Posted in All about Mamma bear

My dream body

As I get older, I obviously notice the parts of me that are no longer as youthful as they once were.

7 children, illness and age have taken their toll on my once agile body and lately I’ve changed my opinions about a little plastic surgery.

Although I’m increadibly squeamish of needles and hospitals, and I’m also infact not really a big fan of surgery, I could see the benefit to having a flaw fixed to restore your self esteem and help you feel better about yourself when you look in the mirror.

I think, especially as women, we are often so critical of every aspect of our physical selves that more often than not we are our own worst enemies and what can happen when a women takes the decision to have plastic surgery is that by taking her shame away she opens herself up to loving herself more.

My flaws

Now unlike most women who welcome plastic surgery and other body transformation options, I doubt I would ever have anything surgically done on my face and I’m on the fence when it comes to botox.

Those lips look amazing but I don’t know that I would like anyone injecting me in my lips or forehead. The thought of the needle and pain makes me suddenly squirmish.

But having said this there are many times when plastic surgery to the face would be important to restoring the confidence and self esteem of a person.

In the event of injury to the face or for someone who may have a concious worry over the shape of a nose or wrinkles and other facial flaws.

In this regard I would think finding a trusted and well reputed plastic surgen would be your best option to ensure that the surgery is a success.

But, I would consider a tummy tuck to remove the excess baby weight that seems to have fused with a midlife spread.

Oh the dream of a once flat stomach without 4 years of yo-yo dieting and constantly trying to fit in exercise along with mom life and work sounds like a dream come true.

And whilst I’m dreaming up my body transformation, let’s talk breasts.

I’m happy with my breast size so I wouldn’t consider an implant but a lift wouldnt harm.

My perky 20 year old breasts would love my more mature 40 year old body ( provided I actually have the tummy tuck that is)

Yes, I think these two procedures are definitely options I would consider right now in my life.

Although my dream body transformation sounds increadibly easy and lighthearted in this post, and I’m not sure I would honestly ever get the courage to have them done.

My opinions on plastic surgery have shifted. I no longer see plastic surgery as a shallow option for women to look good, there are actually many benefits to plastic surgery to those who chose these procedures.

Often it is not an easy choice to make and those who do choose to have plastic surgery still need to spend time in recovery, which can often be painful.

I think for me the biggest benefit I could see in someone using plastic surgery to correct their flaws would be the development of self esteem and confidence.

Some surgery, like rhinoplasty or breast reduction can assist in improving your physical health.

Whilst other surgery, especially to women who are plagued by bad body image, can assist in developing a positive attitude and enhance mental health as they now view themselves as perfect.

So, whilst I bite into my chocolate and dream of thinner thighs and half heartedly Google if my medical aid want to pay for my tummy tuck , I know should I ever decide to actually do this that there is no shame in improving your physical appearance to look and feel good about yourself.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Life with my bears

Moving journal….Part 2 : we move

I was super excited at the thought of all the new space, moving after so many years and the adventures that come with discovering a new town.

I couldn’t wait to start packing.

For the next few weeks, I sorted, cleaned and packed daily.

Mercilessly nothing was spared as I savagely threw away, gifted or donated the accumulation of 5 years worth of living in one home.

Hamish donated many of his bigger toys that he had outgrown to our local charity and I gave away furniture we knew we wouldn’t need in our new house.

Soon the entire house was packed and sorted and we were living out of suitcases, counting down the days …to moving day!

Giving notice

Because of our lease, we gave a full months notice and set to work repairing any damages, painting chipped paint, ect before moving.

We knew we would move on the 27th which was a Saturday and started rallying the kids for help.

Let the games begin

The Friday night, our last in the house, my eldest son popped by and we had fetched Kerri who then decided to sleep at her brother ( 5 minutes away from our flat) promising to be back by 7am the next morning.

The two boys who were moving with us had hardly packed up their room and were also not home that evening. I was starting to stress that we wouldn’t all be on schedule to start moving at 6am the next morning.

Chaos reigns

The next morning Brent and I woke at 5am and started taking down our bedroom curtains, moving the last few things in our room downstairs to get ready to pack.

I discovered the milk finished and with no coffee and me frantically trying to get hold of the kids to help us, with no luck.

Things got panicky.

At one point I remember telling Brent if we were on The Amazing race, I was picking another side. My mom nerves were frazzled.

It’s also a good thing most marriages are stronger than the vocal power of annoyed spouses.

Why rush?

We had to move everything downstairs and into the garage before the carpet cleaners arrived at 8am.

With the kids who needed to move their still half packed room MIA , I considered throwing their stuff away.

Eventually at 7.45am all kids returned home.

By then, both Brent and I were working on complete separate teams, each with our own agenda and the kids had their own plan on how this move was going to go.

With total chaos, rain plastering down, no one working together and the carpet guy continuing to trip the electricity, my older kids still missing in action,I finally agreed to let two of the kid’s friends help us.

Move it! Move it!

Somewhere after 8am the landlord and his painters also arrived and he finally understood that he wasn’t going to get much done before we actually moved out the flat and until the Monday when the carpets were dry.

By now I was ready to abandon ship and move with no belongings.

At 10am, with us finally getting everything into the garage and ready to load, the truck arrived.

Loading up

We managed to use an open truck from Brent’s work, which sounded so awesome at the time of our romantic dream move plans but was looking like a really stupid idea as the rain kept pouring down on is.

Thankfully as we loaded up it stopped raining for a bit.

The young adults were awesome and loaded our entire home in minutes.

By 10.30 we were loaded and on the road to our new home.

Part 3 …A journey over the mountain

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Blog posts

Thinking of buying your house…we are!

We have recently moved to the most gorgeous house in the small town of Kommetjie in the Western Cape.

The house is a huge upgrade from the tiny apartment we were renting and I have fallen in love with our new house.

With it’s huge yard and big spacious bedrooms, we fit very well into this home.

The next step in our relationship,obviously after 3 years of marriage and nearly 6 years together,we are now looking at buying a home.

In fact we are talking very seriously about buying this home.

Rental vs home owning

We have been renting for 5 years. We rented for many reasons and honestly were not too keen on buying a home.

Personally I now think it was because neither of us were ever really settled in Tableview and did not anticipate the changes in our relationship that would go from us both being single to married with a little red haired boy.

But there are many benefits to renting a home:

  • Lower costs on rental
  • No extras each month like taxes
  • Home improvements or repairs are the owners responsibility
  • A shorter commitment is required enabling you to move provinces or countries faster.

As there are also many benefits to owning a home:

  • You have more privacy in your own home
  • You are more stable
  • Buying property is a good investment
  • You can build strong community ties
  • You can build onto the home to accommodate your family size or style

Why buy?

For us buying does seem like the right choice right now.

We are in the perfect area for Hamish to fall into the school of choice for his foundation years. We both love the town and lifestyle.

The home itself is one we both love and one that we could build onto to accommodate any future needs.

We are also not young parents, so the stability and investment of property right now would be a benefit to us both.


Naturally we would need to apply for a bank loan and bond to buy the house.

And so,we have been looking into how to apply for loans, the types of loans available and which is the best financial institution to approach with regards to home loans.

These companies are very willing to assist you with the requirements needed and information as to how to go about applying for a loan to purchase a house.

Many of the loan companies like Associate home loan also offer easy to use online applications making it easier for you to get the necessary information by filling in forms on their website.

You will be required to fill in an affordability form to first determine if your income and current expenses allow you to purchase a home and then to determine how much you can afford to pay back in each monthly payment, according to your salary.

It is also important to ask your financial adviser or loan company about the type of interest you could expect annually when purchasing your home, as these are sometimes forgotten topics in the goal to purchase your dream home.


So, here we are finally about to commit to the long term payments of a home that we will call our own.

Obviously there are many things to consider, some of which are if our negotiating offer is accepted by the current owner and if the finance is approved by the relevant banking institutions.

We are careful to check our affordability, so that we do not find unexpected financial demands and work in the costs of transfer, any legal documents needed and any alterations we may want to do.

We have currently invested in security for the property and I’ve mapped out what I hope is our long term vegetable garden.

9 weeks ago we decided to move from Tableview to Kommetjie.

8 weeks ago we signed our lease and gave notice on our flat.

3 weeks ago we moved to our house in Kommetjie and yesterday we made the concious decision to buy.

Some houses are just meant to be home.

Posted in All about Mamma bear

Fidem …. a gift of Faith

For mother’s day I won my dream prize from Moms notes magazine.

A custom necklace from violet and Rose jewellers

I have always wanted a disc with my initial and birthstone, so this was a dream come true and I was elated that I had won.


I’ve never waited for a prize with so much longing and then Covid-19 happened and we were forced into lockdown. This meant I would need to wait until couriers were open again before recieving my prize.

The entire time, Victoria & Rose were amazing. Keeping me updated on the progress of my necklace as I drooled over the stunning pieces on their facebook feed.


Last week as we waited for an engraver to open I asked if they could change the text …asking them to inscribe the word Fidem.

Why Fidem ?

People often question the Latin inscription of the purple tattoo blazed up on my left wrist.

A single word -FIDEM, tattooed in old style Gaelic purple ink.

The word itself means Faith, but to me so much more than just a word.

Years ago, I sat battered, broken, alone and defeated nursing a dislocated, fractured hip, squashed vertebrae in my back,a broken heart and 6 children to love and care for.

I cried for hours, screaming and swearing at God. What as he doing?What had I done to deserve this punishment? I loved my husband. He wasn’t perfect, but none of us are. I tried hard to rationalize and comprehend the events that had lead to him becoming the monster I’d faced.

It was in these moments, alone and petrified on an isolated farm that I came across the word -Fidem.

I had prayed for an answer and this was the word God gave me.

I didn’t understand. It made no sense. I needed a concrete plan. One that involved knowing how I’d care for my children as a single, unemployed mom who couldn’t walk for the next month or so.

The events that followed included me giving my husband a second chance , and 3 years later looking back at all the doors God opened through my faith to allow me to leave him.

By then I knew God had a better plan for my future, and whilst I don’t always understand where he leads I am always reminded that (jer:9.11)’ He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper not to perish.’

So, its with blind faith that I follow His lead and whilst you may not always find me sitting in the front pew of church or baking cakes for ladies teas my faith in God never falters.

I chose to inscribe the word in old style Gaelic as I believe those with blind unquestionable faith are a beautiful,selective few, just as the old manuscripts handwritten in calligraphy styles of print are.

Words have been my solace through many of my lifes hardest trials and I wear my scarred memories with pride.

The purple represents my God. His presence in my life and His grace. Purple is also the colour of the bruises left both physically and emotionally. A reminder that through my faith I can over come anything.

I wear my word of courage and belief on my left arm, because when I feel defeated and alone I am always reminded that my faith is what I have left.

Faith that this too shall pass.

Faith that tomorrow the sun will shine and the day will begin again.

Faith that I am capable, that I will overcome and that my God has a plan that will lead me through and guide me to my purpose and His desired plan for my life.

Fidem has become my word for each year, my reminder that ” this to shall pass”, acknowledgement of the trials my God has brought me through and a testimony to the faith I have in myself to reach my dreams.

At my vision board workshop with The creative space with sonja I wrote the word fidem, to represent a faith in myself to achieve my dreams.

My prize is delivered

And so on Monday, the first day of our new journey in our new home, as I unpacked the work needed to launch my new business later this month and as I was feeling slightly overwealmed with the new house, cleaning it and the 7 gazillion things I need to do to catch up taking a week off from my blogs and Blogboss …my message arrived at my door ….


In conclusion

To Moms notes magazine and Violet & Rose thank you for the most amazing prize.

Posted in All about Mamma bear

The greatest fright of my life ….

When I was a teenager we moved to a house that was much further away from the local high school.

Walking to and from school each day meant navigating many hills and crossing a bridge that led over a freeway before finally getting to the main road of our little town in Queensburgh, Kwa-Zulu Natal and then continuing with a further 15 minute walk to the local girls high school.

In total the walk would take us about 45 minutes to an hour to get to school.

If we were running late, the distance certainly did not work in our favour.

A short cut

One day I was asked by a friend why we never used the short cut.

I naturally wanted to know where this magical short cut was and he showed me how to take a path past the church, cross the railway line and then watching the cars carefully we crossed a 6 lane freeway.

Thinking of it now, this was most likely the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but back then it cut up to 30 minutes off our walk to and from school, so I naturally showed my younger sister and step brother the short cut.

I remember one day, my father discovered us using the freeway as a faster way home and told us we were forbidden to do so.

I’m late

Being teenagers we naturally did not listen to him and crossing the freeway every morning and afternoon became our normal way to get to school and home again.

As teenagers we were invincible, nothing was going to happen to us. We knew how to judge the cars speed and just the right place to cross.

During the exams that year, my sister, step brother and I were incredibly late for reasons I do not remember. We each attended a different school but needed to get across the freeway.

We dressed and rushed out. At the freeway we were distracted by the fear of being late. We were in a rush. We just needed to get across. We saw our chance and ran ….




The sound of a car’s breaks stopped us on the middle island and I turned to see a white car slow down and then accelerate faster.

My step brother was standing dead still, a look of horror across his face.

My sister lay face down about 3 meters away from us.

A blur

The next moments remain a blur. I remember getting to her and shouting to my step brother to go get my dad, watching with fear as he crossed over the freeway again.

My sister was in pain but the car had only brushed her. It had also sped off without stopping to see if anyone was ok.

What followed was my father arriving in a panic and my sister and I climbing into an ambulance headed to Addington hospital , for her to be treated while our family following in the car.

Hit and run

Ours is a lucky story.

My sister was sore, frightened and thankfully only needed a few stitches for the cut on her thigh where the car had made impact.

We, as teens had learnt just how dangerous our actions had been and were frightened enough not to cross the freeway again.

The car however drove off and my father, because of this never claimed a third party claim. Not being on medical aid, we were lucky that our local government hospital was so well equipped to attend to emergencies.

But what do you do in an instance like this, especially if you do not have medical aid and the car has just driven off?

It’s important to always educate yourself on your rights and the best person to advise you would be a car accident attorney.

With the help of a car accident attorney, my father could have pressed to get my sister the compensation she needed for physiotherapy to completely heal her leg after the accident.

Because, even though we were young, silly teens no one has the right to just drive off after hitting someone with a car.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears, Parenting

If you see a mom playing with her child capture the moment for her

Today I popped over to a friend and we decided to take the boys for a bike ride.

Eskom was treating us to a few hours load shedding and my phone was at home, uncharged, which it normally never is.

We still remarked at how neither of us could record the moment as we didn’t have our phones.

At some point Hamish wanted a different bike so she ran back, while I watched the boys and ,not only grabbed the bike but her phone as well.

Boys on bikes
A fun ride … photo by @parentingbarely

It was a fun 30 minutes and we spent more time running after the two boys than we did walking down the path. ( Someone remind me just how fast threenagers can ride those little push bikes)

The boys were excited and we were truly just in the moment as the zipped and zoomed down the path.

She managed to grab a few pictures and I thought I’d pop her a message after Hamish had a nap and grab a picture keepsake of his playdate with his bestie.

What I got was this image ….

Boys and mom
Running with the boys … photo by @parentingbarely

I stopped and looked at it again and again.

Not because I was, as I normally am, highly critical of my extra weight or flabby arms. Not because I had no make up on or that my bra was at home. Not because I am running in pumps or sporting a super sporty mom bun.


I stopped and stared because I don’t remember the last time someone caught such a candid photo of my very real and exhausting, totally fun and exciting mom life.

So, regardless of the fact that I am positive you can see the grey in my hair and my butt gives Kim Kardashian some competition ( in size not curves lol) ….

I think it’s my favourite photo this year.


So often as moms we capture everyone else. We are the memory makers and keepers. We go out of our way to preserve a moment, capture a sliver of time or take a photo because we know someone will want to look back at it someday.

But when it comes to photos of ourselves, we are not as generous with our thoughtfulness.

Our own photos are mostly selfies or posed portraits after we have bribed the teenager, removed the toddler from strangling the cat and threatened our husbands to ” Just smile damnit!”

My photos

I spend much time with Hamish but very few moments where I’m in the photo. Even fewer of the moments where I am playing with him, reading to him or baking mud pies.

We have no images of the countless books we read, or the bedtime snuggles. I have no photos of the towers we build or the flowers we have grown.

These are the moments I treasure. The moments he will one day look back on. These will be the unphotographed moments.

These are the moments, as moms we will miss and long for. These are the moments that as we, one day, glance through those albums of our child engaged with everyone …but us, we will wish someone had thought to take for us.

Give a mom a priceless moment

So, when someone catches a glimpse into my real mom moments ….that to me is priceless.

If you see a mom playing with her child, capture that moment for her . Help her see just how beautiful she is as she meets her child in play.

Posted in All about Mamma bear

10 of my favourite quotes

I’ve always collected beautiful quotes to share on Social media, whatsapp groups for friends and with my family.

And as long as I can remember I’ve had a blackboard or notice board at home and at work to share a new positive quote for the day.

Even now, I still share positive, thought provoking quotes every morning on my Instagram feed.

Here is a list of my favourite quotes











What are your favourite quotes? I’d love you to share some with me below.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Blog posts, Life with my bears

19 of my favourite photos from 2019

2019 was an amazing year full of so many highlights and choosing just 19 of my top favourites was incredibly hard.

So in order of Awesomeness here are my top 19 memories of 2019

1. My eldest daughter got married

After us almost giving up on this wedding ever happening, my eldest daughter got married and I couldn’t have been prouder. She looked like a true princess.

2. I got a photo of all my kids


As a large family of now mostly adult kids with their own lives, families and agendas just getting them all into the same space at any one time is a small miracle, so a photo of them all together … that is priceless.

3. I appeared on TV representing Fun mamma sa

This has been my proudest moment for my blog but oh em gee …my nerves were shot. I’ve never been so self concious in my life. Would I do it again …in a heart beat.

4. Hamish appeared on TV

Hamish was invited to be part of the audience for the new play sense DVD Dinosaur stomp with Laura and Meg Faure. He had a wonderful time, dancing on stage.

5. Hamish appears on TV again to meet peppa pig

And a few weeks later we were again invited to be part of the audience for Peppa pig’s appearance on the Expresso show. I love that we were encouraged to invite a group of little friends with so that Hamish could experience and share this moment with his friends. I’m still in awe at how child friendly the Expresso set and crew are.

6. My girls do their first radio interview

I was so proud of my daughters as they calmly sat through their first radio interview with one FM. My eldest daughter is a girl guide Brownie leader and my youngest daughter is a ranger with the guides. They represented their groups online and encouraged others to purchase cookies at the annual girl guide cookie sale.

7. Family photo shoot

We had the most wonderful family photo shoot on signal hill with Lisa Marie from Mariede designs. Lisa remains my favorite photographer.

8. A fun photoshoot

Hamish had the bestest paint fun photoshoot for the blog from Snapit photography. These images remain some of my favourite photos of him and it’s going to be hard to replace them this year.

9. Hamish got his first car

Working with SA scooter shop has had to have been the highlight of the year for my entire family. With 5 sons and a husband it’s hard to know who has enjoyed this car more. February was all about cruising.

10. Beach clean up

We joined several beach clean ups this year as I believe conservation habits start with a good example and whilst our children are young. The most memorial one was at Woodbridge island with the girl guides and coastal ghost.

11. Hoot for penguins

The aquarium is both mine and Hamish’s happy space and we’ve spent many days there this year. Not only did we take part in the inature scavenger hunt but we also took Hamish to celebrate the Two oceans aquarium birthday by joining a waddle for penguins and encourge motorists to hoot for penguins, this highlighting the danger our feathered friends face.

12. We went zip lining

Here my dare devil proved just how brave he was as he enjoyed the zip lines.

13. Mommy and me dates

I’m so lucky to spend time with Hamish daily. Once a week we go on special mommy and me outings . We become tourists in our city and find new places to expore and things to do.

14. Hamish turned 3

And with that he became a little boy overnight. We have potty trained fully and swopped his foam building blocks for STEM Lego kits.

15. We spent some time in the hospital

Hamish’s hospital visit was the most scared I’ve ever been. Holding a child who says he can’t breathe ….I still don’t have the words to express the fear and helplessness I felt. But we had an amazing team at Milnerton medi clinic and discovered Hamish has a dust mite allergy. 3 days of hospital was enough for both of us and we now monitor his allergy to avoid any further hospital visits.

16. Time away

We booked our anniversary away and enjoyed some time out of the city. Hamish went on his first game drive.

17. The beach

The beach is such a large part of our lives and we have hundreds if not thousands of photos of various moments on the beach. So I’ve included just one here.

18. I went cooking at Lint

My daughter bought me a cooking voucher from lint and together we went to make macroons. This was the most delicious fun.

19. There were dinosaurs everywhere

This year saw Hamish’s love of dinosaurs grow as he learnt more names and facts. As we read more books, watched more documentaries and visited more fossils. So many moments include a dinosaur I have to add one of my favourite photos of Hamish and his dinosaur as my last photo choice.

What were some of your 2019 highlights? I’d love you to share them with us In the comment below.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Blog posts

New year , New blog challenges – Ultimate Blog Challenge

2019 held so many highlights for Fun mamma SA and our sister Facebook page Mamma & Bear.From appearing on the Expresso show, attending fabulous events and representing amazing brands that we have come to love and trust.With a blog readership growth of 110% and tripling the social media platforms growth, I took a break before Christmas to rest and plan the wonderful content I hope to share with you throughout 2020.For me though a break often means I need to get back into the habit of writing daily content.As they say, a habit takes 21 days to form, and I find if I don’t write daily , I often lose the flow of my writing.So, even though it was only a two week break, I decided to join the Ultimate Blog challenge.If you are a blogger and never done a 30 day challenge, allow me to explain. Every day of the month an email is sent to my inbox with some blogging ideas or tips to assist me to build my craft and blog.Every day, using the blogging ideas I write a post on my own blog which I am then able to share with you the reader, my own blogging and reader networks, social media platforms and most importantly a blogging community of like minded bloggers all participating in the same challenge.We then get the opportunity to read the other blogs and offer comments.For me this is the perfect discipline to start my New year, keep me writing daily, learn from other bloggers and enhance my skills.So, in addition to my normal blogging this month you can expect an extra post as I follow this blog challenge.I hope you’ll follow along.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Mamma bears

The playdough dress

As a mom at home I’m used to having little hands and noses wiped on me ALL day!

So often I’ll find a bit of paint or smudge of peanut butter sandwich on one or other part of my clothing.

It’s a mom thing right ?

So, yesterday morning I’m rushing to get out the door to attend an event by 8am.

As usual I always leave the house and Hamish ready for the day before I go anywhere. It’s a habit.

Getting ready

I neatened the house. Made everyone morning coffees and teas. Prepared Hamish a breakfast and a snack box and opened his playdough for him to play with while I ran upstairs and got dressed.

Slipping into my long mustard dress I felt good. Often too few adult outings in a week, leave me feeling like old mother Hubbard but here I stood flashing my inner diva.

Checked the hair, added a dash of colour to my lips and I was ready to go.

Time to play

I went downstairs and waited for Brent to come down.

Hamish was building red playdough characters and I stooped down to help him add some ears and legs to his oddly shaped giraffe.

Here’s where I made my first mistake. I gave him the playdough from a brand that’s a little too sticky and tends to leave itself EVERYWHERE!

Off I go

At last Brent was ready and I kissed Hamish who by now had hugged me a hundred times, before leaving him to play with his older sister.

And I was off to enjoy a breakfast event at the gorgeous Durbanville Hills wine estate.

My confidence was high. I felt good and I think I looked good. Ready to spend some adult time away from playdough and Lego and toy cars.

Diva in a mustard dress

I walked my way around the room, introducing myself and prided myself with my dress choice …

and then I looked down!

I wanted to die!

Could the floor just swallow me up already!

There on my beautiful Mustard hued dress were the teeniest tiniest fingerprints of smudged red playdough.

I was horrified.

How many people had seen my newly patterned dress. Could I just sit and hide throughout the rest of the event.

How had I missed it?

Self concious

And so there I sat in my self conscious thoughts when the one speaker spoke about breaking the “supermom” concepts.

And I listened to her words and realised there I was worrying about how I would be judged by others but forgetting what those little red stains meant.

You see, my imperfect dress reflected me so much more authentically than any words I uttered that morning.

They represented the part of me that holds my heart …I am a mom!

Red stains

That means that regardless of what the world demands of me there are little hands that need me more. Those stains reflect my heart, they show that little arms hugged me before I left and show that I wasn’t too busy to stop and play.

A mark of love

Somewhere, in the silence of my thoughts, my mind became aware that each mark was a stain of love.

Somewhere I stopped worrying about the judgement of the women around me. I stopped obsessing about the marks that were so small I’m sure very few people noticed and somewhere a calm peace fell over me as I acknowledged that each little fingerprint stain in their perfect imperfection show the world that a little boy happily wiped his hands all over his mothers dress not to clean his hands but because he loved her so much he wanted to stop his play to give her a hug.