Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Thoughts on parenthood


I love this paper! I bought it the other day in Exeter from Paperchase. On the outside this paper makes a very sophisticated book. The flowers are Agapanthus – I have some white ones in my garden and they are very tall, stately plants. The black and cream colour scheme adds to the elegance of the cover. Inside is a different story. I couldn’t resist putting these two together. The inside paper is a black and cream design of skulls and crossbones. Maybe it’s the sort of book a pirate would give his mother for Mothers’ Day :-)

Mothers’ Day today, I went searching for suitable quotes for the occasion and the one which really struck home was this one

Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever, to have your heart go walking around outside of your body” – Elizabeth Stone

I did a piece of calligraphy based around a quotation about children some years ago. I have no idea who wrote this but it struck a chord with me. I ended up doing 3 copies of this as a friend saw it and wanted a copy and then a friend of hers wanted a copy. It’s quite large (about 22″ x 30″) so it took me ages to do them all and I must confess I was heartily sick of it by the time I had done them all, but looking back at it, it still sums up all that’s wonderful about being a parent – not just a mum! If you click on the image you should get a larger version of it. If you still can’t read it I have written it out at the bottom of this post.


I think the reason that I liked the Mothers’ Day video yesterday so much was that it featured two brothers and I realised (or rather some of you picked up on the fact) that I have two boys and that was why it resonated with me so much. Well, just to reinforce this here’s another video by the same pair. They are very funny indeed

They have their own channel on You Tube, BaratsAndBereta and there is loads more of their stuff there.

Children are like kites…you spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground. You run with them until you are breathless, they crash, you add a longer tail, they hit the ground, you pick them up, you patch, comfort and adjust then watch as they are lifted by the wind and reassure them that one day they will fly. Finally, they are airborne but need more string, you keep letting it out and with each twist of the twine there is sadness and joy because as the kite becomes more distant, you know it won’t be long before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that bound you together and soar as it was meant to be…free and alone.

26 responses to “Thoughts on parenthood

  1. AmyH March 2, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    What a beautiful pice of calligraphy! Can I have one? ;)

    Happy Mother’s Day to you! It’ not Mother’s Day in the US for a few more months. I hope you have a wonderful day.

  2. AmyH March 2, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Oh, and I forgot to say how much I love the two papers together. So fun!

  3. Vanessa (the old friend)! March 2, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Diane. I loved the video and the quote by Elizabeth Stone. It is resonant of so much that you feel as a parent. One I love is by Hodding Carter:

    “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings”

    which kind of ties in with the piece of calligraphy. Gave me goose bumps! James took me for lunch today to a very good Italian in Windsor. First Mothers Day without Eddie, and as he was 19 yesterday the first birthday when I have not seen him. So that little kite is soaring….

    I will keep visiting your blog, and hope to see you! I am away from 3 April – 13 April, but otherwise you are always welcome. We can catch up properly…..

  4. Creechman March 2, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    I can’t show your YouTube clips to my dog anymore. He’s already head rooster around here.

  5. Diane March 2, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    AmyH – I’m glad you like the calligraphy and the book. Not done any calligraphy for ages…it’s the reason I started making books – to fill with calligraphy but I got sidetracked…… :-)

    Hi Vanessa – another one with two sons! I expect you like the videos today and yesterday for the same reasons I did! I really like your quotation. Might use it one day…
    I am definitely going to come and see you soon. It’ll be great to catch up and to see our old haunts :-)

    Mark – Shame! I don’t know who I feel more sorry for – you or the dog :-)

  6. Jeremy Neal March 3, 2008 at 4:38 am

    I really like the children are like kits piece. Very inspirational!

  7. Diane March 3, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    It’s a nice thought isn’t it? I will admit to getting a bit choked up the first time I read it…. :-)

  8. cotojo March 3, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Hello Diane,
    Love the ‘Children are like kites’, very true too my dear friend :)
    looking at the book I would say that it would go down well with many teenagers as black is back LOL
    I’m playing catch up again LOL
    You’ve been TAGGED…it’s an easy one though :)
    Have a wonderful week ahead :)
    Colin from Life
    As always it is your choice to participate or not :)

  9. strugglingwriter March 3, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Inspired post today. Very excellent.That’s a great calligraphy too.

    “Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever, to have your heart go walking around outside of your body” – Elizabeth Stone – this is a great quote but I would add that you don’t realize the decision is a momentous one until after the little one is in the world for a few months. Then you realize your life will never be the same!

    I know I say this often, but this book is my FAVORITE. I love the little skulls on the inside. Beautiful!

  10. Lunes March 3, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Oh Diane – I just love your Children & Kite calligraphy……it’s so beautiful and just about sums up the whole mother – children relationship. I have a lump in my throat! Big sob……xxx

  11. perpetualplum March 3, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I like that book! From a distance it looks like a pretty little pattern on the inside, but you look closer and…”Oh No! pirates have stolen all the my words!” It’s kind of how I feel sometimes when I sit down to write or draw.

    I hope you had a wonderful day. That is a lovely quotation

  12. Durano Lawayan March 3, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Diane,

    I believe you got a little sentimental on Mother’s Day, and you missed those days of coddling, playing, roughing up and even scolding those two little boys of yours.

    They’re grown men now and you should be at the receiving end of the coddling, playing, and hugging from those 2 big men of yours.

    A caring and ever thoughtful mother will never be deprived of such pleasures, together with the frequent opportunity to express the caring and thoughtful orientation to her grandchildren. There is no doubt you have an abundance of,
    and will continue to enjoy, such pleasures described.

    I know thinking about them as little boys brings up a choking emotion. That happens to me too. –Durano, done!

  13. Diane March 3, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Colin – I think it is a bit of a ‘punk’ book and a Goth teenager would really like it! Thanks for the kind words about my calligraphy and the tag. You’re right – it is an easy one – I shall do it soon.

    Paul – glad you like it! I know what you mean about choosing a favourite – I keep changing my mind too!
    Life with kiddies is pretty life changing isn’t it? But in the nicest way – I wouldn’t go back to pre-children days -no matter how much fun they were :-)

    Kylee – glad you liked it. It choked me up when I first read it – I have no idea who wrote it though….

    Sue – I had a very nice day, thanks. I just clicked on the link here and found your web site ( I usually visit your blog) so I am thrilled to have a lots to read and I shall explore further when have finished here :-)

    Durano – got it in one! I miss my little boys but I love the thoughtful men they have grown into. I have two good friends now :-)
    EEK! Don’t mention grandchildren just yet!

  14. Teresa March 3, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Hope you’re having a lovely Mother’s Day, Diane!

    The book is great for Goth teen, but I like it too! The cover makes you think it’s all dignified and serious, and you open it up and it says, “Arrrrgh, me mateys”…too funny!

    That is an absolutely gorgeous calligraphy piece you made. Once you’re no longer heartily sick of it, you might do another or two for Etsy. :)

  15. laketrees March 3, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    the verse and the calligraphy is very sweet…
    great photo of your sons in the previous post ..
    they look very huggable :)

  16. Diane March 3, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Teresa – I keep meaning to do some more calligraphy, I haven’t done any for so many years now and I did enjoy doing it. It was so calming and therapeutic somehow. Not that bookbinding is exactly manic but I used to almost ‘zone out’ when I was doing a piece of calligraphy!

    Kim – they are huggable – even at the great size they are! I am off to stay with Number 2 son in Leeds for a couple of days soon. Can’t wait!

  17. RennyBA March 3, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    I love the pattern of that book too – brilliant!

    Glad you had such a great Mother’s Day – you really deserves it Diane :-)

  18. Diane March 4, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Renny – the book is a nice one isn’t it? I find it hard to have a favourite but this one comes close.
    And before anyone else points this out – they have become my baby substitutes – which is probably why I find it so hard to sell them :-D

  19. laketrees March 4, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    well I can understand your attachment….now that I’m the proud owner of two of your wonderful books…
    I mailed the portrait of Laura to Colin today…and I had a few sighs…but then your BOOKS arrived yee haa….
    I will be ordering more for christmas…and of course Charlotte wants all of your pink ones lol..
    have a great arvo… and thanks again for your beeeutiful books :)

  20. Diane March 4, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    My pleasure and so glad you like them!

    It’s good to get some positive feedback from someone who isn’t a member of my family or a close friend who I’m afraid might be biased :-)

    Not that you aren’t a best blogging friend of course :-)

    I’m certain Colin will love his daughter’s portrait too…

    Sleep tight!

  21. dianeca March 4, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    That calligraphy is totally awsome. It must be wonderful to spend your days in creativity! It is great that you have found a personal way to live your life and express yourself! Keep up the good work!!

    the scull and cross bones book was pretty cool too, I think even my sons would like that!!

  22. Diane March 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you, I’m glad you liked it.

    As for my life – I studied Metallurgy at uni and did a series of analytical sorts of jobs, trained as a maths teacher and only relatively recently discovered being creative! I love it. It must have been bursting to come out and play :-)

  23. Teresa March 4, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Wow, you’re one of those people who use both sides of the brain equally well. I am so impressed!

  24. Diane March 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Not really – if you notice, I’m only good at hobbies that involve lots of precision, measuring and rules. Ask me to be spontaneous or do things like drawing or painting and I’m hopeless…. :-(

  25. mumsee March 9, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    The “children are like kites” calligraphy looks amazing and a beautiful piece of writing too.

    Loving your blog

  26. Diane March 9, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks! I enjoyed reading yours too :-)

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