s not always a good thing, but growing up with the knowledge that not everyone has to fit into a pigeonhole is what I wish for them.
Most of all, I want them to grow up knowing that nobody’s choice of lifestyle is more acceptable than that of anyone else. Everyone has a right to happiness, to love and respect. Maia is already aware of the fact that some men love men and some girls love girls. She also knows that gay couples are as ‘normal’ as her own parents are (I’m assuming she considers us to be normal!), because many such couples are family friends. She doesn’t know that some other friends of ours are gay, simply because she never saw them with a partner and there is no reason why she should question their sexuality. Like nobody should. What defines a person? Is it who they love or what they achieve and what they give? Does it really matter whom a person chooses to spend their life with? I feel I cannot fully express with words the depth of my feelings about this issue. So I’ll leave you with this video, which had me sobbing like a baby:
I also wanted to let you know, should you be at the University of Malta in the coming days, to look out for the posters put up by We Are (UOM’s LGBT society) around campus to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (that’s tomorrow). If not, you can see them here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.534681949911672.1073741829.143541772359027&type=1
May 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
One of Robin’s current favourite books is one that was handed down by Maia.
I had never heard about The Owl and the Pussycat and bought the book by chance from Shakespeare & Company when we were in Paris three years ago. Since then, I’ve learned that it was written in 1871 (!) and that runcible is a word which Lear himself invented when writing this book. Runcible also happens to be my favourite word in the book, together with rumbustifus.
Robin’s favourite part is when Owl sings to the Pussycat. I had made up a tune to the song when I used to read it to Maia, and Robin hums it along with me. I love seeing her getting excited as that page nears!
May 14, 2013 § 1 Comment
May 13, 2013 § Leave a Comment
If I’ve been unusually quiet, it’s because of a number of reasons.
All is ok, but the free time I’ve been carving out for myself everyday has been taken up by other things. It started with the Mad Men marathon (I’m now up to speed with it), then some proofreading work came in just as I was about to start panicking that my work diary was looking too empty, then we all got sick with complications from allergies (nothing serious, just lots of medicines to be taken by all of us) and, just like that, weeks had passed during which I barely checked on the blog.
And because I’ve been really lazy with my camera (it’s been months since I transferred the photos from it to the computer!), here are some photos from my Instagram feed which sum up most of what’s been on my mind lately.
May 8, 2013 § 3 Comments
There aren’t enough words in my vocabulary or enough minutes in this day to explain to you the multitude of emotions I feel right now.
You might say I’m in a soppy mood but that would be simplifying and belittling what’s stirring my soul. It’s a combination of the ongoing learning curve in raising a child who is at a very delicate age, the project I am currently proofreading and the antihistamines which have me fighting with my eyelids to remain open. I’m not rich, have been wearing the same clothes for years, hate the sofas in our living room and long to do more professionally, but I’m here. I’m alive, I’m healthy (I choose to ignore my sinusitis), I’m loved.
I’m also late for Maia’s pick-up from school, so I’ve got to rush. I hope you feel blessed too.
May 1, 2013 § 3 Comments
This weekend was all about Maia. The day she had been preparing for these past three years finally arrived and she was ecstatic! She received her first Holy Communion on Sunday and, even though it wasn’t always easy to remain focused on what really mattered, it was a great day. Watching your child take such a big step towards adulthood is moving to say the least.
I don’t have any photos that I can share except for these but I think you can tell how happy she was. It was a day we’ll never forget.
April 26, 2013 § 1 Comment
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’m on a Mad Men marathon right now. I had watched the first couple of seasons two years ago but had forgotten many of the details so I started the whole series from scratch again. I am now half-way through season 4 and am already worrying I’ll reach the latest episode too soon.
This show appeals to me for many different reasons. What first drew me to it was the furniture (I love the mid-century style) and the clothes on the female characters. And their hair and their makeup and their impossibly handsome husbands. Well, the only impossibly handsome one is Donald Draper. The rest don’t quite live up to him aesthetically. Then I was sucked in by the intrigue. Would Betty catch Don out? Would Joan and Roger ever get together? Would Pete ever find out about Peggy’s baby? And then, the mixture of fascination and disgust at the chauvinism and the hugely different way of living that was the norm sixty years ago sealed the deal. I am so glad I wasn’t a housewife in the sixties. I don’t think I’d have been able to live that kind of life, no matter how well I was provided for.
What I wouldn’t have minded is the dresses (in fact, I keep finding myself buying dresses in that style – see below) and the perfect shade of Joan’s hair. Oh, and a fling with Draper (after his divorce, of course) wouldn’t have been too shabby either.