Now you are ten…..

Now you are 10Our second-born, our only son turned 10 today.  And so I find myself ruminating on a decade of a boy who has brought us deep contentment, laughter, cajoling to eat fruit and the buying of many footballs.  My time-strapped week has meant I had no time to pen a post to him, but then I recalled this post I wrote two years ago for when he turned 8.  I wanted to repost it not just because its a particularly precious post, but because it says much of what I’d say today.

For sure, he may be that bit more street wise and want the latest haircut/gadget/football kit, greeted with varying degrees of ‘Maybe’, ‘No’ and eventually ‘Yes’. He has an increasing eye for hypocrisy or unfairness, pointing out truths about ourselves that are often a little too candid for comfort….. Yet we love this – the fact that he feels safe and free enough to tell us certain truths, holding us to account in the ways that we hold him.  His humour has become drier, often side-splittingly funny, and despite having an ever increasing affection for screens, he still loves nothing better than us reading to him.  Although older and cooler, he still stands on the child side of innocence, and so much of what I said in this post still stands.  Enjoy.

‘You are Eight: a eulogy to my son’

I dreamt last night of you.  A strange and slightly haunting dream that lingers longer than normal. Continue reading

When your child realises you’re more than a mum…

On Sunday evening my nine year old son did something that simultaneously floored me and made be beam with pride.

CorennoDance2Daddy

I’d just finished singing the encore at the concert that my choral a capella group, the Corenno Singers, had put on.  It had been a wonderful evening in the most idyllic of settings, the Palladian church in Ayot St Lawrence, the hamlet famed for being the home of George Bernard Shaw.  I caught a glimpse through the tall slender church doors of the sheep grazing outside as we tailed off my favourite set ‘Lullaby of Birdland’ Continue reading

The Book Project: a tale of motherhood, careers, and expired passports

MSTCBook_CovercopiaOn Monday, a book is being launched in London that has my name on the front cover.

This book is not a novel, but it does tell a story; in fact it tells two stories.

On the surface, it is the story of how the global aid agency, World Vision, came up with a new way of analysing politically unstable contexts using local perspectives, along with sharing what that method is (that’s the boring bit for most of you).

But the other story, what you won’t know by reading just the book, is the other, deeply encouraging story behind it: how 14 years ago a woman with a career in the aid sector got this participatory conflict analysis project started. She soon became a mother and gave up that career. That project grew and developed and became something so useful that 9 years later it was thought a book should be written to share those learnings. The mother was sought out, and asked to help write the book. That woman is, of course, me. Continue reading

You are Eight – a eulogy to my son

I dreamt last night of you.  A strange and slightly haunting dream that lingers longer than normal. We thought we had lost you in a large, strange hotel.  On finding you, you had transformed into a baby.  I took you in … Continue reading

‘Well done, Mum!’ An end of Summer Holidays poem

Today is the not insignificant day that my kids return to school after the end of a wonderful summer break.  Each year, it brings out mixed emotions in me.  On the one hand, a quiet delight that I get a break from being 24/7 carer who is asked a question every few minutes, yet on the other a large sense of sadness that the much needed, long stretch of no-agenda, chilled out, ‘kairos time’ with my two children has come to an end.

Continue reading