What a year, friends! I’m so proud of all of us for keeping it together (mostly) and getting through it. Parents really are the unsung heroes amongst us! Here are a few things that I’m utterly GRATEFUL for right now, and why I’m looking forward to 2022!
My children. I’m so in love with my two boys and so proud of them every day. Sometimes I’ll just jump into their beds and talk nonsense and hang out with them. They’re such cool kids and so beautifully different and interesting!
Ben is finding his feet (literally) with skateboarding and surfing. He just got a dirt bike from family and has really progressed with his horse riding. Last weekend, he went from trot to canter to gallop in the same lesson. It always surprises me how fearless he is. I used to roller skate on the grass because I was so scared of falling. Ben will literally just get on any moving object and 100% go for it without fear or hesitation. He falls (a lot). I remember the first time he fell off a horse, Graeme and I thought he was DONE. Lots of tears and bruises and then he quickly asked to get back on. He is so fearless. He reminds me so much of my late brother, Neil who was so similar. Ben just had a paintball birthday party and again – lots of tears but he kept going. Three of the boys got out with minor injuries and still say it was the best party they’ve ever been to. For Ben’s last birthday, he went shark cage diving! He admitted he was scared but that didn’t stop him. He’s going paragliding soon and so excited. He’s doing boxing. He’s also really, really good at cooking. He cooks and bakes from scratch. Anything from spaghetti bolognaise to flapjacks and cakes. He is super passionate about food, fitness & adventure.
What I’m finding so interesting is that he’s super into fantasy. He can talk your ear off about werewolves and which is a beta and can an alpha turn you into whatever it is. He goes into folklore and legend and researches all this crazy interesting stuff. He’s watching Twilight now and is horrified that I’m team Jacob so maybe there’s a vampire thing happening now. He’ll bite onto any fantasy story you offer. He still loves animals more than anyone I’ve ever met. He volunteered at a local vet and got to see a surgery. The thing is, it’s mutual. Any animal within his vicinity radiates toward him. He rode a new horse last week (Princess had a foal) and he took an apple for his new horse, Luke. He talks about how Luke has a better personality and that they have a better connection. He wants to gallop at 40km an hour on the beach and lift his arms because his instructor says it’s like floating with almost no resistance at that speed.
I wish I could bubble-wrap that kid, but I’ve really learned to let go and let his teachers and instructors guide him as he learns all these new skills and goes on all these new little adventures. He’s also incredibly smart and kicks ass at math, but I see him gravitating more toward languages ad biology. I really see Ben doing something with animals one day though. With his empathy and kindness… I’m sure that he’ll end up doing something to help others.
Noah. Oh man, I could talk your ear off about that kid too. He’s not into most sports, but will kick your ass at tennis. He just got a new racquet and plays at a local club with his bestie. Noah is incredibly like scary-good at technology with a mind programmed for engineering. He told me that he wanted to be an engineer when he was like 6. He can put things together and take them apart. He just like *knows* how things work and just gets it. He’s the IT and tech support at our house. He’s the only person who knows the WiFi password off by heart because that memory of his is mind-blowing. My dad called me from the UK the other day and asked something about his phone. It was running out of memory. I handed him over to Noah and they video called and shared screens and Noah spoke him through every step of sorting out the issue. My dad called me afterward and commended Noah on how patient and helpful he was. My dad says when you go to cellphone shops, the assistants can be a bit condescending and impatient. I’m proud of the fact that Noah is so switched on, but not arrogant about it.
I recently had to take him for an IQ assessment to get MENSA accredited. I only wanted it done to assist him with getting scholarships for high school. He had to take some time off school, but didn’t want the other kids to know. When I asked why, he said that he didn’t want them to know or feel bad or any less about themselves. He’s so kind and considerate. Best know, if I was MENSA accredited I would have had a sign made and hang it around my neck 24/7. Bitches better know. He’s just not like that at all. He just wants to play Fortnite and Minecraft, play tennis with his friends and annoy his brother.
Noah is a baker. Kid doesn’t know how to fry an egg, but he also bakes from scratch. I’ll WhatsApp him at work and be like “Please make some bran & banana muffins for lunch boxes” and it’s done within an hour. He even mashes fresh bananas into the mixture and sometimes adds yummy fillings like peanut butter blobs. He’s also really kind. And sensitive and affectionate. I love my midnight cuddles when he curls into bed with me. I love laying in bed with him for hours just talking.
Noah is a musician. I’m sure that I’ve shared more than a thousand videos of Noah playing piano because he is just SO GOOD. He’s on his second piano and needs to get a third. When I took him for his IQ test it was actually a 3-step assessment with a well-known Educational Psychologist in Cape Town. After his full assessment it was decided that while he’ll qualify for an academic scholarship, we should try for a music one. I already have two great schools interested and we’re choosing his school next year. My problem is that he really wants to go to co-ed, but we will need to apply at a particular all-boys school with a reputable music department, too.
I couldn’t be prouder or more in love with my boys. I mean, I know that we love our kids but I really LIKE them, too. They’ve got big, killer personalities and wicked senses of humor. If they try show me ONE MORE “really funny tiktok” I will scream, but for the most part they’re quite pleasant to have around : ) Also they keep asking me to buy weird ingredients because they “saw this crazy tiktok video” and they’re always fails. Shame.
What I’m really looking forward to this festive season is my garden. One of my favourite things to do is sit under the creeper canopy in our garden with a drink and watch all the animals. The squirrels, the bunnies, the chickens and the dogs all just hanging out and being cute. I plan to spend every day in my garden and putting lots of love into it these holidays. I’ve just planted a whole bunch of new flowers and got even more indoor plants. I wish I could live in a greenhouse. That’s one incentive to make money! I swear I’ll just go build a greenhouse in a forest somewhere and leave society J.D Salinger style. The dream!
Also, I’ve spent about 6 months working on a brand new project and business that is going to make me very happy and maybe even able to build that greenhouse. I’ll be launching it early next year.
Other 2022 projects include buying a dilapidated house in Italy which we had to put on the back-burner for 2 years. Thanks, Covid. We were also busy expanding Wine Flies to Portugal right before Covid hit. Honestly, it all happened at the absolute worst time.
I’m still most excited to see how my boys learn, grow and develop next year. Noah turns THIRTEEN in a few weeks. Thirteen.
Have a happy, merry festive season, y’all!