17 November 2011

The Seven Wonders of My World

For Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writers Workshop, Writing Prompt 1.) List your life's Seven Wonders. Describe the most amazing 7 things you've seen with your own two eyes.

I have never seen the Pyramids or the Taj Mahal.
I have no plans to visit Machu Pichu or the Great Wall of China any time soon, though I'm sure they are impressive.
I have actually walked around the Colosseum, in Rome.
But this post is not about that.
The Official Seven Wonders don't make it to my list, though the Colosseum was pretty amazing.
What are the seven wonders of my World?
In coming up with my list, I had to ask myself, What things have I seen that rocked my world and changed me forever?
What seven things did I see, only to never be the same again?
My seven Wonders are not so world-famous and may be Wonder-ful only to me.
But here they are...

I was five years old and had been reading for over a year already. Somebody gave me this book, my first book without pictures. I looked inside and found words. Words only. Words painting a wonderful magical story about the Folk of the Faraway Tree and some adventurous children. I was hooked. I couldn't put it down. Bedtime came, I tossed and turned and couldn't sleep. So I got up and quietly opened my dresser draw, took out some clothes, stuffed them under my door (so no light would show - wasn't I sneaky?) and read and read and read.

"I wonder if I can finish this book in one night?" I asked myself.
Turns out I could.
Forgetting that I was meant to be asleep hours ago I ran to the lounge to share my great achievement with my parents. Who were less than excited.
And so began my life as "Simone-with-her-nose-stuck-in-a-book". That was the first of many all-nighters. My  career as Mrs Readalot began with that first Enid Blyton Book.

I was sixteen and off to Canada all by myself to stay with my aunty and uncle for a year. Tearfully I hugged my parents goodbye and followed the unaccompanied-minor-helper through customs.
I wouldn't see my family for a year; more tears fell as I settled into my seat. What had I done? What was I thinking, a small-town girl from New Plymouth going halfway round the world by herself?
I was consumed in misery and homesickness... until the wheels left the ground.
Through my window the city grew smaller and smaller until it was in perfect miniature. Tiny cars driving down tiny roads past tiny houses... and then nothing but a sea of clouds.
Up, up we went... and I was hooked.
Its a life of travelling for me, I decided.

"I wonder where else I could go?"
The travel bug bit me hard and I made it my goal to fill my passport with stamps. Its something I'm still working on.
My love of travel has never diminished and neither has the thrill of takeoff.

  • My Travel Stories found here {scroll down, keep scrolling - they're there}

I am not recommending you watch this movie. Truly. Don't watch it.
I saw it when I was twenty-four, a working-class white girl just starting out a new career in youth work.
This movie shocked me and rocked my world to its very foundations.
It was hideous. Awful. Terrible. And set in my town.
I could not stop the tears from falling. Hours after the credits had rolled I was still sobbing, home on my couch, unable to shake the sense that there were children tonight living through this movie.
It was not Hollywood, it was real.
And I could not ignore it.

"I wonder if you could use me, God, to help kids like that?" I prayed.
Seeing this movie set in motion a chain of events that changed my life, and the lives of many others.

  • The Story of what I did about it Here

This guy wandered across my path when I was twenty-six.
From the minute I clocked him, I thought he was cute.
"I wonder how old he is?" was my first thought. Ahhh, only twenty-two. Never mind.
A few years later, it turned out that age was not so important.
The questions continued...

"I wonder if he'd ever like me?"
"I wonder if he'll ask me out?"
"I wonder if he's a good kisser?"
"I wonder if he'll ask me to marry him?"
"I wonder where we'll live?"
"I wonder what our kids will be like?"
"I wonder where our next adventure will take us?"
"I wonder what he'll get me for my birthday on Saturday?"

He still keeps me wondering...
...and it fills me with wonder that I, Simone-with-her-nose-stuck-in-a-book, married him, Rory-the-hot-hunky-Geordie {a very good kisser}.
  • The Story of our romance Here

I hadn't even laid eyes on him when this boy changed my world. In the panic of the emergency caesarian, my glasses got left behind. All I could see was a blur held at the end of the bed, "It's a boy!" the doctor said, and they whisked him off to do those Apgar tests.
Strapped to the operating table I couldn't wipe away the tears that would not stop falling.
"He's in the world!" I whispered, wonderingly.

Later, we gazed down at our bundle and wondered what he would be as he grew up.
Nothing about the world looked the same once he was born.
Its a wonder, alright.

  • The Story of this baby here

I pushed this girl out myself.
I had wondered if I could ever do it, if my body knew what to do, to give birth to a baby.
The first time things had gone so wrong.
But I did it. A VBAC. My second baby but somehow also My First.
"I can't believe it!" were my words as I looked down at her lying on me.
A head full of black hair, shining eyes wide open, drinking in the world, blinking in the light.
I felt like superwoman. This child came from me, birthed by me. I finally did it and survived.
Birthing her gave me confidence that I could do anything.
  • The Story of her birth Here

I sometimes wonder where we'd be if we hadn't decided to "go for number three".
Everything seemed to be against it.
Dash was praying for a baby brother and had been for nearly two years.
When we finally made the leap, Daddy wanted to keep the gender "a surprise".
Nine long months of wondering.
When they pulled him out and said, "Its a boy" again, I burst into tears.
Tears often accompany seeing Wonders.
This baby is my full-stop.
We now have the complete set.
This baby changed us all by completing our family.
Just a few hours old he looked into my eyes and I felt that connection, like he knew me.
A wonderful miracle.
  • The Story of how we nearly didn't have number three Here

Some things are full of so much Wonder they will fill our lives for years to come. The buzz of finding what makes your heart sing. The joy of realising you can make a difference. The thrill of connection when you lay eyes on The One For You. The first moment laying eyes on your new baby - whether your first or your last - more amazing than any Taj Mahal or Colosseum.

These are the Wonders of my life.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Sophie said...

Great wonders Simoney :) Love them.

Leonie said...

awesome wonders Simone. You are blessed.

Meghan Maloney Photography said...

Awww! Love it, so precious xx

Cat said...

blessed indeed!!!!


Unknown said...

Love this!

Unknown said...

I love that your wonders are not typical wonders. I too went a bit of a different route. Love the pictures too! You did a wonderful job with the prompt, thank you for sharing!! Beautiful!

KatBouska said...

Wow...you just took us on a journey! I love how your wonders are ordered chronologically. Starting and ending with a little girl. :) Love!

KatBouska said...

Okay so SUE me...beginning and ending with a small CHILD. hahaha...little girl? I'm on drugs.

PaisleyJade said...

Seriously amazing post Simone!! Beautiful.

Jessica said...

Oh I adore the way you did this. Your children are freaking beautiful.

Jen said...

LOVED reading this
impressed that you could read that well by 5 yrs of age
I believe I have the same book somewhere :)

so you dont mind turbulence??????????

bless you so much for having a heart for abused chn

Jess said...

Great post Simone. Beautiful pieces of your life.

Catching the Magic said...

Brilliant post. I considered doing that prompt too, but ended up writing a love letter to my coffee machine! But I did think the '7 wonders' were definitely more personal experiences - like you - the birth of my children, rather than exotic locations and sights. Definitely experiences that have made a change are the most wonderous.

Sarah x

Steph said...

Love your list! Those babies sure are wonders, aren't they?

Adrienne said...

This is beautifully done - so well written and expressed! Love the integration of the 'polaroids' - and the choice to share those wonders that truly changed you! Love it!

Unknown said...

Great post! I love it!!!

Galit Breen said...

Such a lovely work of heart. I adore how much you shared here!

And your first book? Swoon!

Jackie said...

Loved this post!!

Morgan said...

Little goosebumps ... thanks for a beautiful peek into your wonderful world!

Visiting from Mama Kat's :)

Anonymous said...

I love your list and I especially love the pictures accompanying each Wonder. Now you've got me wondering which book was "the First" for me and which movie has made such a profound effect on me... perhaps I haven't seen the "one" yet. Stopping by from Mama Kat's

Ann Kroeker said...

Lovely reflection on what really matters. Thanks for sharing your wonders, your stories, your people, your gifts.

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