Do you ever find yourself favouring a word that you generally wouldn’t use often? For me, this tends to happen with larger than life adjectives. Tremendous is one, exceptional another.
The word of the last few days seems to be extraordinary. The universe just keeps on throwing out things which I am finding extraordinary.
1. The heat we are experiencing in this part of the world is truly extraordinary. It’s mid-March in the southern hemisphere, the leaves are turning and the temperature is still hovering in the high 30’s. It’s supposed to reach 40 today. Extraordinary.
2. I am reading a truly extraordinary book right now. Parenting for a Peaceful World by Robin Grille.
Though written by a psychologist, this book is by no means your run-of-the-mill self-help, pop psychology manual. If it were, I would probably run screaming. Rather, this book carefully examines the anthropology of childhood from as early as 3 or 4AD – suggesting that the way society regards and parents children is reflective of the nature of that society. The premise hence is that parenting is deeply integral to achieving a peaceful, sustainable world.
I think what I’m really loving about this book so far is that it’s not interested in parent blaming or victim blaming or blaming the individual. Grille gets that so much that is wrong in the world today is about systemic oppression and inequity and he understands how that impacts on child raising and childhood. He’s not at all interested an elitist approach to parenting, nor an individualist one but he is interested in creating communities which produce nurtured, emotionally intelligent kids who grow up with a real sense of social justice and play out those sentiments in their personal relationships.
The chapter on infanticide and child sacrifice is hard going but aside from that, so far, this book really is extraordinary stuff. I highly recommend.
3. Stories of resilience. This time last week I had worked myself into a frenzy. It was the day of my mum’s partners 70th birthday and I was not looking forward to it. I hadn’t seen my (psuedo) step brothers since I left home at 18 and as far I was concerned, I never wanted to see them again. I was pre-menstrual and truly caught up in my own not-pregnant pity. There were tears and I even threw up on the way there.
The family stuff that night was as expected. Snarky, nasty and generally unpleasant. I smiled all night. It was extraordinary to me that I got through the evening but that’s not the really extraordinary thing.
What was truly extraordinary on this particular night was the couple that Ducks and I were seated opposite. I’d never met them before. They looked to me to be a typical mid 30’s, suburban, conservative, straight couple. It wasn’t my intention to tell them about TTC but my sisters best friend managed to tell the whole table which, once the initial dirty look was shot (from me to sis’ best friend), turned out to be a blessing.
Said suburban couple were thrilled at our TTC plans. They had a beautiful 9 month old daughter at home and were eager to hear everything – donors, laws, birth certificates, turkey basters…the whole she-bang. I learnt a big lesson about judging books by cover that night. But what I learnt even more about was resilience.
Their path to parenthood had been fraught. After TTC for almost a year with no luck, they discovered polyps. Pleased to have found an answer, they had the polyps removed and BAM! The very next cycle, they conceived triplets! NATUALLY. Extraordinary, right? As you would expect, the pregnancy was difficult and at 18 weeks, Mum was in hospital on complete bedrest. At 20+ weeks they lost all 3 babies. This poor woman had to birth 3 dead babies. 3 months later she was pregnant again. And again, she lost the baby. And one more time after that too.
I cannot conceive of the hell. I’m still devastated by the whole story. But they are alive and well and thrilled with their 9 month old bundle of joy.
An amazing couple. An extraordinary woman.
I’ve been meaning to discuss the extraordinariness of koala’s for a while now. Tiff (I think) mentioned this picture today so now is the time to discuss. Before this year, I had never seen a koala in the wild. Crazy huh? Sure, I’d seen them at zoo’s and animal sanctuary’s, hell, I even have a photo of me holding one at Dreamworld when I was about 10. But in the forest, just look up kinda stuff, never.
The appropriate forest has now been visited and I can proudly say that I’ve now seen multiple koalas in the wild. And they are very very cute and they are serious posers, and they are feisty. You wouldn’t want to cross a koala. They claw and scratch and growl and are said to be very vicious.
And just in case the mythology has not yet been debunked in your part of the world, Australian kids do not ride kangaroos to school, and koalas are not bears. They are extraordinary little creatures though.