Dear Mum and Dad,
I remember browsing the shelves that lined the walls of my favourite bookstore and while making a hard decision of which author I wished to invest my time in and continue developing our relationship, I was asked a serious question.
The question I had been asked once again was, “if you were to invite four people to dinner, whether they’re alive or not, who would they be?” It felt in that very moment, déja vu as it opened a can of wriggly worms due to having so many names, personalities and images of those who have inspired and captivated my attention were suddenly released from captivity. After begging for a couple of minutes to calm my suddenly overcrowded mind, I decided to think inside of the box and realised within a split second, both grandparents would not be invited.
I realised after having acknowledged my years of life spent listening and analysing stories of how my Grandparents grew up in a different era to me and therefore, their ways of thinking, living and earning the dollar and mentality towards a bank note was completely different. Although they would be able to provide answers as to how hard life their lives would of varied from one another. Such as one set of Grandparents growing up in New Zealand as small children within the Depression post World War II and the other set, raising six children on a farm while your husband travelled for work; I thought about strangers who have had a positive and negative impact on my life.
After being involved in a heavy debate between inviting James Bond and Draco Malfoy to a seven course meal, as both in my mind represented troubled childhoods and the significance of good versus evil in many ways, I eventually settled on the warm thought of who would be dining at my table.
I settled on the idea of sending an invite to J.K Rowling as I’d like to thank her in person for writing a novel that not only has inspired me to think beyond all measures and for allowing me to be included in the magical world of Hogwarts alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione but also for inspiring millions of people around the world. Another reason is I find her to be interesting, captivating and inspiring outside of the phenomenon of Harry Potter.
Next, I would invite Roald Dahl. I would pick his brain as to how he came up the ideas regarding my favourite childhood classics such as Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, The BGF before asking him why he elected for James to ride the giant peach and what happened to Miss Trunchball in Matilda as she was portrayed as a rather nasty piece of works. Last but not least, I would invite Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson because who doesn’t love Jamie and Nigella?
Reflecting back on that day when I was asked the original question of “who was coming to dinner and why?” and the look on Lois’ face when I mentioned who would be joining me before she told me who would be joining her table and why. When asked a few months back by someone in passing, I realised my original answer had changed dramatically.
Although J.K remains seated at my table like she were being held hostage as Jamie and Nigella get swapped out with one another, I have come to realise my two remaining seats should be given to two people who have not only influenced my beliefs, personality traits but also have inspired me to be who I am today. Bypassing the cliché and diving head first into reality, I knew these people will continue striving forth in seeking and developing their knowledge, belief and guidance and their way of thinking in case I need answers for my endless stream of “I was thinking” or “I have a question.”
Even though some might snort out loud and roll their eyes while others might sit there and ask questions when they find out who is being invited, I have to say that one of the reasons I decided to forgo James Bond, Sophia Lauren and Casey Stoner wasn’t because they lacked insight, power and knowledge. But rather, they wouldn’t and possibly couldn’t understand the desire I have to be entertained, informed and actively encouraged to create, define and think inside of the box as I am forever thinking outside the box. These people would have to possess and own an unlimited amount of knowledge and wealth of desire to teach and be taught in return.
Secondly, I have watched silently and witnessed you working as individuals and yet, you aren’t afraid to tag-team the other into the amazing race called parenthood by stating, “what did -parent- say?” This has influenced my thoughts about who should furthermore be invited. Simply for the fact when growing up and even now when we’re adults and in our twenties, we knew that question would ultimately either break or make our question of freedom or craving. Just like inviting the wrong people to dinner would make or break my thoughts and perceptions on my freedom of thought and yearning to be educated.
This guarded and open question of “what did your Mother/Father say?” has shown us four children that when it comes to partnerships, marriage and children, Mum and Dad, you have shown us just how vital it is to not only work as individuals. But when it comes to stepping up to the task of being in a committed relationship/partnership and being parents to children who did not ask to be born or created, you do so with a united front and force behind you.
Having borrowed the words once used by a nephew, who described Aunty Lois and Uncle Red as being “loyal and ferocious,” it can be stated here and now that your relationship and marriage is a united and loyal force. This loyalty and ferociousness has not only proven to be interesting to observe for a majority of my life but it has actively encouraged me to think and view your relationship on a strange note as embarking on the journey of spinning around the dance floor.
I have often thought of your marriage to each other and the relationship you have with yourself as a rather intricate and harrowing combination of the waltz and Argentine tango. The waltz gives the perception and knowledge that both of you are not only fluid in movement but it appears as if you have the ability to have synchronised thoughts. However, when it comes to your passion and the urge to protect one another in times of sadness, devastation and betrayal, I often view this particular section of the dance as the ground shaking movements and harshness of the Argentine tango.
While the waltz portrays the image of the woman being meek and dipping with each sway and glide as the man leads the dance, the Argentine tango is the complete opposite. The Argentine tango actively encourages the man to wrestle with the idea that the woman is just as firm as he is within the dance as he stomps his feet firmly into the ground. While it allows the woman to swirl her arms in a captivating manner before pushing both parties into the centre, where they come together in a series of harsh, blunt and flamboyant moves as they heavily stride across the dance floor.
Mum and Dad, there has been plenty of times where I have witnessed both of you whirling around each other when butting heads over topics you haven’t agreed upon and it has been interesting. Interesting in the sense of instead of Dad stomping his foot like you would expect in the Argentine tango and simply walking away (although there have been times where you both have been guilty of doing this), you have found the rhythm to dance the same steps before coming together in a combustion of fluid and erotic like dance moves.
This passion and confidence within your own self but also within your relationship with one another has allowed and encouraged a display of loyalty and ferociousness when it comes to striking and devouring enemies both near and extra close. As well as dominating those who try to intervene with their own perceptions of how the dance should be performed.
In the long run, it has shown me the value of finding my own dance and lifelong partner as we too, undergo finding our own unique dance and beat that comes with it as we go about life together. But it has also formatted and changed my expectations and demands regarding entertainment, the perception of how a relationship should be as well as the presentation of a ‘real man’ and last but not least, the idea and desire of being an educated woman.
Instead of being shunned like other women across the world for having dreams and ambitions of becoming something greater, more powerful and for having high ambitions to succeed in life, you have actively encouraged and strived in your deliverance of empowering me not only as a daughter but also as a woman in the 21st century. Instead of telling me as a young child and as a teenager that my place was at the kitchen sink, bare foot and pregnant, you have informed and psychologically scared me with the knowledge that by being an educated woman, I have the ability to access free knowledge and in return, I have the greatest strength of all and that is: power.
You have spent years undertaking lessons, reading books and developing a format of education and guidance for a dyslexic child, whose teacher put her in the ‘too hard basket’ because this woman couldn’t deal with someone different. Instead of stopping at day one, you strived forth to gain the means of a better education for your child as you went about informing teachers over the years before eventually, I stepped out of the darkness I had enclosed myself in for fear of being ridiculed and discovered there were thousands and possibly, millions of other people who fit my shoes and danced the same steps as me.
After years of encouraging me to “be better” and “get an education because I didn’t have the ability to be educated like you do today,” you were there to witness my excitement and fear when undertaking a new adventure. As I underwent through my thrilling and daunting time as an Undergraduate, you both got to witness and have a part in the glorious day when I glided across the stage.
It was not only wonderful to have my support team there, people who have lifted me up out of a heap and dusted me off with a firm shake to the shoulder while thrusting water or vodka into my hand, it was wonderful knowing that I would be recognised as being a highly successful and educated woman with power and knowledge because we, as a united team, got a Bachelor of Nursing Science.
You and Dad got to witness everything you have done for me over the years come to a never-ending story as that little dyslexic girl overcame so many barriers and roadblocks, to find herself standing amongst others from far and wide, with the same story as her. Your parenting, passion for knowledge and further education and gratitude did not stop there but rather had continued on and will do so until it’s time for you to kick back and relax.
Although it is a pity I did a majority of the work and all of the placement hours, but hey, there wasn’t enough space for Lois, Red and Gracie-Lou Freebush (Scarlett O’Chunky) to be printed on the piece of parchment.
You both were there when I announced the new adventures of not only being Mr. Darcy’s partner in crime but also, when I announced that I would be returning to the less daunting world of university. Mum and Dad, you will be there to see Gracie-Lou Freebush walk or rather, glide, across the stage. It will be there when I overlook a rather dark crowd with a serene but excited smile on my face that we, both you, Dad and Mr Darcy supported me through my newest and greatest education experience when hearing I have completed a Bachelor Degree in Midwifery.
With that, Dearest Mum and Dad, I would like to say after many years: Welcome to my table of legendary people.
I hope the next three years aren’t a repeat of the last four and lastly, thanks for being truly amazing people as well as my parents. I can honestly say I feel honoured and blessed to know both of you as individuals but also as a united force of hell raisers and shameful selfie-takers.
Lots of love,
The sperm & egg xx.