Tuesday, 11 December 2012

I thought it would get easier.... I was wrong

SO........here we all are trying to play chasy with the end of the year.

Trying madly to get to the finish line.

This year our second child graduates from Primary school & moves to a new High school next year.

I wrote about my first child starting High school and my feelings about that here.

I didn't have problems waving any of mine off to Primary school.

High school feels oh so different.

The emotions I have as I prepare them for high school and for the next biggest step in their lives- the onset of the teen years.

I wrote a post about late last year called 'The conflict of independence' about the teen years.  About the difficulty as a parent with the notion that what we all want as parents is to set our children free into the world.  To be able to give them the gift of independence is what we truly want- yet at the same time we don't really want to let go at all.

You can read that post here.

I thought I would be better at it this time.

I thought I may have reconciled some of those feelings.

I thought it would be a softer landing.

I thought it would get easier....I was wrong.

It isn't a sadness I feel.

I am happy.

Yet I am not smiling.

I'm crying.  A lot.

I feel so heart full that my heart has filled up and is overflowing out of my eyes.

I watched last week as my 12yo boy - a school leader- as he opened the Grade 6 school exhibition.

He was so capable and confident.

My eldest said to me after his speech- 'Wow he is a natural leader'.

I feel so thrilled to see bits of his adult persona.

He led his Uke orchestra that night too.  He set up the Uke orchestra at his school this year, teaching any kids who wanted to how to play the Ukelele- now with 50 members.  He hopes it will continue without him.  I am confident it will.
My eldest got a video of them playing (you can watch it at the end of the post)- I was too busy crying......

I think that what makes me feel overwhelmed is the feeling that before me is the young man who is fast becoming a young adult.

One I feel very very lucky to have in my life.

I am in awe of him.

GOURMET GIRLFRIEND'S Slow cooked all in the pot Lamb Roast with mixed Beans & POLENTA CHIPS:
I use soft Polenta a bit like people would use rice or pasta or mashed potato.  A yummy side dish to catch all the sauce of a yummy braise.
And I usually always make too much- a fear of mine is having people left hungry at the table!
This is the BEST way to use your leftover soft polenta.

  • 200g polenta
  • 50g butter
  • light olive oil for frying
  • 100g parmesan 
  • 2 litres chicken stock (substitute Veg if you wish)
  • 1 Lamb forequarter
  • 2 x cans four bean mix
  • 2 x cans of tomatoes
  • lots of fresh oregano
  • 1 head of garlic (unpeeled)
  • 1 spanish onion, sliced into wedges
  • 100g Puy lentils
  • 2 lemons
Bring the stock to the boil and slowly (This is important) pour the dried polenta into the pot all the while stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps.

The cooking instructions will vary depending on whether you are using instant polenta or not- follow the instruction on the packet for best results.

Once the polenta is cooked, add the butter and the cheese, stir through well.

Now pour your wet polenta into a large rectangular dish and spread evenly across the dish.
 Pop in the fridge overnight.

The next day cut the polenta into even size chips of your choice- i like them to fairly large- you can cut triangles, circles, whatever you like!

In a non stick pan heat up some light olive oil to a medium heat and pop a few of the polenta slices into the pan and fry gently till brown .

Turn and let each side brown.

Set aside on paper towel until you have cooked all your chips.

Serve with whatever dish you like!

I served mine with a whole Lamb Forequarter that I slow roasted at 150C for 6 hours (well covered) in a pan with  a variety of beans (cannellini beans, chick peas, kidney beans & white beans)  a couple of cans of good tomatoes, about 100g dried Puy lentils, spanish onion, a whole head of garlic, a few quarters of lemon & lots of fresh oregano. 

Just put everything into the roasting pan and cover well with foil.  Put it in the oven and take out half way to stir the goodies around but otherwise leave it alone! 

YAY so easy!

The crunchy Polenta chips were a perfect accompaniment for the soft melt in your mouth meat dish.

Here is my lad's Uke orchestra playing 'The Killers- All these things I have done'. He is on the very far right. 
Of course I cry every time I watch it........


  1. Parenthood is something that I would love to experience one day, but accept that I probably won't. But, if I were lucky enough to be in that position one day, I expect that my game plan would alternate between What Would My Parents Do? and What Would the Gourmet Lovelies Do? x

  2. Oh my STARS Ruthie! Maxie! Now, I'm all teary. I love all of this. So much. Those boys are the people they are because of their parents. Don't doubt that for a minute love. What amazing men they will all grow up to be. It's a privilege to watch from afar through your blog Ruth. Thank you for sharing.

    And that? Is my FAVOURITE Killers song. Ever.

  3. Beautiful post, GG! Your boys are so beautiful. Putting together a 50 piece uke orchestra...my goodness...an astounding natural leader!

    I agree...the letting go is tough. We just have one, so the letting go at each stage feels so final...But feel so blessed to have him in our lives. Decided from the very beginning that my biggest gift to him is "to let him grow". Doesn't mean it's easy to watch the process (especially when it seems a little faster than I hoped)...but it's the only way, really?

    And to Raynor...I don't know you or your circumstances, but just by that post, I know our world is missing out if your dreams of parenthood aren't fulfilled.

  4. THAT IS AMAZING. AMAZING. so beautiful xxx

  5. That is the best cover of that song...destined for greatness.

  6. I look to you for what will be in my future Ruth. I love the heart with which you love & live so fully. What a wonderful family you're raising to be wonderful men who will absolutely contribute wonderful things. I have always known I would rock the, "roots" part of the "roots & wings" but the wings could nigh on break my heart I'm sure. Go gently with you Mama Bear. Xxx ps. Love the recipe!

  7. blubbering in my green tea at work. I've said it before, and I know I will say it again. I love your parenting style. I've only just just worked out why, because you lead with your heart, you are real. What incredible strong traits young Maxi has, you did that!

  8. Beautiful, and tears here along with a desire for a slow cooked lamb roast. My darlings are in infants and preschool and no moving on this year and I am still so full of heightened emotions. Oh yay for a ukelele orchestra!

  9. For 2 days a week I am a high school teacher. Last week I found I am teaching Year 7s next year for the first time in a while and I am thrilled. There is nothing better than being around for their journey beyond childhood. The ups and downs, the thrills and spills. It is wonderous and I love it.

    It is pure, scary joy to watch. And it is easier because they are not my children. When mine reach this milestone I am sure I will be a wreck.

    I love love the uke orchestra, he is amazing, this boy of yours.

  10. Tears threaten to spill over as I read because my first is off to high school next year. I thought I was ready. I thought I had it together. Out of all the mums I've been the most confident, the most sure, the most ready to send my boy off on his next journey. But these last few weeks, as the time gets nearer to say good bye to primary school I feel myself second guessing myself. I feel like maybe I'm not ready for this. I feel like I don't want to let go of him because he sure as hell wants to let go of me. It's unexpected. I didn't think I'd feel like this. It's hard Ruth so thanks for sharing your experience xx

  11. Awww, that uke band is awesome!
    Its hard this mum (dad) gig isn't it, an emotional rollercoaster.
    We are very blessed :-)

  12. My baby just finished his 1st year at the Orphanage (daycare) and we got the 1st school report last week and Old Mr FF and I were both in tears reading how he'd come out of his shell and showed concern for others and loved learning... seriously I am a wreck a WRECK I tell you that he is about to leave the baby group and move into the toddler group. I long to freeze time. The days are long but the years fly. I wish it wasn't so. He'll be my only child, and I almost envy those who get t do it again and again with more than 1 child. I emotional at the best of times but as this year draws to a close I too am getting very teary about Time Marching On.


  13. Oops, maybe should have read and watched this later in the day. I'm off to our final assembly before the big move today, and I'm crying all ready!!! I'm so scared for her...(but maybe more scared for me). Been quietly in the background enjoying your recipes and admiring your gorgeous strong family, thanks for sharing. Alison

  14. RUTH! It such a crazy teary time right now! Lots of happy tears all round! Bless you and your beautiful boys! I think you are on the brink of bursting - with so much pride! Big Hugs, Danie xxx

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  17. My eldest is trembling with excitement at going to Kindergarten next year - I can imagine it is a few blinks and she'll be off the high school too. Have to be grateful for every minute.

  18. I'm preparing for similar right now. I look at my eldest, now 10, as she finishes her final year of primary school here in France. In six months it will be over and she'll be preparing for high school - barely turning eleven by the time she gets there. I've thought a lot about it lately and wish things were as they were when I went through school in Australia, that she'd pass just one more year before she heads into the world of grown up children. It all seems so grown up at such a young age. Wishing you a smooth transition when school heads back in a few weeks.


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