October Update

September brought a weekend away – my first knitting retreat since that world exploded on me. My first “respite” weekend, and a chance to see friends I don’t see often, and friends I’d never met in person before.

On Thursday, I started to feel back pain. By Friday, I was depending on painkillers to keep me going. I wandered around Wellington and had as much fun as I was capable of.

Any opportunity to go to Daiso without a moaning child is a good day
Magan and Charlie at Counter Culture

The best, literally the best

Magan met me at Counter Culture, and Charlie picked me up to go to camp. By Friday evening I was feeling pretty delicate, and spent more time flat on my back in my room than is ideal for a social retreat. By Saturday night, I was staring to notice “insect bites”.

After the retreat, Charlie took me to their place on the Kapiti Coast, a gorgeous little town, with a perfect house with three friendly cats and a sea view. Winnie added paracetamol into my drug regime, and I spent Monday with them doing te Papa in “relative comfort”.

Giant Squid with murder mittens
New Squid clothes from Dangerfield – best shop assistants ever

Returning to Auckland on Monday night, my first priority was getting checked out by a doctor. I’d realised by then it wasn’t a ruptured disc, it was most likely shingles.

So for the past three weeks I’ve mostly been at on my back in a darkened room, and since I’ve been taking the serious drugs, mostly pain free, if a little woozy. Mark’s been in a really fun show, which I got to see thanks to Alia and Toby and new drugs! Still can’t drive, but I am lucky to have kind friends.

In other news. Pinky McKay invited me to talk about the experience of parenting a trans kid for her podcast. It’s over an hour long, and the audio quality is slightly dodgy, but hopefully someone will get some validation, support, and information form it that will help them support their own kid. I’ve never held myself up as any kind of ideal, but I have always hoped to be a good example of failing forwards, and emphasising repair and growth over perfection.

Squid and I listened to it together today, and apparently I did ok (I skipped over some details and conflated events, which makes their brain itchy), but they said I did an ok job. That’s Inigo for “wild enthusiasm”. I’ll take it.

And on Friday, I did a run through of a talk I’m doing about “Neurodiversity at Work” for a corporate client. Despite having pulled the presentation together at the last minute (I’d been mentally working on it for months), and being on the silly brain meds, I’ve been told that the team loved it so much they are going to offer it out to the whole Asia Pacific region instead of just New Zealand when we offer it later this month.

So I am gathering more experience at public speaking, and educating about neurodiversity and accommodations (my fidget presentation is happening again next week for the Gifted Nex network), and I’m becoming more comfortable in my “expertise”. None of this feels comfortable and safe – but it does feel important.

And we had our first meeting with a lawyer about setting up GCL as a charitable trust. Feels big and scary and historic. Or that could be the drugs.

September, 2022

Since the beginning of 2020, like many people, life has felt very contained, and slow, and measured. We’ve had wins and losses, but for us this weird period has been pretty gentle. So far, 2022 is shaping up to be a lot more, well, interesting.

Inigo got accepted into the accelerated maths program at school, which has been a mixed blessing. They have had to spend a bit more effort getting to know school friends since bestie has left the school. They are growing into a bigger version of the sweet, musical, affectionate and scattered little person they have always been.

And yesterday, they got braces fitted. Rainbow elastics for the bottom teeth, non-binary flag colours for the top teeth.

And this afternoon, I start uni again for the first time since leaving Australia. GCL is about to start the process of applying for charitable status, and the world seems full of opportunity and possibilities.

The first lawn daisies have appeared, signalling the start of spring, and we’ve booked our flights to Australia for Christmas, including a trip to Lady Elliot Island for mid January.

Happy Birthday Inigo

This is fourteen.

The older this kid gets, the more authentically themselves they are.

And we are so lucky to be surrounded by such lovely people. A call out to the Monday afternoon boardgames group, and we had an impromptu socially distanced picnic party.

After three months of lockdown, pizza in the front yard was a massive deal. There will be a proper party to come, but today was perfect.

Just like Inigo.

Happy Birthday Archimedes and Aubrey

Eleven years since we met.

You’ve changed me profoundly.

I love you. And that love barely hurts any more. Loving you has been the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and the thing I’ve learned the most from.

Losing you has been the most profound, epic, and achingly raw experience of my life. But with that loss has come a richness and depth that has been one of the greatest gifts of my very privileged life.

Happy Birthday to the babies who made such a huge hole in my life when they left, and thank you for the gifts you’ve helped me to fill that hole with.

51

Family dinner

I’ve just updated the firmware on my new coffee cup (thanks mum & dad!), and given up on thanking people for birthday Facebook messages.

I’ve spent the day at work, with some of my favourite kids and people, being around such positive energy and happiness is a brilliant way to spend the day. I got some incredibly thoughtful gifts, some gorgeous cards, and as a bonus three kids baked for me ❤️

Squid cake!

Fifty one is looking fine.

Tales from High School

Squid has just started high school in what is probably the most progressive high school in the country. He’s been giving his pronouns as he/him/they/them – and most are assuming he’s non-binary, despite him explicitly telling them he’s cis, but wants to be an ally. The fact that the teachers are supportive is great, but we have a lot more work to do.

And yesterday, he said he’s noticed that people speak to him differently depending on the gender they presume him to be. If they think he’s female, they tell him his name is “pretty”, and if male, he gets told it’s “interesting”.