Its been a tough year. I was witness to things that challenged and made me question the moral fiber of my being. I was put in a situation that made me deeply uncomfortable and chose to swallow the way I felt so as not to cause any trouble. I festered inside. The negative energy destroyed me and left me in a deep dark swirling mess. I hit rock bottom and just could not go on anymore. Thanks to therapy and deep introspection I had the courage to seek answers and evidence that would help me make my voice heard. The universe, as always, gave me hints and swayed me gently in the right direction and out of that darkness a plan was born. A plan that will hopefully help me enrich the lives of a few. When I think back on this past year the heartache I felt still raises a little lump in my throat. But I also sit here grateful for it because of all the personal growth that it has spawned.
I’m overwhelmed by the love and positivity that I feel from each and everyone who took the time to wish me. I can smile because I can honestly say that I have a fond memory of all those that have wished me well. All friends old and new have taught me something about life. I giggled as I heard from old school boyfriends and have a warm heart from the new friends whom I have come to look forward to speaking to and seeing.
I feel this restless energy inside of me. I can’t put my finger on it but I feel like there’s something changing or growing or gaining momentum inside of me. My heart physically pounds in my chest from excitement and anticipation some days.
My birthday started last night with tons of laughter and late night whatsapp messages that had me giggling. I received the sweetest love letter from Anees. Zaid went out of his way to decorate things for our traditional familly birthday breakfast. I saw all the important people that I wanted and needed to see today. It’s been an amazing day. I’m excited fot whatever the year ahead will bring for me.
On the eve of your 37th birthday there has been a lot of reflection. I searched high and low for the best gift for you. I’ve so far concluded that this love letter to you is the BEST birthday gift that I could ever give you.
I want you to know how much I appreciate YOU! We’ve spent 16 years on this earth together and while I feel like I know you I also feel like I don’t! I’m grateful for that! Grateful for your willingness to try couples’ therapy and grateful that you have embarked on your own journey with a therapist to help you grow and to help you unlearn the negative behaviors that have been pre-programmed into us by observing the relationships around us. I am grateful that you have chosen to accept that having professional help teach us to relate to each other is in the best interest of our relationship and the wellbeing of our children.
There is a freedom in our relationship that I can’t put into words. The way we love each other today differs vastly from the way we first loved each other many moons ago. We have accepted that our lives together might not be forever and that reality has unburdened us in many ways. We now act authentically towards each other. Our love and actions are a choice that we make each day. To love and act without fear of loss is the ultimate gift any couple could give to each other.
We have survived and triumphed over my depression and yours and are still in the process of learning and growing. Everyday poses a challenge in some way with my anxiety and despite the irritations and short tempers and frustrations I sit here now and realize that we are exactly where we need to be.
My wish for you is that you soar. Soar beyond your wildest fears and realize the true potential in yourself. I see it! I see all you are capable of! I wish you see it too. I wish you achieve it! I want you to realize your dreams so badly! If I am blessed enough to be by your side when you do then so be it! If not please know that I always saw it in you.
Love Always and Forever
When I think back on how you’ve grown in the last year, I think the one thing that stands out for me the most is your whimsical side. You are the family clown and I mean that in the best way possible way.You have developed the ability to assume different personas and talk in different accents and it’s the most hilarious thing that I’ve seen in a 6 year old. The other thing that stands out for me is your love of dancing. When you dance it’s like the rhythm is deep within your soul and the music takes over your entire body. You love rock, hip hop and kwaito and have the best belly laughs when you see the videos of yourself dancing. I hope you can always laugh at yourself like that.
You’ve adjusted so well at school. I had no doubt you would. You love that everybody at school thinks you’re cool but I want you to believe that you are even if they don’t. You’re kind and funny and generous. You’ve even offered to buy a house for us when you win your R1 mil from the Beacon golden egg competition. LOL!
I love your honesty and frankness. Hope you will always stay that way. You have this way of asking us the most bizarre questions and your enquiring mind keeps us giggling and often leaves us baffled and at a loss for words.You’re a chatterbox! Gosh you talk a lot. LOL!
You have this chaotic energy about you and I sometimes struggle with it.Please don’t take my inability to tolerate you for long periods of time personally. Don’t internalize it and think that there’s anything wrong with you. You and I are just different and I need periods of silence to recharge myself. You are an amazing, special little boy who brings laughter and light to all those whose lives you touch.
We loved spoiling you today. You never ask for much so it was a delight to buy things for you. I also love that you told me that you know that birthdays aren’t about the presents. It’s about celebrating with special people. I hope you always remember that.
I love you Rameez. I know you had a truly special day.
P.S please stop irritating your sister so much!! Her shrieking drives us insane! 🙃
I am so proud of the sensitive, intuitive, confident little boy that you have grown into. We’ve had a rough couple of months because I have been feeling sad and troubled and I love that you are sensitive enough to just sit with me when I cry. You don’t try to make me feel better you just sit with me and let me be me and end up crying yourself. Bless you child. I have been a “horrible” mother and we’ve had countless screaming matches that I am grateful for. I am so blessed to have this amazing incredible relationship with you. We can argue with each other and release our negative energies and happily and sincerely have a loving moment with each other 2 minutes later. One day I will take your advice and not use the “F” word so much. Thanks for always pointing out to me that I have a potty mouth it is something I need to work on. I love your innocence as you come and tell me that Rameez said “stupid”! The 2 of you have been at each others throats this week. I suppose this is just something that brothers go through and I can laugh about it now but sometimes it makes me cry. I love that you are aware of this. You know that the one thing that makes me the happiest is when you and Rameez don’t fight. You can be self absorbed at times but I think that you seem to be growing out of it. I also think that’s it’s just a result of being the first child.
I have never known a child that loves money as much as you do. You’re always counting your money and saving for something or the other. You even had me take you to the dentist to have 3 teeth extracted so that the tooth fairy could give you money. You are frugal with your allowance to say the least and are very good at remembering how much I owe you as well as the exact date that I borrowed it from and the exact reason that I needed it too! I’m glad you have not discovered the concept of “interest” yet!!! LOL
I love your independence and eagerness to explore the world without me. You had a smile on your face when I asked you the other day if you could live without me. you declared “YES!” my heart swelled with pride because I never want you to be afraid. Be confident in all that you are and trust your heart and be ready to stumble and fall as you go about life but NEVER be afraid to try without me by your side! We are entering a new phase as I see you wanting to venture off on your own for a little bit in a shopping centre. You love that I give you the freedom to go off to a toy shop if I am looking at clothes and you are bored. I always remind you of the rules and you always obediently follow and respect them and I am grateful for that.
I love how you are so protective of your sister, please promise though, that you will never stifle her or Rameez. Let them have their own experiences and learn their own lessons. You have a tendency to want to parent them and I think that you should leave that to us 😉I love how you are so sociable. I can take you anywhere and you will merrily start a conversation with anybody and look to make friends. You can be a bit sensitive when kids tease you for silly things but I’m so glad that we have long conversations about different ways of dealing with these situations and you always leave me empowered and so pleased to come back and tell me the next day how you handled the silly children in school. I love our conversations about everything and how you demand my attention if I seem distracted and like I’m not 100% focused on the story that you are telling me.
Your current ambitions involve leaving home when you are 18 to go and live in Portugal so that you can have dinner with Ronaldo and play soccer for Portugal. You have even already requested portuguese lessons. I think what I find the most adorable and most frustrating about you is that once you have your mind on something you stay focused on it and will ask about it until I have committed to a time and a date to get it done! I need to stop seeing this as “nagging” and start focusing on commending you on your determination to go out and get what you want. I commend you on being a “doer” at such a young age. Being goal orientated and setting deadlines for those goals is something I know will make you successful.
You’re figuring this whole “life” thing out pretty well for an 8-year-old. I’m here if and when you should need me. I’m confident that the foundation has been laid for you to mature into an amazing young man whom I will always be proud of.
My wish for you is that you always stay as cool, charismatic and responsible as your are now.
Happy Birthday Anees.
P.s hope you get over throwing gangster signs in your pictures soon.
Happy Birthday Dear Liyana. Your second year with us has been delightful. You are the light of our lives with your girly ways and shrieking and fits of giggles. We call you ‘The Queen’ because you go around everywhere and give everybody you see the royal wave with a non-chalant ‘hi’ and dazzling smile. LOL! You also absolutely love blowing kisses at everybody and are possibly our most loving child. Always wanting to hug and kiss us and wrap your arms around us for tight hugs. You are simply delicious and everybody that meets you instantly falls in love with you and your crazy gorgeous head of curly hair. I love your hair messy, as do you. I hope you always love yourself in that way. It took me years to love my crazy hair, I always wanted it straighter, I’ve spent hours blowdrying or straightening it because I thought that straight hair made me more beautiful,and my wish for you is that you always love it just the way it is.
You have Dad wrapped around your little finger as I did with my Dad. A lot of the stuff that you do with him and the way you do it reminds me so fondly of my relationship with my Dad. You sit on his lap and have an obsession with wanting to take his socks and shoes off when he walks in after work. You have a sixth sense for when he’s around. You start saying ‘Dada’ when he’s driven into the complex at least 5 minutes before we actually see or hear him at the door. I think that bond is incredible and am so glad that the 2 of you can share that.
Your brothers are besotted too. Anees is always kinder and softer with you. He hates to see you cry and will try his best to cheer you up by making one of your teddy bears ‘talk’ to you so you can be distracted and start laughing. You love love love teddy bears. It can be any shape or size as long as it’s soft you are always carrying one or babbling with one or feeding one. You are also a ‘blankie baby’ and drag your blankie around the house if you are tired.Rameez is harder with you. He doesn’t just let you have your way. You can cry and scream but he will not budge. He will teach you resilience my child. He can be very affectionate with you and you love to hug him. If he’s watching a movie or playing a game you will happily just sit behind him and throws your arms around his neck and squeeze him. I know he doesn’t show it but I think he likes it when you do that too.
You’re not talking and I’m still grateful for that because I think that you are going to be a chatterbox like Rameez. You are always gesturing and babbling and can actually communicate very well without using any words. You also have a sense of humour and a ‘fake’ laugh when you think something should be funny.You are thankfully not of the ‘ type. This might change but for some reason I think you are not going to reach that stage. You are going to be strong-willed and stubborn, I already see that fire in your eyes and a look of determination if you want something.
You love and adore Fikile. She is like a second mother to you and we are so grateful to have her as a part of our family. I think you are her favorite, I can see the way she looks at you and the love in her eyes when she does things for you and I can also see how hard it is for her to discipline you.
I don’t think you and I are very close at this stage in your life and that works for us because as you know I don’t cope well with babies/toddlers. The few fleeting moments we spend together in a day are precious to me. I just love watching your little personality develop. I love that you can turn to Dad or Fikile when you are hurt or need something because quite frankly I don’t feel like I have the capacity to fulfil some of your needs until such time you can tell me what those needs are. What I do love a lot is the way you sleep in the crook of my arm. Right now I feel like a distant silent observer in your life. I don’t like taking you places because 2 year olds are hard ‘work’ for me lol. I think you find me cheeky as you should because as much as you are my favorite I don’t hesitate to discipline you or scream at you. Gosh you are a softie. If I just raise my voice you start the sniffing and tears start rolling down your face. As cute as it is you need to toughen up a little bit child.
For the longest time I’ve battled with what being a mother means to me. Since I’ve had you I finally know that my only role as a mother is to offer unconditional love. My only role is not to bring chaos into your lives, to know when to step back and let you get what you need from other people when I cannot offer it to you.My role is not to try to live vicariously through you, it is to accept that this is your life. It is for this reason that I think that you and I will have an everlasting bond because I will teach you how to not to be afraid of venturing off on on your own but you will still be confident in knowing that should you fly or fall I will always be there and I promise never to say “I Told you so” LOL!!!
Love you Always
I like to spend the evening before my birthday reflecting on the past year. This past year has been a phenomenal one and I am filled with gratitude.I decided to compile a list of 36 reasons I am ecstatic about turning 36.
1. I still have Zaid by my side to witness my life. Our relationship continues to grow and evolve the more years that we spend together.
2. I have 3 gorgeous children who help me relive the magic of childhood
3. I have the daughter that I have always yearned for.
4. I have never been this fit or strong.
5. I am a good wife
6.I love myself unconditionally
7. I am therefore able to give love unconditionally.
8.I survived the dark days of depression and found my true self thanks to it.
9.I have learnt to love my body and nourish it properly
10.I no longer have the need to be accepted or validated by others, my validation comes from within
11. I have tamed the voices in my head
12. I have a warm bed and body/ies to cuddle with each night
13. I finally believe in myself enough to know that nothing is unachievable
14.I am proud of the mother that I am to my kids
15.I am raising emotionally intelligent and secure children who I have the most amazing relationship with.
16. I can have a hot shower every morning
17.I have a secure job with a regular income
18.I enjoy financial freedom
19. I am still stimulated by the way I earn a living
20.I have abs( for the first time in my life and after having 3 kids) 😂
21.I can do push ups 😂
22. My kids think my muscles are cool
23.I have accepted my demons and limitations
24.I am a doer
25.I know when I need to retreat so that I can replenish myself
26.I finally understand and appreciate the power of living in the present
27. I am at peace with the fact that I see a professional to talk about my feelings and have accepted that it is an integral part of my livelihood
28. I don’t ‘exercise’, I train, for myself
29. I am confident that I am a good role model for my children
30.I have people who truly understand me
31. I have discovered that the idea of ‘perfection’ in anything (motherhood,love or relationships) is a farce and lead a more content life because I no longer strive for it.
32.My faith has never been stronger.
33.I have found purpose in my life
34.I am not weighed down by any emotional baggage or guilt from any of my life choices.
35.I never have to be pregnant again
36.I have accepted 100% responsibility for my life and I have never felt more free.
You have been counting the sleeps and finally tomorrow is the big day! You are the most lively,animated, theatrical 5 year old I have ever come across. You are also the only child I know that can laugh so much that you end up vomiting!!!
You “hate” girls and think they are “lame” yet you are always playing with them and are quite the gentleman with them too. So much so,that much to your horror, one of the girl’s refer to you as her “Prince Charming” LOL! You are also still the fussiest eater that I know and I am glad that we have just accepted it as part of your personality. You dont like the idea of eating something that runs around on a farm and that’s ok with me. I really donot know how you manage to grow on a diet of toasted cheese, macaroni, rice cakes, seedless grapes, ice cream, biscuits and cake!! I am also quite astonished that you donot have a single cavity in your mouth!Your fascination with Masterchef is mind-boggling when you dont even like to eat food. You are always keen to watch it with me and then have a million questions about the cooking processes. You also are very happy to play with your sister’s kitchen utensils and pretend you are a Masterchef LOL!
You do say the silliest things have the most random thoughts.The other day you told me that I have a sick pack because my stomach looks just like my back. You have requested a trip to a chicken farm so you can see how chickens are prepared for consumption. You wonder out loud how a person would survive if they were allergic to toothpaste . You have very frank conversations with us about how a person doesn’t survive once they are dead and ask who is going to look after you when we die. You seem quite obsessed with America for some reason and want to live there when you are an adult. Your career objectives involve earning a living while working at Sun city or Magalispark so you can be on holiday most of the time!
You show a wisdom that I have not seen in a 5 year old before. You have the biggest heart and you are happy to share things with Anees even if it means giving him your snap bangle because he broke his and he wont stop crying. You are not a jealous child and can be very happy for other children when exciting things happen for them. You are a respectful, polite,generous little boy. You have grasped the notion that we are all different and lovingly accept that we all do things differently. You are fascinated by it. Many a conversation has been had about all the differences you have observed.While Anees tends to live in his own world you show a sensitivity and awareness of people around you. I think you will easily live a life of contentment because you are not the type of child that wants for much. The simple things make you happy and you never NEED anything as often and as desperately as your brother does.
You’re also very daring and a bit of a daredevil for your age. You are a thrill seeker and get very upset when you are not allowed to do the adventurous things your brother does. Be patient child, your turn will come. I don’t want you to always compare yourself to Anees and measure your abilities by his standards. He is older than you but I promise you that your turn to do all of those things that he does will come too. Don’t be so hard on yourself because you cannot read or write as well as he can or because he is “better” than you at some Playstation games or because he can go on the thrill rides that you cant at Wild Coast Sun. As the 2 of you grow I wish that you accept that he is just “older” than you and not “better” than you.
You and I recently started ‘chasing sunsets’ together and I love how your face lights up as we both break out in song as we drive around looking to take the best picture of the sunset. We’re yet to take a picture but the alone time with you is priceless.
I love you my crazy,wild child Rameez. Happy Birthday Baba! (yes I know that you dislike being called that ;))
I know you are going to have THE MOST GORGEOUS DAY 😉 (wink wink)