Best Mothers’ Day present reminder normal isn’t normal any more.


A discussion among students reached the conclusion that they were very fortunate to have been brought up in families in which the parents loved each other and their children; that the parents showed that love by setting them boundaries, facing them with consequences when they breached them and showed by example the importance of trust, honesty, work ethics and other values.

When my daughter, who was one among the group told me this, I regarded it as the best mothers’ present she could have given me.

But while I was moved I was also sad because when I was that age I’d have thought all those things were normal.

That the young adults were talking about it shows that they didn’t think it is.

Lindsay Mitchell’s post is that your daddy? is another reminder that loving, two-parent families aren’t necessarily normal anymore.

This is not a criticism of single parents.  There are many good reasons that marriages – and other relationships – fail; and some single parents do a better job by themselves than some couples do together.

It’s difficult enough being a good parent when you have a loving and supportive partner, it’s harder still doing it alone and whether there are one or two parents, helping children become happy and successful adults is more difficult now when the moral and ethical foundation my generation regarded as normal isn’t normal anymore.

Mainland conference gems


It’s not uncommon for people to ask me why on earth anyone would you join a political party.

Sometimes I struggle to answer, but I’m just home from the National Party’s Mainland Conference which reminded me that  it’s a way to meet like minded people; to help make the world, and this part of it, a better place and that’s it’s also a lot of fun.

When it was suggested the National Party’s two South Island regions, Canturbury-Westland and Southern, combine for a Mainland Conference, there were some questions about the wisdom of this move.

But the organisers were determined to make it succeed and they succeeded in doing that. The couple of hundred people who spent the last day and a half in Timaru agreed that the combined conference not only worked, it worked exceptionally well.

It provided the opportunity for delegates to hear from and speak to more MPs than would have been possible if we’d had seperate conferences and gave volunteers from throughout the South Island a chance to meet, learn from and inspire each other.

It was not only the first Mainland Conference, it was the first regional conference which John Key addressed as Prime Minister and being back in government after nine long years in the political wilderness of opposition certainly added to the good humour which was evident in speakers and delegates.

Journalists reporting on conferences generally stick to the formal bits of speeches. Bloggers have more licence and a couple of the anecdotes which tickled me were:

*Children reading cards on flowers sent to a funeral came to one and read out: From John Key and his circus colleagues.

* Bill English told of taking then Finance Minister Ruth Richardson to Dipton when the nation’s books were full of red ink. The man introducing her noted that having the Minister coming to talk about the economy at that time was similar to having the hydatids man coming to look at your dead sheep hole.

Remembering Mothers Day – updated


That National Party Mainland Conference opened this morning with a recognition of all the mothers present.

Several bloggers have acknowleged their, or other people’s mums with a post:

Monkeywith typewriter qutoes Corinthians For Mums Everywhere

Frenemy posts on his plans for Moms Day (and because the mother in question is American he can get away with Mom rather than Mum).

PM of NZ has a Small Test for Mothers Day (though the connection between the test and Mothers Day escapes me).

I hope all the other mother-bloggers are enjoying the day and that the non-mother bloggers are too busy making sure their mothers enjoy the day to blog.

Warm thoughts to those who no longer have a mother, and special mention and aroha for Hekia Parata MP and her whanau who are mourning the loss of  their mother who died last week.

UPDATE: M&M posts on her Mothers Day

                    Deborah posts on Celebrating Mothers Day  at The Hand Mirror and on More Pinkification of Mothers at In A Strange Land


UPDATE 2- Lindsay Mitchell wants a get off my back & out of my face day.

Aiming for Italy, Landing in Holland


The images for Mothers Day are usually of happy families with happy, healthy children.

That’s not the case for all mothers and one who knows what it feles like when your baby isn’t the happy, healthy one you expected is  Emily Perl Kingsley, who was a writer for Sesame Street.

Her son, Jason, had Down Syndrome which prompted her to write this:



Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved


I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

When A Child Is Born


A bonus song for NZ Music Month as an acknowledgement of  Mothers’ Day.

It’s When A Child is Born by Billy T James.

Te Atua


The 10th day of the post a tune a day challenge for New Zealand Music Month.

Te Atua by the St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ Choir.

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