Mother was my life’s first dichotomy. I’m spoilt for choice… And boy was I spoilt. I landed on Australian dirt to an unwed teenage Catholic mum who clung to me against the “give it to us and we’ll find it a home” odds. “There are people who deserve children, you know!” And my mum could only stake this claim against this conservative bigotry by accepting a familial job-share with her own mother… my dear nan. I was enveloped in love by people that I now see were in a kind of joyous pain. I’m guessing I was a pain. They were kind enough to call me their pride and joy. A broken home? An abusive, and soon to be absent father? Well… yes, in retrospect. But I’m not aware of feeling any of this. I recall arms and kisses, wrestles and firecrackers. Weetbix with honey. There were songs and dancing, and laughter. I remember playing the dozy kid to stake my own claim on either mum’s lap at late night card nights. Hazy smoky KB card nights on blanketed table with snacks and sweet drink. And two laps waiting.
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