I do my best thinking while driving. I drive a Fiat Panda.

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

You and me, we’re heroes too

Sometimes I like to scribble down a few lines of poetry. Sometimes the lines are not bad and other times they are not really terribly good, I suppose, but they serve a purpose, at least at the time I write them.

Here’s one I always thought could be a song. It’s for the unsung heroes – all of us. We know who we are.

(I think it’s that aspirant 60s child in me coming out again…. )


You and me, we’re heroes too

Two warring leaders went to peace;

The world gave a ringing cheer.

Greenpeace waved the whaling finger

Their principles blindingly clear.

The cameraman fell in the gunfire;

He fell in a blaze of glory

And he, in a way, was lucky –

His, too, was a public story:

But unsung heroes are heroes too

And everyone knows at least one or two.


A medic died of ebola;

The media promptly went ape.

The Red Cross braved the conflicts as

The borders changed their shape.

Some single guy traversed Antarctica–

Quite alone, no dogs in sight

While back at home the babies cry

For solace in the night.

And single mothers are heroes too

And I say they deserve their due.


The boy-soldiers went to war on

The old men’s dashing whims

And of all the things that tap my tears

Disability’s the dreaded thing.

Yet we all of us have our crosses

And our losses, and our pain

And sorrow’s returning burden

Is the world’s oldest refrain:

So we just carry on; it’s what we do –

Yes, you and me: we’re heroes too.


copyright Vivienne Fouche 1996

Turning corners

My little boy turned seven a few days ago and with it, I turned a new corner in my life. It was a day of celebration, a day of happiness and a day in which I was quietly noting the beginning of a new stage in my life. At least that’s how it seems.

Seven years old!

I imagine I’m speaking for millions of parents when I say I can hardly believe the passage of time.

On our bedroom wall, Frank and I have two separate framed photos of Liam and Matthew, both taken on the days they were born.

There they are: two little boy babies, lying sleeping in their cots, the photos taken just hours after their official arrivals on the planet.

I look at these photos and it seems, maybe not quite like yesterday, but more like three or so years that we’ve had the pleasure of knowing Liam – not more than double that.

Where, where has the time gone?

Well, the short answer is that it has gone on many happy hours and days, with a few times of illness, fear, tiredness and trouble and a few moments of worry and doubt – but mostly on many more moments of happiness.

I have been so blessed.

Placed into my temporary custody I have received two marvellous little children, full of optimism, laughter, joy and courage. I have revelled in their babyhood; I have cherished the moments watching those literal and metaphorical first baby steps. I trust and hope and pray I will have many more first steps to come.

And recently I realised, fully, that my first-born son at least is no longer a baby.

He is a confident, laughing, sensitive, kind, sociable little boy – supremely happy to have had his friends at his party to celebrate his birthday with him. He is becoming a leader in his own right: a child others listen to and follow (and this endorsed by his teachers, not just mom’s biased fond opinion alone).

And I repeat: I have realised that my first-born son at least is no longer a baby.

And I am getting too old to have more babies (at least easily and relatively safely).

And I must not try, in foolish compensation, to turn my younger son into the baby either, because he too is champing at the bit to be a ‘big boy’ (at the ripe old age of four, bless him…).

So I’ve been turning some corners in my mind.

And as I write this I am just a little bit sad, in the midst of all the happiness his birthday brought. It seems like the end of an era, somehow.

I am so used to thinking of myself as being the mother of young children and, with it, thinking of myself as being young. These past few days I’ve been feeling a little older. Suddenly. It has been strange and unsettling.

But even as doors close, they say, others open.

I have some new prospects on the horizon: some long-cherished ambitions may be coming to fruition. In more and more ways I am starting to feel not entirely ‘just mom’ and more like the old me: the me who used to write regularly; used to ride her bicycle and revel in working those muscles and feeling the wind on the downhills; used to dream of her own private ambitions.

It has been an emotional period lately, re-evaluating who I am, but I have finally come to accept that I am turning some corners.

I am leaving behind and also walking towards.

And even as I turn the next corner, I take a moment now to pay tribute to my two wonderful children and share a poem that I wrote for them before they were born, before I knew them, and whose words they embody every day even without knowing it.

May you never be Shadow, human child.

May you be born under

the sign of the dreamer.

May you know the mark

of saint and sinner.

May you reflect in your eyes

the changing face of man and woman.

May you celebrate Life, choose ever to

Possess, share

Love, desire

The more questing soul.*

(*copyright Vivienne Fouche 1990)


To those who are turning corners in any way, whether related to parenting matters or not, I say to you what I am saying right now to myself:


Be still.



Give thanks.


Then gladly move on.


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