A Million Cupcakes

Just a quick one to share a cause I think needs some more publicity. Two amazing kids that I have taught in the past have created http://www.millioncupcakes.org/ in memory of their grandfather, to try and raise money and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease, (MND) which they can explain on the website far better than I could. (Well done to the parents for such obviously brilliant discussion on a complex illness by the way!)

While the disease is terrible, and the idea, (of selling a million virtual cupcakes) is adorable, something much bigger touched my heart, especially while dealing with my own grief.

I’m sure we all remember the first time we lost someone important to us. I was Oliver’s age (7) and really that first grief was really more a first glance at the idea that people do not live forever, that those we love can be lost, and that there’s nothing we can do about it.

The next time I lost someone I cared about, I was around Ella’s age, (11) and this time I remember missing them so acutely that it hurt all the time. I wrote letters, I kept busy, but again, there is a helplessness about death that makes it seem hopeless, especially for a child.

Even at age 19, when I experienced a real loss for the first time, that sense of confusion and despair was no less prevalent. And it’s still there.

And I think that’s why I feel so attached to this particular cause. Yes, I know the children personally, and if it helps-they are both really lovely kids. But more than that, they are taking their grief for their grandfather, and removing the hopelessness from it. They are creating something wonderful and meaningful out of their loss, and if more people can share this cause, as well as this idea, they could actually change the world before they hit their teens, at an age where when faced with loss, most of us are just battling with getting up for school in the morning.

I’m impressed, and I think if you take the time to visit the website and check out the video, you will be too.

So what are you waiting for? Click the link, learn something, and send a delicious (calorie-free!) cupcake today, for as little as £2. And share share share!

http://www.millioncupcakes.org/

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Shelter

Sitting at home listening to the rain quite literally pounding against my window-pane, like tiny fists desperately begging for entrance. Angry sounds of rain against glass, of the wind whistling through the swaying trees, the silence and darkness of cars parked in driveways, not a night to be out and about.

But some people are.

This time of year is not only one for repentance and forgiveness, but also for being grateful. Talking to God has never been something I struggle with, but recently it feels almost overwhelming to imagine asking God to let me keep the people I’ve learned to build my life around. Horrible things happen every day, people I know lose seemingly everything in a split second. I cant let myself think about the possibility of that happening, or I wouldn’t be able to let those I love out of the door every morning. But what I can do, is be grateful that they are mine, and tell God that, as honestly and meaningfully as possible.

But tonight, during the ten days of penitence, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and sadness in equal measure, but not over any person in my life or missed from it. Simply having a roof over my head, something we all take for granted, isn’t an obvious truth for everyone. I’ve always had what you could call a soft spot for the homeless, giving where I can, signing up to Shelter and other charities similar to it. But still, no matter how involved I try and become, I cant fathom the idea of someone not having anywhere to lie their head at night.

Maybe it’s about being part of a community. Even if you discount family and friends, I cant imagine a situation where there would be absolutely no one I could turn to to ask to stay for a few days, a week or two. And if there was? All I would need is courage to go and ask the local Rabbi for some hospitality from somewhere in the community.

So to me, who could list off the top of my head, fifty people who would open up their spare rooms for the night before I was turned onto the streets, and thank God, could afford to be in a bed-sit, a hotel, or a studio for quite a while even if there was no-one to call, I shudder to imagine the bodies wrapped in soggy newspapers lying rough tonight.

The small taster we are about to receive, no doubt sitting in the rain in our ‘temporary dwellings’ this Succot, should be enough to remind us all how much we have. As we go into Yom Kippur, for me at least it helps to go back to the very basics, and remember how lucky we are to be able to complain about the cold and the rain from the inside looking out.

Charity and Childminding

 

Given that I write what could be referred to as a ‘mummy blog’ I am using this opportunity to advertise what I think is a really great cause, by Loved By Parents, a great new parenting website. Over the last year, C and I have seen a lot of poorly kids at all of our various appointments with R, (who is thank God not a poorly child at all!) and I wanted people to have the chance to get involved, especially at this time of year, it is no coincidence that this cause is going on during the time of year where charity is considered most important.

On the 7th October we will be attempting to tweet 1,000 tweets in 24hrs to raise money for Make A Wish Foundation who grant sick childrens wishes. For everyone who sponsors £10 or more, you will be entered into a draw to WIN a prize from our prize bundle. Prizes are, Maclaren Quest, Red Cath Kidson buddy, x2 BabyBjörn UK limited edition pop original carriers, Yoomi duo set, A Pink lining Changing Bag and a PacaPod bag, Dig deep!

www.justgiving.com/lovedbyparents

In other news for the day, I am once again at work, and once again sad that I left R crying his little heart out this morning. I secretly waited outside the door again, and yet his tears did not ‘stop immediately after I left’ as I’ve been assured by other mums. My gorgeous childminder sent me another text to assure me he is fine, and says it’s probably just because I only send him once a week.

But that’s what I keep patting myself on the back for! I only send my son to her one day a week, and the other days which I work I get it all done from home. With difficulty. I do this so that my son gets to be with me as much as possible. But am I doing the wrong thing?

At the moment, I have a whingy little boy who is underplayed with and entertained on the mornings I am working from home, a harried and stressed Ima who cant get all her work done most days and ends up checking emails in the middle of the night, and now to cap it all off, a miserable baby who doesnt spend enough time with his childminder to get to know her properly!

Perhaps, trying to find a middle ground is not the answer after all. Where affordable, maybe worktime should be at work and babytime at home. Even if that means that I see my little boy less. After all, he doesnt really care. I’m sure somewhere deep down in that mini body of his he loves me very much. But it appears to me that as long as someone is watching him pull everything off the shelves, or clapping when he pulls himself up on the washing airer (sending my clean washing flying in all directions) he is as happy as can be. What makes him less happy, is when I’m tap tapping away while he looks longingly past the stair gate, or on a conference call (why cant you time your naps better baby?) while he finds and eats raisins in parts of the house I didnt actually know existed.

And if I dont get to see him as much as I do now, perhaps the time I do see him will be more quality time, where he doesnt have to share me with my laptop or my manuscripts.

Right, all thats left to do now is go water my money tree..