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For some reason, when I sat down to write this letter, I thought about this photo of the two of us from when I was very young - maybe about three years old. I'm wearing a bananas in pyjamas outfit and a big mop of sausage curls. I think you're wearing a maroon dress, and I think we're sitting on one of those old floral couches we used to have. I'm sitting on your lap, but nearly falling off in this weird, sideways way, and I'm laughing my head-off. You're grabbing me near my waist and looking at me, smiling. I don't know why I thought of this picture, but now that I'm thinking of it, I think it's a really perfect image of our relationship. After all these years, I'm still rolling around, doing strange and silly things, sticking out at dangerous angles, kicking and screaming and laughing my head off. And you're still holding onto me, just enough, so I can do all that crazy stuff, but still feel safe.
In the last few years, that holding on has probably been more difficult - it's hard to stretch your arms from Sydney all the way to France, or even Melbourne. But in all that time, I've always known you were there, and always felt that I was safe, no matter what, because of your love. I'm sorry for the times I haven't been as vocal in letting you know that.
And recently, it's been your turn to wriggle around - to roam the world, and our country, and to go on your own bold new adventures. It's been tricky for me to explain to my friends - I'm so used to telling people that you're the best TEACHER in the world, and now I have to explain to them that you're now the best FARMER in the world, too. It's very confusing for people. But it isn't confusing for me, because I expect nothing less. The transition to the farm life is one of the biggest or most visible changes for you in recent memory, but if there's been one constant in the way I see you, it's constant change, constant action, constant renewal. Your hunger for life and for new experiences and points of view has made me who I am today. In the current world political climate, I am so thankful to have grown up in a home where all the difference and diversity in the world was never something to be afraid of, but something to be embraced, something to be curious about and connected to and thankful for, and something which unites everyone.
I'm sorry I'm not there with you this mother's day. I'm sorry I'm not there with you more often. But over all this time and space, I still feel your love so strongly, in every phone call and message, in every link to weird health craze articles and stories from the Arts & Culture pages of the Sydney Morning Herald. You're the world's best teacher, the world's best farmer, and - by a country mile - the world's best Mum.
I love you very very much.
I do enjoy writing, so maybe I should have a blog. At the moment, though, I'm having enough trouble finding time to shower.
COMING SOON - PERSONAL HYGEINE
AND THEN, A BLOG.